Profiling Multicultural Tensions in the Netherlands

14 August 2008

 

The New York Times provides a profile of Dutch multiculturalism and anti-Islam sentiment this week. In the wake of the tragedy in Norway and the sympathies killer Anders Behring Breivik with the anti-immigrant right in the Netherlands, attention has focused on “the sometimes violent European backlash against Islam and its challenge to national values” whose origins the article places in the Netherlands. The article cites tensions in multicultural Amsterdam neighborhoods, the emergence of populist politicians such as Geert Wilders who say “what many people think and don’t want to say”, and the increasing tendency for asking “Who am I? Where am I really from? Can I be Dutch?” amongst those living in the country.

Do critics actually read the Koran?

Ramadan is upon us – a time of fasting, charity, prayer…and fighting off Islamophobia. Norweigian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik killed 76 innocent people in a demented campaign to destroy Islam. Comedian Bill Maher recently called the Koran a “hate-filled holy book.” Evangelical atheist Sam Harris insists, “on almost every page the Koran instructs observant Muslims to despise non-believers .” And Peter King continues his anti-Muslim campaign to become the 21st century Senator McCarthy.

So here’s the $1 million question: Do critics actually read the Koran?

Well, consider our American leaders as an example. On the surface, Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama might seem vastly different in policy. But, these presidents have each read the Koran.

Jefferson, a Founding Father, valued his personal Koran. Bush, a conservative Republican, called the Koran “a very thoughtful gift.” Obama, a Democrat who is not a Muslim, studied the Koran, even as a child. Jefferson, Bush, Obama—why not follow their example?

France’s former National Front leader sparks outrage over Norway attacks

News Agencies – July 31, 2011
The founder of France’s far-right National Front sparked growing outrage recently with claims that the Norwegian government’s “naivety” was to blame for the recent mass killing there. Jean-Marie Le Pen accused Norway of not correctly handling immigration, one of the French far-right party’s main policy issues which was also cited by the Norwegian self-confessed mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik.
The French National Front and other European far-right parties had distanced themselves from Behring Breivik, who has confessed to carrying out the bombing and shooting attacks that killed 77 people in and near Oslo on July 22. The Front suspended one of its members, Jacques Coutela, this week for defending Behring Breivik in a blog.

Reactions on the Carnage in Norway

29 July

Much of this week’s news in Norway and Sweden has dealt with the Islamophobic discourse inspiring Anders Behring Breivik’s acts of terror and manifesto. The manifesto published online by Breivik just hours before the detonation in Oslo and the massacre at Utøya borrows extensively from, amongst others, the UNA bomber Theodore Kaczynski, and so called “Anti jihadists” such as Bat Ye’or (Gisèle Littman), Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Littman, Geller and Spencer have rejected all responsibility for inspiring the Norwegian terrorist and claim that these accusations are a strategy used by “the Leftists” to silence all critique of Islam.

 

Similar reactions have been seen and heard amongst right wing populists and Islam critics in Norway and Sweden. Apparently Breivik was a member of the right wing populist party Fremskrittspartiet (FrP), focusing most of its politics and rhetoric against multiculturalism and, especially Muslim, immigration. Two days after the detonation in Oslo and the shooting spree at Utøya, Siv Jensen, leader of FrP, announced that she thought the atrocities executed by Behring Breivik was horrible, but that “the fact that some media wants to find a connection between Anders Behring Breivik and FrP is just as horrible.” She later claimed that she had been misunderstood. The political attack on FrP cannot in any way be compared to the killing of innocents, she said.

 

The Norwegian journalist Øyvind Strømmen, specialized in right wing extremism, has collected some of the reactions from the far right on last week’s act of terror. He shows how a number of more or less well knows bloggers and writers say they support Breivik ideologically, but reject violence and the taking of lives. But some even seem to agree also to violent methods in what is conceived as a war between “the West” and Islam. Strømmen also shows that a common opinion is that what happened is a natural reaction on immigration and Muslim presence in Norway. In the end the Muslims and their leftist allies are, according to a number of voices, to blame for what happened in Oslo and Utøya.

