The death of Christopher Hitchens is a loss to the world of letters for, as the many eulogies over the last week have proven, he was clearly a stylish writer, a fantastic orator, and from the accounts of those who knew him, a voluble, generous and compassionate friend. But as the last line of Some Like It Hot makes clear: "No-one is perfect." Given that Hitchens never stood on ceremony, and was a great slayer of sacred cows, it wouldn't be fitting to note his passing without decrying one of his more otiose and unfortunate legacies: as the inventor and populariser of the term Islamofascism.
If there’s any shred of comfort that come come from the horrors of ten days ago, the bomb attacks in Oslo and massacre of dozens of teenagers in Utøya, it is scant consolation for bereft families or a nation in mourning. The biggest atrocity on Norwegian soil since World War II, and one of the biggest terrorist incidents in Europe in decades, is no occasion for political point scoring. But some good may yet come out of it: the full glare of public scrutiny (and one hopes police attention) has now been turned on the largely ignored growth of extreme right-wing Islamophobia in Europe.