How Jihad Influenced the Norway Massacre

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In his manifesto, Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norway massacre, wherein some 80 people were killed, mentioned the Crusades and aspects of it as an inspirational factor. Predictably, Western elites—especially through the MSM—have begun a new round of moral, cultural, and historical relativism, some even conflating the terrorist with former President Bush, who once used the word “crusade.”

The fact is, there are important parallels between the Crusades and Breivik’s actions—but hardly the way portrayed by the media. Rather, this terrorist attack, like the historic Crusades themselves, was influenced by the very doctrine of jihad.

While some are cognizant that the Crusades were a retaliation to centuries of Muslim aggression (see Rodney Stark’s God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades), few are aware that the idea of Christian “holy war”—notably the use of violence in the name of Christianity and the notion that Crusaders who die are martyrs forgiven their sins—finds its ideological origins in Muslim jihad.

As historian Bernard Lewis puts it, “Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation.” How? The popes offered

forgiveness for sins to those who fought in defence of the holy Church of God and the Christian religion and polity, and eternal life for those fighting the infidel. These ideas … clearly reflect the Muslim notion of jihad, and are precursors of the Western Christian Crusade.

Still, Lewis makes clear some fundamental differences:

But unlike the jihad, it [the Crusade] was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory.… The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule.… The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.

If the Crusades find their ideological origins in jihad, arguably, so too does much of modern day terrorism. For instance, the medieval Hashashin— archetypal terrorists who gave us the word “assassin”—were a Muslim sect that pioneered the use of fear and terrorism for political gain during the Crusading era (circa. eleventh-thirteenth centuries).

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  • tarleton

    Raymond Ibrahim or Raynald De Chatilon ?….so what about the Wendish Crusade in the pagan Baltic , or the Albigension Crusade against the peaceful Cathars ….or maybe the ritual execution of Jan huss and the wars against the heretic Hussites ?
    You're trying to put the best spin possible on this but not quite suceeding

    Ha Ha …I almost forgot about the 4th Crusades sack of the ''holy city ''

    • welldoneson

      HaHa, another think you forgot was that the Crusades would never have happened if Islam hadn't flooded into the MidEast and Europe like a plugged toilet.

  • tarleton

    To be fair … the 700 years since the crusades Christianity has , for the most part , matured , grown up and became ''liberal'' and tolerant , more due to the scientific revolution , enlightenment and material sucess of the West
    Islam , on the other hand , is Xianities malignant , juvenile delinquent little brother …the frozen , petrified religion of the desert , that is trapped in a medieval time warp of arrested development …it is as pure , intolerant , unreformed , unenlightened as it was during the time of the crusades , but now has the advantages of petro dollars , western technology and most weapons …we can expect little good from these creeps

    It's almost as if medieval man has just stepped out from a time machine and been given a mobile phone and a AK47 with orders to go kill the infidels….Allah au Akbar !

  • MR K

    tarleton – Ibrahim's logic makes perfect sense to me. Nor do your points contradict him. All those other crusades you list were like the first crusade – products of Islam/jihad's influence on religious thinking in Europe. As for your mention of Raynald de Chatilon, you're probably thinking of the Muslim loving movie Kingdom of Heaven's farcical rendition.

    • tarleton

      Sir ….if Islam had never existed there would still have been a Albigension Crusade , Wendish Crusade and war against the Hussites…it's the nature of intolerant monotheistic religions ''thou shalt have no other Gods before me ''
      The Romans and Greeks were tolerant other Gods as they never had the exclusiveness of monotheism
      It was this very same exclusiveness and intolerance that produced wars of reformation in the 16th-17th century , ''bloody queen Mary'' and the St Bartholomews Day Massacre of 1571

      The story of the Puritans persecuted journey into the ''new world '' has became part of the founding myth's of America …where in reality , Engish folk don't like radicals in politics or religion and those Puritans were well rid of, for similar reasons that England rejected the dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell in preferance of the Restoration of Charles 2nd …the local folk had a ''going away'' party for them , but none of them were invited !

      • welldoneson

        It's not possible to accurately state that such-and-such would have happened if there were no Islam. And if English folks don't like radical in politics or religion, why is there a Church of England and a Labor Party?

