On Saturday, July 23, Norway was hit by two deadly terrorist attacks. In the first, a bomb exploded in Oslo's government sector, political analysts and commentators quickly started looking in the direction of an Al-Qaeda style Islamist group as the likely culprits in such a horrific attack.
However, just minutes after the bomb, Anders Behring Breivik, 32 arrived on Utoeya, an island south of Oslo, and began shooting at a crowd of young people who were attending the Labour Party's annual youth camp.
The gunman reportedly methodically gunned down children as they fled for their lives and killed 86 people on the island alone.
Breivik has since admitted to police that he carried out the attack on the island of Utoya and the bombing in central Oslo but denies any criminal responsibility.
Calling himself a crusader against a tide of Islam, Breivik produced a 1,500-page "terrorist manifesto" and appears to want a public platform to explain his actions.
"He has been politically active and found out himself that he did not succeed with usual political tools and so resorted to violence," said Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad. His client believed the actions were atrocious, "but that in his head, they were necessary," he said, adding his client did not feel he deserved punishment.
As Breivik is now preparing to face justice, some political analysts have blamed immigration as part of the problem. In Norway, they say, immigration happened very quickly and therefore changed the demographics, leaving little time for Norwegians to get acclimated to the new configuration of their country.
The truth, however, is that far from immigration being responsible, one should rather blame the terrorist act on one fundamentalist.
It seems that Al Qaeda's crusade against the West and its supporters has now found its mirror image in the west.
Clearly, Breivik's attack was a meticulously planned execution of the anti-Islamic ideology that has seen a recent surge on the European political culture for at least a decade.
In the name of preserving a Christian Europe, Anders Behring Breivik conducted an ideologically inspired terrorist attack against those he believed were Islamist terrorist sympathizers.
An important fact not to overlook is that the attack was carried out in the name of cultural purity, so blaming immigration will not necessarily help us explain the tragedy. In fact, the right wing political party Breivik belonged between 1999 and 2004, advocates a restrictive immigration policy. Ever since 9/11, it seems the world has become more polarised between what appear to be Muslim and Christian camps.
Worryingly Islamophobia has since a surge in Europe in the last decade.
A 2010 study conducted at the University of Exeter, and funded by the Al Jazeera Center, documented a dramatic rise in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the the UK.
Also, in 2006, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia documented an increasing number of attacks on Muslims throughout Europe-including 180 small attacks in France over a two-year period and sporadic attacks on Muslim mosques and businesses in Germany, Spain, Italy, and elsewhere.
In the last decade, politicians and the media have increasingly presented Muslim immigration, mosque-building, and the integration of Muslims as problems that threatened the homogenous cultural identity of Europe.
In May for example, Geert Wilders told an audience assembled at a church in Nashville, Tennessee: "In Europe we have been experiencing Al Hijra [conquest through immigration] for over thirty years now. Many of our cities have changed beyond recognition." He went on to quote Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. "In each one of our cities ... there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran."
Was Breivik inspired by such talk in his manifesto, "2083: A European Declaration of Independence" which effectively calls for jihad against Islamic invaders?
One lesson that should be learnt from this tragedy is that extremism and religious fundamentalism does have more than one face and Islamophobic discourses can be as dangerous as the Islamistanti-western ones.