When Is an Ideology Responsible for Murder?

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But the second prong of the ideological violence test comes out positive here too. As polls show, huge swaths of Muslims endorse anti-Western violence, and the more religious they are, the more they endorse such violence. Over 50 percent of Jordanians and Lebanese support the terrorist group Hezbollah; over 40 percent of Nigerians and Indonesians do too; 30 percent of Egyptians and 19 percent of Pakistanis do as well. Those numbers are even higher, in general, for Hamas. In countries like Iran and territories like those controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the numbers skyrocket.

When Major Nidal Malik Hassan shoots up a cafeteria full of U.S. soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akhbar!,” then, it isn’t out of line to ask whether Islam is the ideological root cause. The answer may still be debatable, but it is a debate worth having.

The same does not hold true of conservatism with regard to Breivik. In fact, neither prong of the ideological violence test is met here. Conservatism does not promote political violence. Opponents of conservatism cannot come up with any significant support in articulated conservative thought that pushes violence to their chagrin. Certainly with regard to Breivik, the violence he pursued bore no relation to anything at issue in the anti-multicultural context — he shot up a bunch of Norwegian kids, not a group of immigrant Muslims.

Second, there is literally zero support for Breivik among conservatives. The left cannot find a single conservative who approved of Breivik’s acts. That’s a far cry from the literally hundreds of millions of Muslims who support terror groups across the globe.

It’s time to put away the “incitement to violence” club so often utilized these days to shut down free speech. Breivik’s evil doesn’t mean that conservatism promoted it or endorsed it. By the same token, not all ideologies are equal — some do promote violence. It is imperative that we apply the ideological violence test before dismissing the effects of ideology. It is also necessary that we apply the ideological violence test before pointing fingers at mainstream political actors for violent monstrosities that have nothing to do with them.

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  • Hallvard

    The same leftists that refuse to see incitements to violence in the Koran, suddenly sees incitement to violence among conservatives warning against it and defending basic human rights.

    This is about as crazy as refusing to see a link between Nazi ideology and the Holocaust, and at the same time blaming Mother Theresa for the Crusades.

    • WildJew

      I was with you until you invoked Mother Teresa. Her church has gone from one extreme to the other extreme. In times past Mother Teresa's church fought jihadists with Zeal; going so far as to slaughter and loot Jewish towns and villages on the path to Jerusalem. Today Mother Teresa's church defends jihadists with similar zeal. Vatican: "We have taken account of the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the whole region, especially on the Palestinians who are suffering the consequences of the Israeli occupation…..Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable." 10/23/2010 VATICAN – MIDDLE EAST

      • StephenD

        Just so you know, there are plenty of Catholics and former Catholics that do not adhere to nor agree with the quote you provide. Especially the use of the term "occupation" since if there is any occupation it is of the "others" occupying the land of the Israelites of old for the past 3800+ years. You may take heart in knowing this: It is not like it once was in that the Catholic flock is less a flock as sheep than a congregation of persons. They no longer “blindly” follow the interpretations of the clergy but are able and more often willing to look at the text themselves. I am no longer a Catholic but still a Christian. There remains much to be admired in the church notwithstanding such statements as you cite here.

        • WildJew

          You are right. There are philo-Semitic Catholics; good, decent Catholics. There are pro-Israel Catholics. Though I disagree with the Vatican's position on the death penalty when it comes mass-murderers and terrorist murderers – Vatican pleads for the lives of these subhumans – many Catholics are admirably pro-innocent human life. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with pro-life Catholics engaged in peaceful protest and side-walk counseling at our local abortion mill. Notwithstanding all that good, this Vatican is decidedly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel as is Pope Benedict XVI. Sadly, apologetics are dispensed to Catholics from Church leaders about the violent and anti-Semitic history of the Church — e.g. Pope Pius XII: the second world war pope. I find there is a thick wall which cannot be penetrated. Many Catholics are unable to face truth of the bloody, anti-Semitic history of the Roman Catholic Church, which persists to this day.