 

Also in Sweden similar reactions have been noticed. A number of far right wing and nationalist bloggers and politicians have stated that they reject the killings in Norway, but can support the ideological stand of Breivik. Amongst the most noticed is former Sweden Democrat (SD) Isak Nygren, today spokesperson for the Swedish Defense League. Nygren was amongst a number of persons who received the manifesto in an email sent directly from Anders Behring Breivik himself, less than two hours before the detonation in Oslo. On his blog Nygren states that he to some extent does agree with Breivik ideologically, but does not support his methods:

 

Even though this terrorist is anti-Islam, anti-Multicultralism and so on, like me, I don’t really have something in common with this guy. I don’t support violence.

 

Another Sweden Democrat, Erik Hellsborn, received national attention writing on his blog that “Islamisation” and “multiculturalism” more than anything else lies behind the carnage in Norway. “In a Norwegian Norway this would never have happened.” The blog post was later removed after pressure from party members.

 

Yet another noticeable strategy amongst fellow right wing extremists is to claim that Breivik is to be regarded insane, and that the acts of terror are not ideologically informed. Some has also tried to find other discourses which, rather than the Islamophobic or nationalist, can explain the reasons why. Another member of the Sweden Democrats, Thomas Karlsén, claims Behring Breivik was used as a tool in the hands of the Freemasons, conspiring against the world. Asked to clarify his statement by EXPO, a Swedish magazine covering issues regarding racism, nationalist and right wing extremism, Karlsén says: “You are fucking retards. It is you that’s behind what has fucking happened!” Karlsén seems to think that the journalists at EXPO, as representatives of “the Left”, can somehow be held responsible because of them wanting to “put the lid on all critique against Islam”.

 

In an online article EXPO claims that the ideological stands of Anders Behring Breivik are reflected by the politics of the Sweden Democrats (SD). By comparing statements and blog posts on “the islamisation in Europe” by leading Sweden Democrats, to quotes from Breivik’s manifesto they want to show how it is all part of the same Islamophobic ideology.

 

Jimmie Åkesson, leader of SD, as well as Kent Ekeroth, the party’s international secretary, is enraged that media and “the Left,” by their understanding, are using the atrocities in Norway to silence “the discussion about the failed politics of immigration and integration.” Both are wound up by having their own ideological stands compared to those expressed in the manifesto of Behring Breivik, and claim there is no connection between the two. “It is a fact,” writes Ekeroth, “that Breivik does not have anything to do with the growing Islam- and immigration-critic movement what so ever.”

Voices have also been heard, as well in Norway as in Sweden, that the secret police has been focusing too much on possible threats from Muslim terrorism, neglecting the far right and nationalist extremism, and demands are put forward that these milieus are to be more carefully investigated and supervised.

Dutch Anti-Islam Politician in Controversy over Norway Tragedy

July 26 2011

Dutch media has closely followed the connection between ‘Norway shooter’ Anders Behring Breivik and the anti-Islam position of MP Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV). The coverage follows comments that some of the ideas expressed by Breivik “are not so far removed from those promoted by Geert Wilders” and information that the shooter attended a speech by Wilders in London last year, and question whether the politician is partially ‘to blame’ for the shooting. Wilders responded to the suggestion through a statement and tweets, rejecting all attempts to link his ideology to that of Breivik. He claims the attention on possible connection is an attempt to turn the situation for political gain. Nu.nl reports that in a recent poll, 52% of Dutch think Wilders should not moderate his tone with respect to Islam as a result of the events.

Islamophobia behind Norwegian Carnage

26 July

Simon Sorgenfrei for Euro-Islam:

Less than two hours before detonating the bomb in down town Oslo on Friday, July 22, the suspect Anders Behring Breivik published a 1500 pages manifesto and diary entitled 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence. In the manifesto, using the pseudonym Andrew Berwick, he revealed the reasons and planning behind the Oslo bombing and the shooting spree at nearby Utoya.