        • tarleton

          church of England radical ?…quite the opposite in reality , but if you're a fundamentalist Biblical literalist , then it could quite possibly seem so ….''thou shalt not suffer a witch to live ''

  • MR K

    You are underestimating the profound effects the very existence of Islam had on the development of Europe. See Pirenne's thesis about how the Muslim conquests turned the Mediterranean into a Muslim lake which immediately had an influence on Europe's development. Yes, all people are prone to violence, but Islam introduced the idea of jihad, or violence in religion, not Jesus.

    • tarleton

      well if Islam was such a menace then why did Christian Europe fight fratricidal wars against each other ?…surely ,they would have unified against the wolf at the door
      The battle of Lapanto was virtualy at the same time as Bartholomews day …your argument seems to be ''the devil made me do it ''

      • welldoneson

        And your argument seems to be that all wars were caused by Christianity.

        Buy a clue.

        • tarleton

          my argument is most certainly not as such ….nor to I swallow , hook , line and sinker , religious propaganda….oops , I'm sorry , it's the words of God so it must all be true

  • Flipside

    “It is clear where Breivik got his inspiration…”

    It is clear. It is an absolute fact that he quoted David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, and Bat Ye’or to make his case for mass murder.

    • tarleton

      he also quoted Churchill and Thomas Jefferson

      • Flipside

        That’s a misdirect. He copiously quoted, plagiarized and emulated the ones I mentioned. Breivik is a Neocon (sure Dave, a “Jewish conservative”) if one personally took up arms and did what neocons try to get poor blacks, Mexicans and whites to do at their behest with swindled blood and treasure. Breivik, was of course a Norwegian, using his own money and his own body, which makes him different from these Hasbara racists he emulates. There is nothing Churchillesque or Jeffersonian about him. Jefferson believed in Freedom. Churchill criticized Bolshevism vs. Zionism.

        • mah29001

          If he were pro-Israel, why the hell isn't he stating how dumb Israeli leaders are when they were promoting disengagement of Hamas and Fatah? Yea….that's pro-Israel for you anti-Semites.

          • Flipside

            Because he’s not Israeli. He’s Norwegian.

        • mah29001

          I also wonder why the hell did he praise Vladimir Putin….who is also a friend of the Iranian government and Hamas? Nothing pro-Israel about that.

    • welldoneson

      In a 1500 page essay, it's likely he quoted damn near everyone.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Yep…David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, and Bat Ye’or, all courageous defenders of human rights, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights for all, corrupted Breivik.

      • Flipside

        And ketchup is a vegetable.

        • tekow

          i guess that is what "studying" Horowitz, Spencer and Bat Yeor does to you..
          a mass murdering christian taliban in the norwegian woods..

          • Flipside

            “And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
            So I lit a fire, isn’t it good…?

  • tarleton

    In a broader sense , the real problem is ''true believers'' , whether in fundamentalist or secular form ….those folks who see the world only in black and white are always the most riged and intolerant and fanatical , as they are so certain that they are right and everyone else a fool or a knave
    God wills it ! ….Allah au Akbar !…the ''party requires it ''! or ein volk ! it's ALWAYS the true believers
    The fanaticism and violence of Christianity has been tamed and diluted by the scientific revolution and enlightenment but Islam is determined to remain pure and virolent ….a kinda Jihad fever , burning with the zeal of the converted or a bush fire that once ignited needs to run it's course and burn it'self out

  • StephenD

    I thought the Beatles "Helter-Skelter" record made him do it.
    Why are we blaming everyone but the guy who wielded the weapon?
    If someone’s words can make you kill innocent children, you ought not be allowed out of a locked room.

  • mcrobbins

    The medieval religious view was authoritarian. Each religious group feared that alien ideas would destroy the eternal desitiny of their people. This motivated their many wars of religion. However, most of the Crusades were directed against a religion that was swallowing Eastern Christendom. The Western Church felt threatened.

    This religious warfare within Christianity died earlier than the rise of the Enlightenment. It died from exhaustion on the battlefields of the Thirty Years War.

    The Albigensian Crusade was a religious excuse for French Kings and aristocrats to set their eyes on the rich lands of the Occitane. Even Christian rulers of this area recognized this crusade as territorial expansion of the French monarchy.

    The Fourth Crusade set its eyes on the jewel of Christian civilization, Constantinople. This strike against the Byzantine Empire was mainly motivated by envy.