  • Theo Prinse

    After some days and fierce debate on many Dutch blogs in defence of freedom fighter mr. Geeert Wilders against dhimmies trying to link his Freedom Party to the Al-Qaeda murders in Norway it is as of now my opinion that
    were it has been confirmed that the murderer is a follower of Al Qaeda in spirit and it’s methods … which evil and it’s followers has to be uprooted …
    he has commited these murders on young people that where indoctrinated under the lead of Det Norske Arbeiderpartiet
    in organizing thousandfold sympathy gatherings in Norway for the abject murderous and terrorist Muslim Brothers HAMAS !
    As a welknown professor in Holland quoted Nietzsche: Wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.” (If you look into the dark the darkness lurks in you !)

    Norway dear freedomfighters, is no longer just a coquetry with the murderous aspects of islam by a presbyterian country or a dhimmytude moslims-country but an islamic Bulwark deep in the Northern European hemisphere !
    Norway doesn’t belong in NATO !
    Not only Iran must be nuked on it’s nuclear installations but Norway as well !

  • Amused

    There you go Ben , the above post is a good example . Besides this sort of finger pointing goes on ALL the time and from both sides of the aisle . In fact it is so common here , that the people are not even conscious of it anymore ,it comes naturally . People like McVeigh are soley responsible for their acts , but others set them on their path , and are the primers for the lunatic fringe , no matter what the ideology is . When acts of violence , once suggested or inferred , and then such remarks and statements are accepted and approved ?
    What is that ?

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks


    Breivik is a lunatic with a messiah complex. He believes that he's the heaven sent savior of Norway and European civilization from Islamic political and cultural subversion, which is very real and growing. After many years of trying to awaken Norway to no avail Breivik completely lost his mind and humanity and came to insanely resent and hate his country and people. In a fit of psychotic rage he decided that Norway would ignore his message and mission no more. So on July 22nd he struck his blow slaughtering 76 Norwegians as a blood sacrifice to his cause.


  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    As much as he hated Moslems he hated his people more. Breivik has made his mark on history and has entered the annals of infamy. In the end this mass murdering terrorist thug has more in common with the murdering, bloodthirsty prophet Mohammed than with the non-violent, world renouncing, ascetic Jesus Christ; more in common with Islamic jihadists like bin Laden than with peaceful, civilized, virtuous Americans like Robert Spencer and Pam Geller. Bash Spencer and Geller all you want it won't stop the counter-jihadist movement. The jihadists will see to that.

    Click my name ApolloSpeaks and read my widely linked Townhall piece, Apollo Takes On Loonwatch Over The Norwegian Masscare And The Bashing Of Spencer And Geller

    • Tim Andrew Jones

      How can Breivik be a lunatic if he agrees with Robert Spencer, Bat Ye'or and others who, whilst wrong on some matters, provide a rational, politically aware point of view on current affairs? How can he be a madmen only in execution, but not in terms of his end-term goal, which is shared, presumably, by the majority of the counter-jihadist movement, i.e. the cessation of Muslim immigration?

      • Jhon of Indonesia

        What end-term goal you are saying here? I don't see Spencer or Geller or any anti-jihadist say if the native europeans keep ignoring the danger of Islam then every one have the right to massacre them.

        Anti-Jihadist like Robert Spencer just like the Anti-Fascists before WW2 who tried to warn the west about the danger of Nazi, they had been laughed at, smeared and called with many notorious name until the day World War 2 begins!.

        I understand the ignorant and naivete of the west when it comes to Islam, I born at Indonesia, live here for 35 years, staying at a house beside a mosque during my college years, listen to the racist and often violent speeches of the imams during those 4 years and I only wake up to the reality about Islam this last 3 years, imagine how difficult it will be to wake up the europeans if even a chinese minority like me need 32 years to wake up, we chinese here already know for many generations that most of the native in Indonesia do not like us, but we never think the source of their hate comes from their religion, because we always thought all religions are good. I once told my brother about the danger of Islam and all I got is a funny look from him.

