Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik: Self-Proclaimed Inspiration for Terrorism

Anders Behring Breivik
(Image from Wikipedia)

I'm yet having problems downloading Breivik's Manifesto on my computer and can still only manage to locate fragments out of context. Perhaps others can confirm the two passages below. I think that the Manifesto can be accessed here.

The first passage seems to offer Breivik's own, self-proclaimed inspiration for attempting large-scale terrorism. He claims to have taken a page from jihadi terrorism:
Unfortunately, spectacular operations like these are the only way to be heard. Everything else we have tried has failed and yielded nothing. The Muslims showed us that deadly shock attacks are the only tool we have at the moment which will guarantee that our voice is heard.
Breivik doesn't refer to jihadis here, but claims to have copied his terrorist tactic from "the Muslims," for he does not distinguish between Islam and Islamism. The primary target of his terrorist action is not the Muslim minority in Europe, however, but the Left, or what he calls the "cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media establishment," which he blames for allowing the "Islamization of Europe":
By forcing them [Leftists] to acknowledge our presence and explaining our agenda to everyone we are making it very hard for the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media establishment to ignore the call of the free people of Europe. The message is simple: "WE DO NOT WANT AND WILL NOT TOLERATE ISLAM IN EUROPE!" Any individual or organisation that actively supports or are participating (directly or indirectly as silent bystanders) in the Islamisation of Europe are flagged as valid targets.
If we take Breivik at his word, he learned of the successful application of extreme violence from Muslim terrorism. Whether we can really take him at his word, however, remains to be seen. I know from ten years of reading on Islamist terrorism and various responses to it that the expression "the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media establishment" is not Breivik's own coinage. This is the language found in rightwing critiques of the European Union (and its predecessor, the EEC), which is seen as a Leftist political construction and blamed for allowing Muslims into Europe, which Breivik sees as the "Islamization of Europe." Such Leftists are considered valid targets by Breivik, for he sees them as traitors.

But let me be very clear on a central, crucial point: the vast majority of rightwing materials that I have read do not call for violence, though I have seen the occasional anonymous or pseudonymous comment that does urge a violent response to Muslim immigration. The evidence so far suggests that Breivik acted alone. He doesn't appear to have revealed his plan to anyone until releasing his Manifesto onto the internet. But he probably won't be the last rightwing terrorist. Some may separately have arrived at conclusions similar to his own. Others will now be motivated by his example, given that his Manifesto will be widely available on the internet.

We don't like to acknowledge the fact, but those who study terrorists tell us that extremists use terrorism because it works. Breivik's terrorist act has worked so far -- he wanted to be heard, and we're even now discussing his views.

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At 5:13 AM, Blogger whitney said...


Here is a good link to his 'book' from the washington post.


Strange days, eh?

At 5:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, and to make access easier for everyone, just click here.

Jeffery Hodges

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