Tag Archive: Norway
On Wednesday night’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart put aside the debt ceiling debate to focus on the recent terrorist attacks in Norway, or at least how Fox News responded to them. Once again Stewart found an opportunity to point out hypocrisy on the network, once again coming from the mouth of Bill O’Reilly.
Several Fox News pundits including Laura Ingrahm and O’Reilly have accused the mainstream media of “Playing up the Christian angle” when reporting bomber Anders Behring Breivik’s profile and attacks. Ingrahm rejected the idea that he represents any Christian sect, fringe or otherwise. While Stewart agreed Breivik’s actions were not Christian, he couldn’t believe how misdirected the focus was on the story:
“Yes, the massacre in Norway is a tragic story… About the persecution of Christians.”
Stewart continued to point out exactly why the media is discussing Breivik’s self-declared Christianity, and reassured Ingrahm they’re “not doing it to get at you.” Perhaps Breivik’s 1,500 page manifesto and Powerpoint video paying tribute to Christian crusaders is what gave people the idea that he was a religious extremist. Just maybe.
But the biggest hypocrisy Stewart uncovered came from Bill O’reilly’s double standard when discussing religious terrorists. While he insists Breivik is not a Christian (“What, because he says he is? come on!”), he has no problem saying the Fort Hood gunman is Islamic. His defense? Nidal Hasan carried a business card that said he was a solider of Allah. Stewart had to throw up his hands:
“See the difference? That guy printed up ‘Soldier of Allah’ business cards! The other guy only printed up an Army of Christ manifesto.”
- WATCH: Jon Stewart Rips Fox News’ Religious Hypocrisy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Jon Stewart Blasts Fox News For Playing The Victim Through Nonstop Liberal-Bashing (mediaite.com)
- Fort Hood Jihad Ii: Muslim Servicemen Arrested in Alleged Attack on Fort Hood, Captured with possession of large quantities of ammunition, weapons and the explosive makings of a bomb (americandefenseleague.wordpress.com)
One week after the Oslo drama, Anders Behring Breivik’s 1518-page manifesto reveals a detailed portrait of the suspected Norway shooter and of what he himself describes as his “privileged upbringing.”
Breivik was born in 1979 in London, where his father Jens Breivik was stationed at the Norwegian embassy. Less than a year after his birth Breivik’s father and mother divorced, prompting his mother Wenche Behring to return to Oslo. Breivik’s father remarried and remained in Europe, accepting a position in Paris where Breivik used to visit him during school vacations.
According to the Telegraph, Breivik described growing up with his mother in his manifesto, saying: “I do not approve of the super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing as it completely lacked discipline and has contributed to feminise me to a certain degree.”
In school Breivik seemed to have been a rather quiet child. Friends told Time magazine that he became a bit of an outsider at the end of sixth grade. “He was getting bullied,” a friend told the magazine.
By the age of 15, Breivik lost contact with his father. “I tried to contact him five years ago,” theTelegraph quotes him writing in the document. “But he said he was not mentally prepared for a reunion.” He did keep in touch with his stepmother, Tove Oevermo, who had divorced his father three years before. In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, Oevermo said she said she had never seen any violent behavior in her former stepson. She did remember him talking about a book he was writing. In the manifesto , he describes his stepmother as “intelligent” but “obviously a traitor.” According to the Daily Mail he said: “Although I care for her a great deal, I wouldn’t hold it against the KT (Knights Templar) if she was executed during an attack.”
When he was about 15, Breivik got into graffiti. CNN reports he claimed to be the most active graffiti artist in the Norwegian capital by 15. Of that time he also wrote: “Unless you had Muslim contactsyou could easily be subject to harassment, beatings and robbery,” according to CNN. The network also points at some of the more paradoxical paragraphs in the document. Breivik writes: “As all my friends can attest I wouldn’t be willing to hurt a fly and I have never used violence against others … If we wanted to we could have harassed and beaten up dozens of Muslim youth. However, as we didn’t share their savage mentality, violence was pointless.”
Breivik’s right-wing political views seem to have fully developed in his late twenties, childhood friends saying that he had friends of Middle Eastern descent earlier on. A friend told the Guardian that it was only then that Breivik began posting right wing opinions on Facebook.