Breivik Behring was arrested on the spot and taken to custody. He requested an open hearing because he wanted to “explain fully to the world what he had done” and “why he had done it.” His request, however, was denied after prosecutors and police persuaded the court to do otherwise, thus barring media from directly covering the hearing. In a press conference after the hearing on Monday 25, Judge Kim Heger said Breivik Behring confesses to as well the bombing as the massacre. But he does not, however, accept criminal responsibility as he envisioned himself forced to do what he did to “save Norway and Western Europe from cultural Marxism and Muslim takeover.” What he did, he said, was meant as a signal to the Norwegian people that the Labour party has betrayed the country through the “deconstruction of Norwegian culture and mass importation of Muslims.” Therefore he wanted to cause the party as much future harm as possible by shortening recruits through the shooting spree at the youth camp at Utoya. No responsible person, he continued, “can let his country be colonized by Muslims.”

Contents of the Manifesto

In the manifesto Behring Breivik states that the primary target was not to kill ”a couple of hundred” but to get publicity to promote distribution of the message presented in his manifest. He claims further that he wants to educate Europe and recruit thousands to the struggle for a new world order.

We are some of the founding fathers of the new world order. The conservative martyrs of today, both democratic and revolutionary, will be remembered and celebrated as the founding fathers when our cultural conservative world order has been established in the European world within 20-70 years. (p. 1225)

In the manifesto Behring Breivik entitles himself “Justiciar Knight Commander for Knights Templar Europe” and says he has been aided by the assistance from “brothers and sisters in England, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Spain, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, the US etc.” During the hearing he also talked about two cells in Norway and several cells abroad. As for now the existence of such cells or a “pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement” have not been confirmed. Even so anonymous members of the English Defense League have confirmed contacts with Behring Breivik.

The manifesto can be described as a pseudo academic cut and paste-work in which Behring Breivik primarily criticizes (1.) Islam and what he conceives as an Islamisation of the Western world, (2.) Multiculturalism, which is a threat to Western culture and civilization, and (3.) Cultural Marxism/Political Correctness which has allows this to happen:

Multiculturalism (cultural Marxism/political correctness), as you might know, is the root cause of the ongoing Islamisation of Europe which has resulted in the ongoing Islamic colonisation of Europe through demographic warfare (facilitated by our own leaders). This compendium presents the solutions and explains exactly what is required of each and every one of us in the coming decades. Everyone can and should contribute in one way or the other; it’s just a matter of will. (p. 9)

The main objective, as described in the manifesto, is to bring to an end what is conceived of as the “Islamisation” of “the West”. The process of islamisation is described as follows:

The constant process of the Islamisation of a country sets forward from small issues and the specific demands/requirements develop and increase progressively with the increase of Muslims percentage wise in a country. First batch of demands issues are noticeable already when the Muslim population are at 1% increasing until they become 90 and then 100%

[…]

When the politically correct (cultural Marxists/multiculturalists) agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)). 

From 1-5%

As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colourful uniqueness: At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytise from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:

From 5-10%

From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.

They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. (United States). At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world. 

From 10-20%

When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris –car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats (Amsterdam – Mohammed cartoons).

[—]

After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:

[…]

From 40-60%

At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia

warfare:

[…]

From 60-80%

From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:

[…]

From 80-100%

After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:

[…]

100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace — there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim […] Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons. (Pp. 488-490) 

The Swedish anti-racist magazine EXPO, with more than 15 years of experience in following Swedish and international right wing extremism, sums up the contents of Behring Breivik’s ideology as follows:

– The posts made by Anders Behring Breivik on the site document.no and the manifest that he has spread places him in an ultra conservative anti-muslim environment. It is in this ideological strain that he has found the inspiration, arguments and analyses that have made out the greater part of his writing.

