Well, as it turned out, I didn't end up testifying at the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik after all. As I reported here back in April, Breivik's lawyers put together a long list of Islam critics, myself included, whom they were calling as "expert witnesses." The summonses we were sent in the mail made it clear that under Norwegian law we were obliged to testify. If we refused to comply, we would be subject to fine and imprisonment.
The alleged reason for calling us as witnesses was to demonstrate that Breivik is not alone in taking a skeptical view of multiculturalism, of Islam, and of mass Muslim immigration – and that he is therefore sane, and should be sent to a prison (as he wishes) and not to a psychiatric hospital. This purported strategy made absolutely no logical sense. Does it really need to be proven to anyone that such views are widespread? And what, in any case, does any of this have to do with the mental state of this wacko who remorselessly gunned down dozens of teenagers? Plainly, the real reason for dragging some of Norway's most prominent critics of Islam into court was to establish guilt by association – to link all of us, in the minds of Norwegians, with the most reviled creep in modern Norwegian history – and to send out the message that if you publicly criticize Islam in Norway, you can end up being dragged into court.