- Norway killer’s manifesto ‘christian crusade’ against Muslims (smokesomething.wordpress.com)
- Norway attacks: police to reinterview Anders Behring Breivik (telegraph.co.uk)
- More Disturbing News About Anders Behring Breivik . . . (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Former Stepmother: Norway Killer Was Normal, Showed No Signs (foxnews.com)
- Norway killer: Anders Behring Breivik’s stepmother in shock at actions of ‘well-behaved boy’ (telegraph.co.uk)
By Marc Preel – OSLO
At more than 1,500 pages long and nearly a decade in the making, the manifesto detailing Norwegian mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous “crusade” gives a chilling picture of a self-confessed “monster.”
It was designed to bring about the revolution he says is needed to end a centuries-long Muslim colonisation of Europe.
Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old now in police custody, draws together decades of academic research and serves up a dedicated diary of bomb-making subterfuge. The final entry comes just moments before Friday’s Oslo carnage.
“I will be labelled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2,” says the “Marxist Hunter” in what is at times a rambling, at times bewilderingly detailed thesis.
“If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right,” he says at one point.
“I believe this will be my last entry,” the document states before closing with a series of posed pictures in old-fashioned military uniform or with an assault rifle — and those sharp, piercing eyes that have stared out of newspapers worldwide since his arrest in the hours following the carnage.
“It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51. Sincere regards, Andrew Berwick, Justiciar Knight Commander, Knights Templar Europe, Knights Templar Norway,” he says in the tract “2083 — A European Declaration of Independence,” using an anglicisation of Behring Breivik’s Nordic name.
The Christian fundamentalist, as described by investigators expected to bring Behring Breivik before an Oslo court early on Monday, has now admitted to the Friday’s double attacks.
The car bomb explosion outside downtown government offices and the subsequent 90-minute shooting spree on a nearby island have now claimed 93 lives.
But police say he has not accepted “criminal responsibility” and his lawyer said on Sunday that he saw “nothing reprehensible” in his actions.
The text outlines his transformation as he strives to return Europe to an almost medieval racial and religious make-up.
It ranges from denunciations of political correctness to how to cover up the real reasons for purchasing chemicals from China for use in weaponry.
Friday’s sickening scenes trigger the start of a “pre-emptive war” he says.
It is “waged in order to repel, defeat or weaken an ongoing Islamic invasion/ colonisation, to gain a strategic advantage in an unavoidable war before that threat materialises.”
He adds: “We cannot afford to wait around and re-act when it is too late.”
The cross of chivalry represents the cover image of a PDF computer file accompanied by a 12-minute video, pulled from YouTube on Saturday night.
He launched his movement in London in 2002, he says, “one of several leaders of the national and pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement.”
Concrete planning for Operation Martyr, as he baptised the events in and around Oslo, began in earnest in the autumn of 2009, with the setting up of “front” companies including a mining company and a farm to cover his acquisition of materials for military use.
The accelerating reduction in savings earned through these commercial activities represents an eerie countdown to his opening fire.
“In this manifesto, he appears like a loner and someone with a very peculiar intellectual influence,” says Thomas Hegghammer, senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo, expert on terrorism and violent islamism
“If he wrote 1,500 pages, it’s pretty obvious he has thought a lot about it.”
(CNN) – Given initial suspicions that Friday’s bombing and mass shooting in Norway were carried out by Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda, the way police ended up describing the suspect behind the attacks came as a big surprise even to many security experts: The alleged attacker was called a “Christian fundamentalist.”
But experts on European politics and religion say that the Christian fundamentalist label could overstate the extent to which the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik – who has told authorities that he carried out the attacks – was motivated by religion, and the extent to which he is tied to a broader religious movement.
“It is true that he sees himself as a crusader and some sort of Templar knight,” said Marcus Buck, a political science professor at Norway’s University of Tromso, referring to an online manifesto that Breivik appears to have authored and which draws inspiration from medieval Christian crusaders.
“But he doesn’t seem to have any insight into Christian theology or any ideas of how the Christian faith should play any role in Norwegian or European society,” Buck wrote in an email message. “His links to Christianity are much more based on being against Islam and what he perceives of as ‘cultural Marxism.'”
From what the 1,500-page manifesto says, Breivik appears to have been motivated more by an extreme loathing of European multiculturalism that has accompanied rapid immigration from the developing world, and of the European Union’s growing powers, than by Christianity.