– The anti-muslim environment that Anders Behring Breivik lives in is made up of an idea based on the clash of civilization, a war between islam and the west, and also the thought of a left winged political infiltration of society that does everything to destroy tradition, western culture and people. Included in the ideology is also a resistance against multiculturalism that is regarded as a force that enables an islamisation of society.

– This ideological environment is built up around blogs, websites, networks and ideologues. It reaches into the various european populist right winged parties.

– It is impossible to disregard the ideological environment where Behring Breivik has structured his views on society if you want to understand the causes behind the terrorist attack in Oslo the 22 of July. Behring Breivik has taken contemporary anti muslim rhetoric and driven it to the most extreme point. That is why he sees the social democratic workers party as a legitimate enemy.

– We have seen terrorist acts with an anti muslim agenda before around the world. It was not long ago that Europe experienced genocide where muslims were the target. But the terrorist acts in Oslo on the 22 of July is the first example of terrorism of a greater scale where the culprit is an individual from the anti muslim environment. This doesn’t mean that those who are part of the anti muslim ideology also are guilty of the crime, nor can they be held responsible for it. It is also important to remember that the anti muslim movement neither supports terrorism or consider it to be a legitimate working method.

– The terrorist acts point to a worrying development. The fact that Anders Behring Breivik was inspiried inside the anti muslim movement and it’s doomsday prophecies show that anti muslim ideology can act as fuel for a radicalisation process.

– Expo does not know Anders Behring Breivik from earlier. Neither have we heard of the organisation that he says that he belongs to.

– There is information that points to some parts of the manifest as being copied from other sources. It it important to remember that this does not oppose the fact that Anders Behring Breivik used the material in order to spread information about his ideas and the ideology that he used to build his world of ideas.

Response and reactions

The manifesto borrows extensively from, amongst others, the so called UNA bomber Theodore Kaczynski, and so called “Anti jihadists” such as Bat Ye’or (Gisèle Littman), Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. These references have been widely recognized and discussed and have, just as the manifesto in large, resulted in a great number of reactions worldwide. Spencer, Geller and Littman have rejected responsibility for inspiring the Norwegian terrorist. In the Daily Caller, July 25, Geller declines all accusations of inspiring Behring Breivik:

[F]rom what she’s read about Breivik, she believes no ideological force drove him to commit the horrific acts he did. The “close to 20,000 Islamic attacks since 9/11,” on the other hand, Geller believes were ideologically driven.

In Sweden a number of more or less well known far right-wing politicians and bloggers have also commented on the atrocities in Norway. Amongst the most noticed is former Sweden Democrat Isak Nygren, today spokesperson for the Swedish Defense League, who recieved the manifesto in an email sent directly from Anders Behring Breivik himself. On his blog Nygren states that he to some extent do agree with Breivik ideologically, but does not support his methods:

Even though this terrorist is anti-Islam, anti-Multicultralism and so on, like me, I don’t really have something in common with this guy. I don’t support violence.

Sweden Democrat Erik Hellsborn received national attention writing on his blog that “Islamisation” and “multiculturalism” more than anything else lies behind the carnage in Norway. “In a Norwegian Norway this would never have happened.” The blog post was later removed after pressure from party members.

On Monday July 25, Anders Behring Breivik, was jailed for 8 weeks by the Oslo District Court. He will be completely isolated for the first four weeks. Hopefully further hearings, intelligence work and analyzes of the manifesto will bring will bring more clearance, as well to possible accomplices, as to extremist right wing networks such as those mentioned in Behring Breivik’s manifesto.

Sources:

Vg.no

Aftenposten.no

Dagbladet.no

Norwaypost.no

Dn.se

Svd.se

Expressen.se

Aftonbladet.se

Dailycaller.com

Expo.se

http://erikhellsborn.blogspot.com/

http://isaknygren.wordpress.com

A link to Behring Breivik’s video:    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=89a_1311444384