  • Tessa

    " In countries like Iran,… the numbers skyrocket"

    Absolutely FALSE. The vast majority of Iranians DO NOT support Hezbollah and DO NOT support terrorist acts.
    Please watch what you put forth as a statement of fact.

  • Max

    Found this website about "eliminating the planet of liberals one at a time."

    No Knight Templars there, just militant right-wing rhetoric. Anyone here approve?

    • Paul of Alexandria

      That depends on what kind of action one is supposed to take. Targeting someone in a political sense, e.g. making sure that Nancy Pelosi is removed from Congress and never elected again, is perfectly permissible. Shooting her is not.

      • Max

        Their Links page has a section "How to get the job done" which links to military gear websties like opsgear.com

        This is an American website, and clearly not neo-Nazi.

  • Max

    An ideology doesn't have to explicitly promote murder in order to inspire it. For example, teaching that abortion is murder justifies killing to stop abortion, since killing is justified to stop a murder.
    Likewise, teaching that Marxists are destroying the country, Democracy is broken, and a revolution is needed, can create the impression that the only remaining option is armed resistance.

    • Bernadette de Wit

      I have two questions for you Max.
      1) Your second example to me is a straw man. People who claim that (cultural) Marxism is destroying the country do not automatically believe that Democracy is broken, let alone that "a revolution" (Marxist word, isn't is?) is needed.
      2) Is armed resistance the same as murdering innocent civilians?

      Furthermore I wonder if you can hold supporters of an ideology accountable for cognitive processes in a murderer's mind. This reminds me of the debate about 'violent' pornography (can it inspire rapists or create the impression that raping somebody is okay?) or 'violent' computer games.

      • Max

        1. It's not a straw man when there are Tea Party members who say Obama is not even eligible to be President, and who talk about "2nd Amendment solutions" and quote Thomas Jefferson saying, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." The difference between them and Breivik is that they just talk and Breivik acted.
        2. Breivik didn't think his victims were innocent civilians, he thought the Labor youth camp was something like Hitler Youth. Glenn Beck made that comparison as well.

        When the murderer is convinced that he's killing a few traitors to save many more lives, and that the massacre is "atrocious but necessary," that comes from ideology. It's similar to what the Bolsheviks did, and they were not all crazy.

        • Jhon of Indonesia

          I do not anything wrong with saying Obama is not even eligible to be President, what wrong is that? racism? if he really doesn't have a birth certificate to prove he is an American then he is illegible because the constitution said so, of course now he can produce his birth certificate no one shall said so again.

          Just to let you know, as a Chinese descent I am not legitimate to be the President of Indonesia even though my family have been here for many generations. The constitution said I am legitimate, but the racist muslims just wont accept a non-muslim as their leader.

        • Bernadette de Wit

          Ad 1) Ah, I see. Well, do not those Tea Party people have a democratic, constitutional point when they demand a non-falsified birth certificate?

          The difference between them and Breivik: my point exactly. This however does not prove your point. Form what we know, having read or browsed through his cut & paste manifesto, Breivik's ideology seems to be pretty idiosyncratic. Don't you agree?

    • David Donald

      This is basically an impossible position,an attempt to supress any criticism,an absolute relativism-wheather abortion is murder,or just killing. the liberal form of abortion is a gross disrespect for human life,it is sophistry to deny it.Furthermore,a means by which a culture destroys itself.

    • KathleenP

      Two responses to your argument:

      One, your claim that "Teaching that abortion is murder justifies killing to stop abortion" is patently ridiculous. Having been subjected to 12 years of a Catholic education with its rigidly anti-abortion stance, a stance I have since rejected, never once did I get the impression that anyone who believed abortion was murder also felt that killing a doctor to prevent one would be justifiable. The idea would be ludicrous to a typical pro-life Catholic. I ended up parting ways with the rigidly pro-life for various reasons, but never because I felt any of them to be violent, hateful, or dangerous. Yes, there have been a few murders and attempted murders of abortion doctors by lone sickos in Canada and the US over the last decade or so. Tragic and horrible, but hardly an epidemic. Millions upon millions of people in both countries believe abortion is murder and freely say so, and yet killers of abortion doctors remain a tiny anomaly. It does not logically follow to say that the belief itself leads to the murder, anymore than believing capital punishment also to be murder (as most Catholics do, BTW) leads to anti-government violence.

