Mr Mohammed Amin, who we met at our recent Manchester conference, is a Publisher.
He has kindly authorized us to reproduce one part of his article entitled « Reflections on the killings in Norway », of which the original may be found on its website: http://www.mohammedamin.com/Community_issues/Reflections-on-Norway-killings.html
This section especially addresses Mr Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto « 2083 A European Declaration of Independence », which falls within the scope of our Initiative.
Reflections on the killings in Norway
27 July 2011
by Mohammed Amin, Publisher (http://www.mohammedamin.com)
Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto
I downloaded “2083 A European Declaration of Independence” the day that I first became aware of it. Although it is hard to get yourself to read such a hate filled 1,500 page document, I have now turned every page on my iPad. Some pages I read in full slowly, some I speed-read and others I skipped very quickly. However the poor structure of the document means that you have to go through it like this to be sure something important is not missed. The absence of page numbers is a nuisance; the page numbers given below are those generated by Adobe Acrobat Reader when viewing the document.
My purpose was to try to understand what would make him do something so terrible. Despite its contents, I found reading the manifesto therapeutic. What I got out of the manifesto is listed below, in no particular order.
- It is for the Norwegian legal system to determine whether Breivik is legally sane and able to be tried. My view from reading the manifesto is that he is sane. If we met him, I would expect him to sound like any normal person, unless we got onto his political and cultural hobby horse of Muslims in Europe. He was able to collate the manifesto and plan his crime over an extended period without being discovered.
- Breivik’s formal education is quite limited. (Page 1,387) While he completed High School, he did not attend university. While pages 1,396 – 1,397 boast about his wide reading, in my view he did not have any formal training in thinking, analysis of alternative arguments etc. That made him much more likely to be led up intellectual blind alleys both with his uncritical acceptance of the fear mongering on some blogs about Muslims and his conclusions with tragic consequences of the actions needed.
- Despite his protestations to the contrary, Breivik is a racist. In my view that is the only reasonable interpretation of his words on pages 1,152 – 1,155 about the preservation of the ethnic purity of the Nordic tribes.
- Breivik has a troubled family background; pages 1,386 – 1,387. His parents both had children from previous relationships and then divorced when he was one. From the age of 15 he lost touch with his father after his father divorced again.
- Pages 1,393 – 1,395 recount eight occasions on which he suffered violent assaults and attempted robberies by Muslims in Oslo.
- In his early twenties, he made 4 million Norwegian Krone (£456,000 at today’s exchange rates) by running a company offering overseas programming services on an outsourced basis. (Page 1,408). He later lost about half of this in the stock market, (p 1,380) but the rest financed his years of preparation. By March 2011 (p 1,437) his funds had almost run out.
- He is intensely anti-feminist, (e.g. page 28) and believes that Europe needs to return to a patriarchal society (e.g. page 1,226 which also contains another instance of his Nordic racism.)
- Breivik is militantly Christian, but not in a religious sense. (P 1,307) He primarily sees Christianity as a European cultural idea, and happily uses a phrase such as “Christian atheist” (p 1,360) without recognising its incongruity. He wants the Protestant churches to become Catholic again (p 1,308).
- He hates what he calls cultural Marxism, (in a long section starting on page 4) and attacks many books I fondly recall from my younger days spent browsing such as Wilhelm’s Reich’s “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” ( p 16), Herbert Marcuse’s “Eros and Civilisation” and Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” (p 17). I never had time to read them, and I wonder if Breivik has, or whether he is relying upon other people’s critiques.
- The entire document is laced throughout with hatred of Islam and Muslims. No citations are needed as the hatred recurs everywhere. Much of the manifesto comprises reproduction of blog articles by people such as Robert Spencer (44 mentions when I searched on his name), Bat Ye’or (24 mentions), Walid Shoebat (16 mentions), Pamela Geller (1 mention by name, 11 citations of her blog « Atlas Shrugs »), Daniel Pipes (12 mentions) and someone who uses the pseudonym Fjordman (102 mentions). Jim Lobe on the Aljazeera website and Lee Fang on the ThinkProgress Security website and others have written about the people Breivik cites.
- Breivik has what can only be described as a fantasy obsession with the Knights Templar. Starting on page 812 he describes both the original Knights and their modern reformulation with a new mission to save Christian Europe from the Muslims, starting by overthrowing the traitorous governments that embrace multiculturalism. There is complete hatred of mainstream politicians, such as the Norwegian Labour Party, who Breivik regards as having betrayed Europe. There is a particularly strange section on pages 1,075 – 1,102 describing the medals, grades of honour, uniforms and tombstone designs for the modern Knights Templar. Page 1513 contains the photo of Breivik wearing his uniform and medals that has been reproduced so often in the media.
Despite the hate filled content, at one point the manifesto did make me laugh out loud, and I have reproduced the section from page 1,301. You have to read to the very end of the quote!
The most important message from the manifesto is that Breivik sees the world in black and white, in a completely Manichean way. In this he is no different from the people he most detests, the fanatics of Al Qaeda. There is absolutely no recognition of any of the nuances that there are within Islam, just as Al Qaeda see a monolithic “West.”
— Update 24 August 2012 —
Update 24 August 2012
Today the Norwegian court concluded Breivik’s trial by finding him sane and convicting him of his murders. The conduct of the Norwegian government and people over the last year has been commendable.
