Debate Magazine

The Norwegian Terrorist Attack - White, Right Wing, Christian Fundamentalist Terrorist

Posted on the 23 July 2011 by Mikeb302000
Cross posted from Penigma, because I believe this is an important issue. Please note that MikeB's blog roll is different from the penigma blog roll; but there are plenty of working links to the Cole post.

The Norwegian Terrorist Attack: White, Right Wing, Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists

Let me direct our readers to a blog from our blog roll which has addressed this better than anything I can write, Informed Comment, Juan Cole's blog.  You can access the pertinent post by clicking here, or by clicking on the listing for it on our blog roll.  It is excellent, and rather than being ideology driven, it is factual.
Their headline: White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway.
That the horrible terrorist attacks in Oslo on Friday that left some 90 persons or more dead– a bombing of the prime minister’s office and shootings at a Labor Party youth camp– were allegedly committed by a blonde, far right wing Norwegian fundamentalist Christian rather than by a radical Muslim group is being treated as a matter of surprise in some quarters. But if those journalists and analysts had been paying attention, they would not be surprised at all.
Europol reports have long made it clear that the biggest threat of terrorism in Europe comes from separatist movements, then from the fringe left, then from the far right. In 2008, only one terrorist attack out of hundreds in Europe was committed by radical Muslims. In 2010, according to Europol [pdf], 7 persons were killed in terrorist attacks. Some 160 of these attacks that year were carried out by separatists. The number launched by people of Muslim heritage? 3. It would be silly to maintain that Muslim radicals do not pose a threat of terrorism; indeed, many plots were broken up by European police. But as an actually-existing phenomenon, terrorism in Europe is mainly the work of Christian-heritage people. For more on the Norwegian far right, see
Cole addresses a topic I have written about on Penigma, the crisis in this country of Islamophobia, which is actively fear-mongered by the right wing of our politics.  It is not a problem unique to Norway by any means.  We have only to listen to presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain, or look at the provisions of the Iowa pledge signed by Michele Bachmann and Ick, er, Rick Santorum, provisions which are promoted by Gingrich, Huckabee, Pawlenty and pretty much all of the other GOP hopefuls.  We have only to look at the number of states which have passed incredibly stupid and unnecessary legislation about Sharia law, which is NOT in any way, shape or form a threat to our law, our autonomy, or our way of life, legislation which singles out and demonizes a legitimate religion for treatment that is different from any other religion.
The right uses all kinds of fears to gain support, mostly from low-information people who believe wildly inaccurate things about people they identify as different from themselves, as different from conservative, white, Christians.  It is what that right will do, both legally and illegally, that threatens our life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and our very multi-cultural melting pot American way of life.
Quoting again from Cole:
The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, is anti-multiculturalist and believes that the Qur’an commands Muslims to be extremists. His attack on the Labour Party appears to have derived in part from its insufficient hate of people of other cultures. Breivik’s discourse, about Islam and the Qur’an being *essentially* evil, is part of the Islamophobia promoted by some right wing forces in the west; and his actions show where that kind of thinking can lead.
Read Professor Cole; his post is EXCELLENT.  And then take another long hard look at the message of the right wing media, and the politicians who want to run for President (and governor, and senator or congressman).  It will make you think, and it might even scare you a little.  It should shake you up, because to be safe, we must focus proportionately on the actual, factual sources of potential terrorism, and not be distracted or diverted by Islamophobia, no matter how hard the right tries to make it an issue.

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