    • KathleenP

      And two, you insist on using the verb "teaching", but writing or talking about something freely and in a public forum is not the same as teaching. We accept some controls on what teachers can say to children in school (and even the priests and nuns who taught me never told us we had to believe that abortion was murder, only that they personally believed it) because it is not an equal relationship and the children don't have the choice to listen or not. The outside world is different. When I read something online or in a book, newspaper or magazine, or watch a video, nobody is "teaching" me. I am educating myself, and I am intelligent enough to realize that not everything people say is true and that every human being is biased in some way. It's called having a critical and disciplined mind. Something I do have my Catholic education to thank for.

  • Marty

    I lecture at a state university and frequently offer comparisons that link communism, fascism, and islamism. islam in this case is treated and analyzed as a totalitarian, violent, brutal, and anti-western ideology. Similar to communism and fascism, islam is dedicated to the destruction of democracy in general and to the annihilation of the United States and Israel in particular. There is plenty of documentation to support this contention. All three ideologies are notoriously and muderously anti-semitic. We are involved in World War IV and are fighting for our civilization–the one that believes in and is protective of individual rights and human progress. These three despicable alternatives can only usher in a dark age from which we may never recover. What I've written here would certainly be considered "hate speech" in much of europe. That must never occur here and we must be vigilant to guarantee that it doesn't.

    • aspacia

      Prepare for a knife in the back when a disgruntled administrator or student complains regarding you oh, so politically incorrect speak.

  • mrbean

    Peter Hammond says: "By the time of Communism’s fall the liberal world had had fifty years to settle into a double standard regarding its two late adversaries. Accordingly, Hitler and Nazism are now a constant presence in Western print and on Western television, whereas Stalin and Communism materialize only sporadically. The status of ex-Communist carries with it no stigma, even when unaccompanied by any expression of regret; past contact with Nazism, however, no matter how marginal or remote, confers an indelible stain. No Gulag camps have been turned into museums to commemorate their inmates; all were bulldozed into the ground during Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization . . . Throughout the former Communist world, moreover, virtually none of its responsible officials has been on trial or punished." Murder is murder whatever the ideological motivation; and this is undeniably true for the equally dead victims of both Nazism and Communism."

  • Tim Andrew Jones

    Why is it that Robert Spencer, Ben Shapiro and others that write for FrontPage quite happily refer to Breivik as a "psychotic", but not jihadists that blow up innocent people, including Muslims? The latter are driven by an "ideology", we are constantly told, but Breivik is a madman. There are double standards here that rest very incomfortably for the counter-jihad "movement", since you cannot allow "ideology" to explain the calculated, strategic, and thoroughly digusting, acts of terror for jihadists but not for someone like Breivik, who is equally driven by moral values encapsulated in ideas, concepts and strategic goals. Spencer rightly denies responsibility for Breivik's actions, since even though his writings inspired Breivik's strategic vision for a Europe free of Islam, there is nothing inherent in them that leads to the conclusion that violence is the way to rid Europe of Islam. There is also nothing fundamental about violence in jihadism; what is fundamental is the goal. Sure, Spencer rejects violence and Muhammad condones, encourages and even participate in it (at least if we accept the Muslim accounts). But what is key – as the stealth jihadists realise only too well – is that violence is a second order tenet that is subordinated to the primary order tenet of the necessity of living under divine law. Yes, problematised by the inclusion of violence in law as a means to expand the law, but fundamentally, Islam seeks a certain kind of world order, model society. As does Breivik. He is not a pyschotic. And there is no need for Shapiro and others to call him one, because his use of violence is not inherent to his vision, it is just a contingent means.

    • aspacia

      LOL, even Breivik's attorney and psychiatric examiners claim he is psychotic. Jihadis are driven by strong religious beliefs; Breivik is driven by political beliefs.

