Andrew Brown, Guardian (London), July 24, 2011
The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who shot dead more than 90 young socialists at their summer camp on Friday after mounting a huge bomb attack on the centre of Oslo, has been described as a fundamentalist Christian. Yet he published enough of his thoughts on the internet to make it clear that even in his saner moments his ideology had nothing to do with Christianity but was based on an atavistic horror of Muslims and a loathing of “Marxists”, by which he meant anyone to the left of Genghis Khan.
Two huge conspiracy theories form the gearboxes of his writing. The first is that Islam threatens the survival of Europe through what he calls “demographic Jihad”. Through a combination of uncontrolled immigration and uncontrolled breeding, the Muslims, who cannot live at peace with their neighbours, are conquering Europe.
But these ideas, however crazy, are part of a widespread paranoid ideology that links the European and American far right and even elements of mainstream conservatism in Britain.
In an argument on the rightwing Norwegian site Dokument.no, Breivik wrote: “Show me a country where Muslims have lived at peace with non-Muslims without waging Jihad against the Kaffir (dhimmitude, systematic slaughter, or demographic warfare)? Can you please give me ONE single example where Muslims have been successfully assimilated? How many thousands of Europeans must die, how many hundreds of thousands of European women must be raped, millions robbed and bullied before you realise that multiculturalism and Islam cannot work?”
He obsessively posted statistics showing the growth of Muslim populations in Lebanon, Kosovo, Kashmir and even Turkey over the centuries in order to demonstrate the same process was under way in Oslo right now, as well as in other European cities.
The second is the idea that the elite have sold out to “Marxism”, which controls the universities, the mainstream media, and almost all the political parties, and is bent on the destruction of western civilisation. “Europe lost the cold war as early as 1950, at the moment when we allowed Marxists/anti-nationalists to operate freely, without keeping them out of jobs where they could seize power and influence, especially teaching in schools and universities,” he wrote.
These two grand conspiracies are linked by the “Eurabia” conspiracy theory, which holds that EU bureaucrats have struck a secret deal to hand over Europe to Islam in exchange for oil.
Such extreme ideas are distributed among far-right blogs in Europe and America. The American anti-Muslim agitator Robert Spencer was namechecked when Breivik listed his intellectual influences on Dokument.no, along with a pseudonymous Norwegian who calls himself Fjordman and the equally pseudonymous Bat Ye’or, who invented the Eurabia conspiracy. Spencer, along with his sidekick, Pamela Geller, was responsible for the campaign against the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”. He has also been invited to speak in Sweden by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat party.
Fjordman, who may be several people writing under a pseudonym, is at least one Norwegian Islamophobe who has for years been predicting civil war between Muslims and their neighbours. He is sufficiently paranoid that he refused to meet Breivik, according to these papers, but their ideas overlap so much that Fjordman was briefly and wrongly suspected of being the gunman. He has also written for the Brussels Journal, a fanatically anti-EU blog where Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP, was on the masthead for a while.
Obviously these people cannot be held responsible for the use to which their ideas were put. No matter how deranged a killer’s ideas, he still needs a deranged personality to put them into action. But anyone tempted to take them seriously should consider what were almost Breivik’s last words on Document.no: “For the last three years I have been working full time on a cultural conservative work which will help to develop and market these political ideas.”
That “cultural conservative work” was the PDF he mailed out as he set off on his murder spree.