I wrote above five days after the killings that I thought Breivik was sane, and am pleased that the court has reached the same conclusion after meticulous examination of the facts.
— Who is Fjordman? —
Who is Fjordman?
Sindre Bangstad is a postdoctoral fellow of the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo in Norway. I recommend his article « Norway: terror and Islamophobia in the mirror. » He writes: ‘Fjordman’ turned out to be a 36yr.-old former Norwegian student of Arabic at the University of Bergen and the American University of Cairo, and an MA graduate in Media Studies from the University of Oslo by the name of Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen. A worker at a day-care centre in Oslo, Jensen had experienced some kind of ‘far right epiphany’ as a result of 9/11.
— From page 1,301 of Breivik’s manifesto —
3.135 Economical/social impacts of mass deportations
Economical impact once a cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regime falls and an Islam free territory (Country) is established?
Illustrative example (after deportations);
Population: 10,4 million
Muslim population: 1990: 500 000, 2008: 1 million (10%)
1 million Muslims
100 000 are retired (+70 years)
250 000 are aged 41-69
250 000 are aged 21-40
400 000 are aged 1-20
Individuals paying tax: 300 000-400 000
Individuals not paying tax: 600 000-700 000
Social economic results after deporting 1 000 000
A few particularly affected professional groups:
80% of taxi drivers are Muslims
60% of public transportation workers are Muslims
20% of health care workers are Muslims
50% of the restaurant industry is Muslim
Short term economic effects would be disastrous. Problems to maintain public transportation systems, taxi industry paralysed.
Hate has no religion
Since the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassy bombings first brought Al Qaeda to global attention, so much focus has been placed on terrorists motivated by a perverted understanding of Islam that we have tended to forget that terrorists come from many sources. The reality is that any religion can be twisted and perverted if one wants to.
Timothy McVeigh was an inactive Roman Catholic; David Koresh was a Branch Dravidian, a sect which was an offshoot of an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists, Baruch Goldstein was a Jew and sadly some Jews still celebrate the killings he carried out.
Careless talk costs lives
Breivik’s manifesto reproduces large numbers of blog postings and other articles which paint a highly distorted view of Islam. The language they use is so extreme that I would not be surprised if it did not drive some Muslims towards support of Al Qaeda as “defenders of Islam” while others like Breivik end up believing that Europe is under mortal danger from Muslims.
I was never a fan of President Richard Nixon. However, I still remember a phrase from his 1969 first inaugural address, about lowering our voices, and have quoted the extract below:
WE HAVE FOUND OURSELVES RICH IN GOODS, BUT RAGGED IN SPIRIT; REACHING WITH MAGNIFICENT PRECISION FOR THE MOON, BUT FALLING INTO RAUCOUS DISCORD ON EARTH. WE ARE CAUGHT IN WAR, WANTING PEACE. WE ARE TORN BY DIVISION, WANTING UNITY. WE SEE AROUND US EMPTY LIVES, WANTING FULFILMENT. WE SEE TASKS THAT NEED DOING, WAITING FOR HANDS TO DO THEM.
TO A CRISIS OF THE SPIRIT, WE NEED AN ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT. TO FIND THAT ANSWER, WE NEED ONLY LOOK WITHIN OURSELVES.
WHEN WE LISTEN TO « THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, » WE FIND THAT THEY CELEBRATE THE SIMPLE THINGS, THE BASIC THINGS—SUCH AS GOODNESS, DECENCY, LOVE, KINDNESS.
GREATNESS COMES IN SIMPLE TRAPPINGS. THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE ONES MOST NEEDED TODAY IF WE ARE TO SURMOUNT WHAT DIVIDES US, AND CEMENT WHAT UNITES US.
TO LOWER OUR VOICES WOULD BE A SIMPLE THING.
IN THESE DIFFICULT YEARS, AMERICA HAS SUFFERED FROM A FEVER OF WORDS; FROM INFLATED RHETORIC THAT PROMISES MORE THAN IT CAN DELIVER; FROM ANGRY RHETORIC THAT FANS DISCONTENTS INTO HATREDS; FROM BOMBASTIC RHETORIC THAT POSTURES INSTEAD OF PERSUADING.
WE CANNOT LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER UNTIL WE STOP SHOUTING AT ONE ANOTHER—UNTIL WE SPEAK QUIETLY ENOUGH SO THAT OUR WORDS CAN BE HEARD AS WELL AS OUR VOICES.
We can start by ensuring that in Britain we have sensible discussions about our political and religious views, without feeling that we need to shout at each other.
A nightmare for the security services
Breivik was the hardest kind of terrorist to stop. An intelligent individual, acting alone and planning meticulously for years.
We need to come together
I remember how the USA came together in the days after 9/11, including America’s Muslim community, and President Bush’s visit to a mosque a few days after 9/11. Sadly that unity is being lost today amidst the anti-Muslim venom that is commonplace amongst parts of the US blogosphere and from some US politicians grubbing for votes.
London came together after the 7/7 bombings. Today despite all attempts by interested parties such as right wing extremists and Muslim extremists to paint a different picture, I believe our country is still primarily united against those who want to set Muslims and non-Muslims against each other.
I have been touch by the many scenes on television of Muslim and non-Muslim Norwegians coming together in this time of grief. It is essential to retain that sense of unity as the weeks go by.