      What seems to escape you, Tim, is the proportionality of the two. I can count perhaps conservative or religious fanatics on my two hands, probably less than 10 in the last 25 years, in contrast I can count at least 17,000+ Jihadi/Muslim terrorist attacks in the same period.

      That is, our freedom loving Western culture breeds far fewer terrorists than the Middle-Eastern Islamic lands.

    • http://nycright.blogspot.com Ron Leweberg

      Breivik wanted to expel all Muslims from Europe hoping that this would lead to the formation of a Sunni Caliphate, which would be a constant threat to Europe, and prevent liberalism/mutliculturalism. He also supports Iran (ignoring its nuclear program) as a counter to Sunni Islamism. And yet, according to some reports, Breivik looked for help for Al Qaeda or other Sunni militant in his attack on Norwegian leftists.

      Robert Spencer Doesn't support this. Ben Shampiro Doesn't support this. The EDL does't support this. SIOA/SIOE opooses this. No one supports this.
      Breivik lost his marbles.

    • Jhon of Indonesia

      @Tim Andrew Jones
      The different is Breivik is the only person who resort to violent after reading what Robert Spencer said about Islam, it is unlikely Spencer's words will produce another Breivik. While Allah's word in the Qur'an had been and still produce Jihadist on daily basis, it needs at least 17500 jihadists to produce 17500 terror attacks since 9/11, and don't forget majority of the muslims in islamic countries support jihadist such as Osama bin Laden, many muslims in the muslim world mourn for his death and call him the greatest hero in the history of islam.

      Unless if you think there are at least 200 millions of muslims around the world are "psychotic" because they are jihadists or support jihadists, of course.

  • Paul of Alexandria

    as some seemingly violent verses in the Torah and the New Testament​ have been
    More importantly:
    1) Most of the instances, especially in the Old Testament, comprised specific instructions given to specific leaders at specific times for specific reasons and are not to be interpreted as general guidance. For instance, the instructions given to Joshua (Joshua 8:1-24) had to do with establishing the nation of Israel (as a foundation for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus) and with removing a group of blatant Baal worshipers.
    2) Many of the instances in the New Testament are either, upon close examination and consideration of the context, prophecy of what will happen or warnings. For instance Matthew 10:24-29 (“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword….) is a warning that believing in Jesus may cause even your family to turn against you (as many a convert from Islam has found out).

    • aspacia

      Paul, your preacher's interpretation differs from the Catholic and numerous other interpretations.

      There is a huge amount of violence in the Torah. The massacre of the Canaanites, the potential child sacrifice of Isaac, and much more. Much of your claim can be used to support the violence in the Qu'ran and implemented by Muslims. These may be seen as excuses/apologetics for violence in the name a faith.

      A Deist

  • http://vnnforum.com DeShawn

    "When Is an Ideology Responsible for Murder?"

    When it's called ZIONISM. Read all about suppressed zionist crimes: http://www.takeourworldback.com/zionistcrimes.htm

    Instead of throwing insults and accusations of me being a "Nazi" (even though the judeo-zionists are the biggest Nazis on earth today), why don't you jews and shabbas goyim try making actual arguments for once? Probably too much to ask.

    • aspacia

      Dumb DeShawn, do I really have to list Muslim atrocities for you?

    • Bernadette de Wit

      Here's your political argument, DeShawn.

      W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey equated the Black liberation struggle to zionism.
      It was only since the idiotarian Wallace Fard Mohammad founded The Nation of Islam that hatred of Jews started to infect the Black movement.
      How ironic that African-Americans, of all people, allied with the political religion of jihad. An estimated 120,000,000 Black Africans died in 1,400 years to furnish the mohammedans with profits in the name of Allah.

    • SpiritOf1683

      You're just a disciple of Farrakhan from the hate-filled nation of Islam, a hideous and racist black organization, and those Jewish-invcented vacciones and medicines were wasted on a demented, hate-filled sub-ape trollope like yourself.

  • Amused

    DUH-Shawn , you've already shown your stripes . Run along little angry jew -hater .

