TRANSCEND Media Service — Anders Breivik was driven by a calling to save Christianity, catholic essentially, from a European civil war with Islam. The message said: Islam enters Europe on roads paved by multiculturalism, built by social democrats like the Workers’ Youth League at Utöya, the scene of killings. The calling goes on: dialogue with an implacable, fanatic enemy is impossible. Violence against government quarters, and massacre of young supporters, however regrettable, was necessary. Norway, Europe needed a wake-up call to return to their “origins.”
These crazy articles of faith found an evil terrorist carrier? The above words serve as a road sign: “No further thinking needed.” However, it is not the way to handle a catastrophe – only a lazy, easy, way out. We have to ask searching questions.
Is there something to it? What does this remind us of? How do we prevent a repeat?
Of course, there is something to it. There are acts of war in Europe, by Islamists and by Islamophobes. They feed into each other. A society open to immigrants, and basically tolerant, is vulnerable. There will always be fundamentalist carriers of deep intolerance, be they loners or well linked. Problematic, but not more than a reasonably competent police can handle. Maybe the heads of the police directorate and of the security police in Norway should have resigned by now? Or, if not, should have been invited to do so?
These are relatively small ripples on the tsunami that hit Norway, like whether or not Breivik collaborated with one or two more “cells.” The next question is more demanding: What does this remind us of?
This neo-fascism is reminiscent of Nazism, laden with culture instead of race, multiculturalism instead of miscegenation (mixing of races), anti-Islamism instead of anti-Semitism. These are very old figures in European thought, and not in Europe alone. It is a bad old story.
There is another answer that will cause tremors deeper than the massacre itself in the Norwegian body politic. The episode reminds us of ourselves, Breivik becoming a mirror which reflects us. Had he been darker skinned with a beard—let’s stop there. He is light-skinned, blond, blue-eyed and Christian. We see ourselves. Looking more closely, we see Norwegian sharp shooters and gunners in tanks, with the sickening idea that democracy serves as a license to kill, for instance in Afghanistan and for massive bombing by Norwegian military planes in Libya. The acts are disturbingly similar, though it may be at first difficult to understand.
Next question: By what theory–ideology–manifesto does Norway do this?
The response is: “When NATO goes in, we go in, when NATO goes out we go out.” And further, “When the UN Security Council so mandates …”
The argument is about not merely a European but a world civil war – Bernard Lewis’s theory of clash of civilizations wrongly attributed to Samuel Huntington. It asserts that dialogue is impossible; the Taliban – like Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda – are autistic terrorists living in their bubbles; violence is regrettable, and there may be collateral damage, but necessary. From a failed state they want to conquer the world.
For Breivik, too, violence is necessary. So if one is crazy, so is the other. If one is a terrorist, so is the other. Breivik hides under God and History, Norway under NATO and the UN Security Council. It is cold comfort for the bereaved who have lost their loved ones – anywhere?
At this stage, there will be shouts that “the two are entirely different!” to drown out the little inner voice which says: “Maybe not that different.”