    Jesus did not say to go out and kill your enemies. Mohamed, on the other hand, did. The prophet of Islam dealt treacherously with his enemies.

    • tarleton

      Fair enough , Mohammed was a warlord nearer Ghengis Khan than gentle Jesus

      The Albigension Crusade was more than territorial expansion and greed …it was the perfect heresy of the dualism of the Cathars …let's face it , medieval man had a primitive, intolerant view of his world around him

      It's undeniable that there was a material and financial motivation for all of the crusades to the ''holy land'' , but that was not the prime motivation

      And how about the war against the Hussites ?….xianity may be peaceful in theory , but it just doesn't quite turn out that way in the blood splattered pages of History
      The problem is intolerant fanaticism ….''God wills it ''

      Have you noticed the Phelps clan in the US ? ….those fanatical creeps have a great deal more in common with medieval man than we would ever like to admit

      • mcrobbins

        I don't disagree with you that the medieval mind was intolerant. Yet the crusades were fairly limited in their objectives compared to the wars of expansion of the Arab dynasties.

        The Cathars were probably the remnant of dualistic and gnostic cults that survived from Roman antiquity. They had been tolerated until the Papacy and French Monarchy focused on them and the "bad" Christian rulers that harbored them. The pope even offered Cathar land in the Languedoc for fighting in this crusade. In modern lingo that is offering prime real estate in the Cote D' Azur. That was enough incentive for greedy Aristocrats.

        Hussites of Bohemia were a proto-protestant movement. They were also supressed.

        Yes, the medieval world was intolerant to theological challenges. Yet there were more witch trials in the early modern period than the Middle Ages.

        • tarleton

          Well I do agree that there would of been no crusades as such without the Moslem conquest and that they were , for the most part , a response to the spread of Islam
          And it's true that the Albigension crusade was opportunistic , like the 4th crusade , but there was a theological heresy too that seemed to ''spark them off''
          The Hussites were a kinda morning'' star of reformation ''and should maybe seen in the contex of the Reformation …fair enough
          In the later voyages of discovery to the ''new world'' and beyond , there was a ''crusading spirit'' , as shown by such hombes as Cortez , Orriano, Pizarro , Magellon etc that was not too far removed from the crusades to outreimer , and it's difficult to feel any sympathy for the idolatry of the aztecs, mayans and Incas
          The Wendish Crusades to the Baltic can be fairly defended as a rough and ready response to pagan idolatry , human sacrifice etc . not far removed from the fiendish Vikings ….fair enough

  • mrbean

    Sweden and Norway have the same problems with Islam. Hear Pat Condell.

  • Abraham83

    You might want to credit John J. O'Neill also with the observation that the brutality and violence of Islamic jihad, not to mention the religious nature of terrorism and dispensation for "holy" war, were discussed at great length in his seminal book, "Holly Warriors". Quite apart from the quote you ascribe to Bernard Lewis, he never emphasized the conceptual roots of the Spanish Inquisition nor the nature of the early Spanish "crusade" against their Muslim enemies of almost 800 years.____No one has made the case as strongly as O'Neill, and he should be credited for his stunning historical tour de fource.

  • scum

    A note about the whitewashing of the Crusades: When the Crusaders set out, the 'practiced' by massacring Jews along the way ('defensive action' huh?). Furthermore, the idea that Christianity is not expansionist in all senses of the word is laughable. One only has to look at the muscular Christianity of Vasco da Gama, who bombarded Calicut, attacked every Muslim ship he came across in India, cut off the noses, ears and hands of Muslim captives, and boarded a large Muslim vessel, locked everyone in the hold, and set it afire. Another 'defensive' move, I suppose. Stop whitewashing, people. Geez…

  • Ghostwriter

    Why can we all agree that Brevik was a lunatic and get on with our lives?

    • crackerjack

      …because then we would all have to agree that Bin Laden was a mere lunatic.

      • StephenD

        .crackerjack, How in the hell did you make that leap?!?
        Oh wait, it is you I am speaking to. You'd think I'd know better by now having read much of what you spew.
        Let me guess. Brevik had the same convictions as Bin Laden but only in the cause of…Who/What? Umm, the Vatican? The Zionists? Imperialists all? Please, enlighten us.

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