“My impression is that Christianity is used more as a vehicle to unjustly assign some religious moral weight,” to his political views, said Anders Romarheim, a fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. “It is a signifier of Western culture and values, which is what they pretend to defend.”
“I would say they are more anti-Islam than pro-Christian,” Romarheim said in reference to what appear to be Breivik’s views.
The manifesto is religion-obsessed in that it rants for long stretches against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe.
It calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute “cultural Marxists.” The manifesto includes a link to a video asserting that the majority of Europe’s population will be Muslim by 2050 “unless we manage to defeat the ruling Multiculturalist Alliance.”
The author of the document identifies himself as Breivik, but CNN could not independently verify that he wrote the document, and Norwegian authorities would not confirm that the man in their custody wrote the manifesto, saying it was part of their investigation
Opposition to booming Muslim immigration to Europe, exacerbated by high birth rates in the Muslim community, has become a mainstay of Europe’s burgeoning far-right, helping right-wing parties gain seats in parliaments across the continent.
But those right-wing movements are mostly secular. Europe’s hard right does not have deep ties to Christianity in the way that the United States’ conservative movement is entwined with evangelical Christianity and other theologically conservative religious movements.
Recently adopted European laws aimed at curbing Islam’s public visibility, including France’s new burqa ban and Switzerland ban on minarets – towers that a part of mosques – were secular causes, not ones championed by Christian interests. Many Christian groups oppose such bans.
“The bulk of the anti-Muslim sentiment is not against Muslims as such, but is a secular rejection of how some Muslims allegedly want to place Islam at the center of society,” Buck said. “It is more anti-religious than anti-Muslim.”
Breivik’s apparent manifesto, by contrast, cites biblical verses to justify violence for political ends.
“Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve,” it says. “It’s God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time.”
“The biggest threat to Europe is the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist political doctrine of ‘extreme egalitarian emotionalism,'” the manifesto goes on. “This type of political stance involves destroying Christendom, the Church, our European cultures and identities and opening up our borders to Islamic colonization.”
The video that’s linked to in the manifesto also includes some religious language: “Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution, for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Experts on religion in Europe said those faith-infused views are likely peculiar to the suspected gunman and do not appear reflect wider religious movements, even as they echoes grievances of Europe’s right-wing political groups.
“He was a flaky extremist who might as well have claimed to be fighting for the honor of Hogwarts as for the cause of Christ,” said Philip Jenkins, a Pennsylvania State University professor who studies global religion and politics, describing the suspected Norway attacker. “He did not represent a religious movement. … People should not follow that Christian fundamentalist red herring.”
At the same time, Breivik told investigators during interviews that he belongs to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unnamed sources.
He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said. He also told investigators he had been in contact with like-minded individuals and said he counts himself as a representative of this order, it said.
For many in Norway, the potential implications of the suspected killer’s religion are still settling in.
“This is the first time we’ve heard of Christianity/religion as a driving force behind right-wing extremism,” Buck said. “The mainstream right-wing movements in the Nordic countries (very small and disorganized groups in Norway) would generally point to the Old Norse beliefs, if anything.”
“Norwegian, Nordic and European society,” he said, “were totally unprepared for a violent attack from someone who calls himself Christian.”
Oslo, Norway (CNN) — The suspect in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II has acknowledged carrying out the mass shooting and bombing and claims to have worked with two cells, a judge said Monday.
Judge Kim Heger said the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, acknowledged carrying out Friday’s bombing and shooting, but has said they were necessary to prevent the “colonization” of the country by Muslims. Breivik accused the Labour Party, whose members were targets of the mass shooting, of “treason” for promoting multiculturalism, the judge said.
Police refused to release information about their investigation into the possibility that two cells aided Breivik, saying Monday that a court hearing was closed so as not to disclose any evidentiary information.
During his court hearing Monday, Breivik appeared “very calm,” a police official said. “He was very concise in trying to explain why he was trying to do this,” the official said. He has pleaded not guilty, police said Monday.
Monday’s hearing was closed to the public for “security reasons and because of a concern that it would impede the investigation,” court communications director Irene Ramm told CNN.
