For the objective here is not just to try Breivik for his actions, but to try him for his thoughts as well. The climax of the trial will come in June, when several writers who have written about Islam – myself included – will be hauled into court as unwilling witnesses for the defense. As I wrote here last month, “the goal of the defense – and of the defendant, who apparently made up the list of witnesses himself – is utterly identical with the goal of the country’s leftist cultural elite: namely, to implicate all of us writers in Breivik’s actions. Of course, Breivik wants to do this in order to mitigate his own guilt in the eyes of the court and the country; the cultural elite wants to do it in order to discredit forever the criticism of Islam.”
Among the other writers on the list of defense witnesses is Hanne Nabintu Herland, a historian of religion who’s been an outspoken critic of Western feminism, the social-democratic welfare state, “reverse racism,” Norwegian anti-Semitism, and the Norwegian cult of mediocrity. She’s also written – and this is why she’s been summoned to testify in the Breivik case – about the importance of integrating immigrants and of preserving traditional European cultural values. But she’s not having it. On Monday, she made a major announcement in an op-ed for Aftenposten: she’s informed the authorities that she won’t be obeying her summons. She simply refuses to be a part of “this twisted murderer’s show….I refuse to be dragged around the circus ring like another clown in the perpetrator’s bizarre delusions.” She asserts that “the obligation to testify is being abused. I was not in Norway on July 22. My testimony has no bearing on the question of guilt or sanity.”Good for her.