Aug 1, 2011
The assassinations in Oslo, capital of Norway, and on the island of Utoya, on July 22nd, resulted in at least 76 deaths.
Anders Behring Breivik, the killer, executed dozens of youth, then proudly took credit for his act, which he said was “cruel but necessary.” He wanted to be recognized as “the greatest monster since World War II.” Breivik, who calls himself a Christian conservative, left a manifesto of 1500 pages on the Internet with disgusting justifications. He mixed together his hatred of foreigners, particularly Muslims, and the “multiculturalism which is rotting Norway.” He speaks of “the use of terrorism as a means of waking up the masses” and affirms that “when one decides to kill, it’s best to kill a great number rather than not enough.”
The killer said he wanted to aim at the “Marxist” ideology responsible for the opening of national borders and the loss of the white Christian European identity. This was the reason he gave for attacking youth at a Labor Party vacation camp and a government office building.
Breivik may have acted alone, independent of any organized group, methodically carrying out an elaborate personal plan, set long before and coldly executed. He seems, first and foremost, to be a mad killer, fascinated by arms and obsessed with the fact of killing. But these “ideas” weren’t invented by him. He drew from the more or less common sources of the far right ideology and from all those who use racism and anti-communism, with a more or less avowed fascination for Nazi ideology and methods. Their idea is that all those they oppose must be massacred.
Different European leaders of far right movements pretend they aren’t responsible for Breivik’s act.
They are hardly the only ones to stir up such racist and anti-foreign ideas. Glenn Beck, former news host on Fox News, in reporting the Norway tragedy, compared the Norwegian Labor Party camp to the Hitler youth. In 2007, Peter King, a congressman from New York state, called American Muslims “an enemy within.” King now heads a congressional committee for Homeland Security, which he has used to pillory Muslims.
If the leaders of the far right aren’t responsible for Breivik’s craziness, they are at least responsible for contributing to spread and make commonplace the ideas he seized on.
Breivik’s act makes us remember where his ideas have already led in the past and where they can lead if they are not combatted.