Afterward, Heger told reporters that he had ordered that Breivik remain in custody for eight weeks, until his next scheduled court appearance. Authorities continue to investigate the bombing in Oslo and the mass shooting at a nearby island that together killed at least 76 people. If police need more time, they can petition the court for it, he said.
Authorities initially said 93 people had died but announced Monday that eight people were confirmed dead in the bombing and 68 in the shooting. “Some people might have been counted two times,” a police official told reporters about the lowered toll.
But officials predicted the official toll could rise again. Police were still searching Monday in and around Utoya Island for victims, with 50 officers — some of them using cadaver dogs — combing through the crime scene for any remaining casualties.
At least four people have not been accounted for around Utoya Island, with investigators searching the waters nearby for victims who may have drowned trying to escape the shooter.
The suspect will be held in isolation for the next four weeks to ensure he has no opportunity to tamper with evidence, Heger said. Breivik has access to his lawyer but to no one else, and not to letters or news, court officials said.
Breivik, 32, asked to wear a uniform to the hearing but was not allowed to, Heger said.
The suspected right-wing Christian extremist appears to have written a 1,500-page manifesto that rants against Muslims and lays out meticulous plans to prepare for the attacks.
CNN has not independently confirmed that Breivik is the author of the manifesto, which bears his name and says it is intended to be circulated among sympathizers.
As Norwegians tried to come to grips with what had befallen their normally peaceful country, their government called Monday for a national moment of silence, ordering trains halted as part of a nationwide observance to remember the victims of Friday’s bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting at a political youth retreat on Utoya Island.
Nearly 200,000 people participated in a memorial Monday in downtown Oslo to honor the victims, police said.
Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang praised Monday’s memorial service as a display by Norwegians that they do not accept violence. “Today, people turned out to show that this town is ours and we don’t accept this,” he told CNN about the actions attributed to Breivik. “We’re going to punish him with democracy and love.”
Police spokesman Henning Holtaas told CNN that the suspect was charged with two acts of terrorism, one for the bombing and one for the mass shooting.
In Norway, which does not have the death penalty, the maximum sentence for such a charge is 21 years. However, the court could impose an extension if the person were deemed still to be a threat after having served the sentence, he said.
Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that his client is prepared to spend the rest of his life in jail.
Breivik had expected to be tortured by police and shot during Monday’s court proceeding, the lawyer said.
Breivik, a Norwegian, had told investigators that he acted alone and was not aided in the planning of the attacks, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters Sunday.
Sponheim said investigators were studying the manifesto published online on the day of the attack.
The suspect told investigators during interviews that he belonged to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to the Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unidentified sources.
He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said. He also told investigators he had been in contact with like-minded people and said he counts himself as a representative of this order, it said.
Holtaas declined to confirm the news report, saying, “We are not commenting on such details.”
The newspaper report mirrors statements in the manifesto.
The manifesto contains photographs of Breivik wearing what appears to be a military uniform that features an altered U.S. Marine Corps dress jacket with Knights Templar medals.
The Knights Templar were Christian Crusaders who helped fight against Muslim rule of the Holy Land in the Middle Ages, but the order was shut down 700 years ago.
The manifesto bearing Breivik’s name refers to a “European Military Order and Criminal Tribunal (the PCCTS — Knights Templar) … created by and for the free indigenous peoples of Europe” in London in 2002.
It rails against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe and calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute “cultural Marxists.”
The youth camp is an annual tradition in the Labour Party, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview. “I myself have participated every summer since 1974, since I was a teenager,” he said.
He predicted the attacks’ impact may be long-lasting, but will not fundamentally change the country. “We will have a Norway before and a Norway after the bomb and the killings,” he said. Still, he added, “I will do whatever I can to make sure that … Norway will be possible to recognize; that even after these terrible incidents, (it) will be an open society, will be a democratic society.”
Espen Barth Eide, the deputy foreign minister, predicted the shock of Friday’s events may linger in Norway, but the country will not fundamentally change. “Almost everyone in Norway is now determined to not allow this to change the way we live, and change the way we are — we are an open and tolerant society.”
More security may not be the answer, he said. “There is always a balance between security and risk. If you have more police, you may protect something, but you may lose something. So, there’s something valuable in the sort of openness that we will try to protect together.”
Among those killed on the island was Trond Berntsen, the step-brother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit, according to a statement released by the Royal House Communications Office.