Then the police identified 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik, a former soldier, as the perpetrator. He accepted responsibility and claimed that it was to protest the policies that allow Muslims to come into the country, His rant was clearly anti-Muslim and Nationalist, with more than a touch of Nazi ideology.
Then Times Magazine published an article on Mr Breivik's motivations emphasizing his sympathy for Israel, and claiming that Hitler should have killed only the Liberal Jews but support the Nationalistic Zionist. Only later in the article they mentioned that this individual is coo coo.
What can we learn from this sequence of events? Obviously, the first conclusion is that most of what you hear before people check the facts is just ignorance inflating the sails of stupidity in a trip to nowhere.
The fact is that the perpetrator, Mr Breivik, is mentally unstable and an easy victim of Nazi propaganda that to this day circulates in Europe; the main difference being that these days the preferred target of this born-again Nazis are the Muslim immigrants rather than the Jews.
The fact is also that groups like "Helpers of Global Jihad" do exist and are hungry for publicity and they have a chip on their shoulders the size of Mount Rushmore, with not much tolerance or empathy for their neighbors to match. Truth, they are not all the Muslims, but these groups do exist.
The fact is also that the Media appears to have forgotten the concept of responsible reporting or the old, apparently outmoded, pride of journalists of checking the facts and reporting objectively on the truth. This goes double for Times Magazine.
But there another fact as well: Europe has a problem with its Muslim immigrants. Muslim immigrants to Europe, mostly from North Africa, tend to live self-segregated from their neighbors and create to some extent "Parallel societies" where Shari'a is, in many cases, more authoritative than the law of the land. That insularity is in some ways similar to the life of Jews in Eastern Europe in the 1930s, the main difference being that Jews were confined to the fringes of society while Muslims are choosing that position, but be that as it may - it is the insularity and estrangement of the surrounding society that breeds distrust and even hostility from other Europeans.
But beyond the problem of the hostility there is another problem: Europe doesn't know what to do with its immigrants. Traditionally, Europe took the approach that is called in the Netherlands "Pillarization", that is that each community is free to establish their own institutions, religious, educational, even trade related, and the State will support them all. The problem is that until the 1970s Europe received only small immigration streams; in fact so small that they were able to meld into European society without much problem. The North African Muslim immigration is anything but small, and some of their religious leaders are indeed advocating the takeover of Europe - be it by overhwhelming the Europeans demographically or by converting them. And that scares the hell out of many people.
These extremist leaders have a lot of power in the immigrant enclaves throughout Europe and substantial financial support from financial centers in the Middle East. The average immigrant, however, is mainly concerned with the same things most immigrants are concerned about: making a living and making sure their children will have a better lot in life than the one they got. And yes, there are some who abuse the generosity of their host societies - such is the story every time you have immigrants: some are good, honest, hard working people, and others are crooked, abusive or power hungry. Trying to paint all immigrants with one brush is a mistake. Blaming the good ones for the bad ones is a mistake. But forgiving or justifying the bad ones for fear of offending is also a mistake - and a far more serious one.
I can only conclude by saying "Europeans, Wake up! - you're not in Kansas anymore"