Many people's initial reaction to the Oslo attack was to assume Islamists were responsible. This has led to a certain amount of gloating and scolding now that it turns out to be a blond, nationalist terrorist of the kind that populate Hollywood movies but are rather rare in real life.
I said almost immediately that it was probably either an Islamist or a lone nutjob and have been proven correct so this is not defensiveness on my part.
However that does not mean that those who initially assumed it was an Islamist attack have something to apologise for because it is not irrational or bigoted to assume that synchronised terror attacks in a Western city targeting civilians were perpetrated by the kind of groups who have most recently committed synchronised terror attacks, attacks on Western cities and attacks which focus on murdering civilians.
It was a rational assumption to make even though it turned out to be incorrect.
PS. I am not defending those who said that the attack was definately by Muslims without any evidence only those who said it was likely.
Howard Jacobson on Manchester
1 minute ago