  • effemall

    Our African Nazi is back! How come you didn't ride on one of the boats for the Gaza flotilla, DeShawn? They're waiting for you. Hamas needs you, mother………

    • SpiritOf1683

      Its time they sent that abd to Saudi Arabia so he can be amongst his Arab masters.

  • effemall

    Now back on subject. If they build the Ground Zero Mosque and I blow it up can you blame Front Page Mag or any of the many others I read for having influenced me? No. You can only blame Islam and the Koran. It was my reading that opened my eyes. Conceivably, someone reading this comment will get the idea to blow up a mosque and will do so. Can I be blamed for that? Oh, I'm sure there would be many on the left who would do so. Poor Breivik, it will doubtlessly be proved, has a few loose screws in his head. Nobody's writings in this world could have incited him to shoot Norwegian youngsters. He might have had a case against his government or against some of the immigrants but why Norwegian youngsters? I'll blame DeShawn and Obama because I don't like them, so there.

  • LindaRivera

    Jerusalem Post
    73% of 1,010 Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree with 'hadith' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees. http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article

    It is profoundly evil to seek to give Palestinian Authority Muslims their own terror state carved out of little Israel when in accordance with Islamic religious teaching, 73% of PA Muslims want to kill Jews. ALL Jews. Please PROTECT Jewish innocents! Not one inch of Jewish land to hate-filled Muslims bent on Jewish genocide!

  • Ghostwriter

    There are those on this site that don't get it. Breivik is an insane lunatic driven by his own delusions and he killed people because of them. Those like DeShawn typically blame Jews for the world's problems and take common cause of people like Breivik and the jihadists. They don't care who suffers as long as they get their pound of flesh.

  • http://jc.does-it.net Gene W.

    Ideology does play a major role in the behavior of a person.
    A devout Muslim will strive to emulate Muhammad who set a model for every adverse behavior that the Bible would condone and is an anti-type of Jesus Christ.
    This is easily understood since God authored the Bible (absolute one page proof http://jc.does-it.net ) and the Koran was authored with hatred for God’s truth and everything that God loves.
    Christians do not violate others because they are created in their God’s image. That cannot be said of Muslims because nobody is created in Allah’s image.

    • tarleton

      yawn….another fundamentalist nutcase ….thou shalt not suffer a witch to live !

  • trickyblain

    Question for FPM "editors."

    Why do you run clearly photoshopped picture above your articles? I mean, anyone with eyes can see that the photo above is loaded with evidence of being brushed over. What are you hoping to accomplish by posting fake photos?

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    In answer to the question posed by the title of this article, with Breivik, it's safe to say that David Horowitz', Paul Weyrich's and Robert Spencer's ideology is finally responsible for murder. The act was enough to send Frontpage into Damage Control Overdrive.

  • Ghostwriter

    Let me spell it out for people like Flipside. Anders Breivik was a lunatic. A sick,depraved monster who murdered people for his own twisted reasons. He may have been inspired by people on this and other websites but he didn't protest peacefully,he killed people. Many right-wingers condemned this man. I,too,condemned this psycho for what he is,a murderous psycho who's lost his right to be in decent society and deserves whatever happens to him.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    I am glad you can spell. I am not defending Anders Breivik. He wasn't a lunatic though. He was sane and rational and jacked up on the wrong political ideology. He's not insane, and not a lunatic. That's an excuse for his actions. His actions have no excuse. I don't think he was obligated to protest peacefully, but his dubious form of protest was to kill defenseless children. He could have gone after someone like the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and been wholly justified. He did not. He took the ideology of Horowitz and Radosh and Spencer and decided that a small band of neochristian neocons could sweep Europe clean of Muslims. He did this with a lot of apology and doffing to Israel. He clearly had too many video games and too much Frontpagemag.

  • aspacia

    I Agree with your claim, especially the Islam's political goal of world-wide dominance and Mad Mo's plagarizing the Torah and the New Testament. My point is simply that religion is often used to murder others, and justifies stealing.