Opinions »

Only in Norway?


Cartoon by Manel Fontdevila

Cartoon captions:

  • It’s crazy! The murderer was just like one of these incredible bad guys in a novel by Steig Larsson or Henning Mankell
  • But his ideas are like an everyday editorial in any of the newspapers in the newsstand.
  • Crazy, isn’t it!

The notorious “deed” by Anders Behring Breivik, who took 76 lives in Norway, shocked the Western world. How is it possible that “a full blooded Norwegian” – as described by the police – white and Catholic, can commit two terrorist acts, so carefully premeditated? Is the Oslo government so busy with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglects its own home front? These and other questions travel around the world and the answers are not easy.

Some things are clear, however. Breivik is one of those Christian fundamentalists long since embarked in a war against Islam. The 1500 pages he circulated before the killing and the accompanying video show him as an anti-Jihadist whose mirror image is Bin Laden. (//unitednations.ispnw.org). He shows respect for Al Qaeda, one of the few “successful militant organizations” – he says – for its capacity of “cultural adaptation” What does this mean?

The Breivik manifesto, under the title 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, is to some extent a diary of the preparation of the action, but it is mostly ideological rhetoric against the enemy: “cultural Marxism” that under the banner of the philosophers of the Frankfurt School dominates political parties, universities and even shows a determining influence over “global capitalism”. For the Norwegian terrorist, those who rule the West are “traitors” who openly conspire with Islamists to re-establish the Ottoman empire in Europe and impose Islam over the entire continent. The date in the title is by no means wanton; it evokes the defeat in 1683 of the Ottomans who laid siege to Vienna, a vindication of that Christian victory four centuries later.

The second part of the text gives a detailed history of an implacable and deadly Islam resorting to the writings of Islamophobic Americans like Robert Spencer, Bernard Lewis and David Horowitz who describe Muslim immigrants as a ¨serious threat to Western culture¨. Breivik plagiarizes full paragraphs from them barely modifying a few adjectives and does the same with the writings of another American, Ted Kaszinski, the Unabomber, the terrorist mathematician who used to send bombs to universities.

In the third part of his ¨declaration¨ Breivik portrays his heroes, from Vlad Draculea, The Impaler – forgetting that he not only impaled Muslims but Christians as well – to Tsar Nicholas II.

In the final part he makes a call to action: the ¨Marxist traitors¨ must be persecuted and exterminated. Consequently, the new Crusaders must form an army of assassins and become the Western ¨Christian¨ version of Al Qaeda in such an extreme anti-jihadism as jihadism itself.

The terrorist actions in Norway have given rise to concerns that up to now were solely focused on Islamic terrorism in European countries like Sweden, where the white fundamentalist groups are better organized, or Great Britain. In the US people begin to wonder ¨how are we doing here at home?¨ The intense scrutiny centered on the threat posed by Islamic militants has unfairly debased US Muslims and perilously underestimated the threat of attacks by other local extremists¨
(www.nytimes.com, 24-7-11).

In this case, the New York newspaper is right. The Southern Poverty Law Center – a pro civil rights organization- conducts yearly studies on the ¨patriotic¨ groups that call for the overthrowing of the government because it doesn’t meet the expectations of the white supremacists. In 2010 it identified 824 of these groups of which 330 are armed militias.
(www.splcenter.org, Spring 2011).

Daryl Johnson, who was then Advisor to the US Homeland Security Department, (DHS) referred to this situation in his report Right-wing Extremism, in which, among other things, he pointed out that the prevailing economic situation, immigration, the abortion issue and an Afro American president might trigger terrorist actions by those groups. ¨The right-wing extremists – he said- will try to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their combat skills and military training.
(www.huffingtonpost.com, 14-4-09).

These conclusions came to be known and the criticism by different neo-conservative groups, even congress members, forced the Director of the DHS, Janet Napolitano, to apologize for the report, withdraw it from internal circulation and fire its author. But Daryl was not mistaken: in 2010 the ¨patriotic¨ groups grew 60% compared to 2009 when they were 512, including 127 militias. In spite of these realities, Peter King (Rep) Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee declared he would not include the issue of white fundamentalism in the hearings on the alleged radicalization of US Muslims. “What on earth for?”

(Taken from Pagina 12)