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Jan Oskar Engene, an Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen specializing in terrorism, warned observers against trying to construct an elaborate ideology behind Anders Behring Breivik’s mass murder, since it’s not clear that the uneducated Breivik espouses a coherent ideology. He suggested that what ABB stated in court was rather incoherent and did not always appear genuine, and feared that others might try to create a more sophisticated ideology where Breivik himself appeared mainly to harbor confused ideas.
Unfortunately, Engene’s timely warning has not always been heeded. The mass murderer is just too useful as a stick for the ruling Multiculturalists to beat their opponents over the head. Any serious attempt to analyze his so-called manifesto will find it full of inconsistencies, however, including a few surprisingly pro-Islamic views.
Left-wing organizations love to highlight the fact that the absurdly long manifesto/compendium of 1,518 pages contains a few citations of or references to the Center for Security Policy‘s President Frank Gaffney, the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Director Steven Emerson, as well as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Yes, but these are individuals and groups dedicated to tracking and monitoring terrorism, not promoting it. Breivik also quoted many Muslims and Marxists, even the Communist leader Fidel Castro.
As good and recommended literature, ABB highlighted the Bible, Machiavelli, George Orwell, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Ayn Rand and William James, which can hardly be called terrorist literature. One has to question very seriously just how much Breivik has personally read, let alone understood, in most of these works.
Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has analyzed over 1,600 personal names mentioned in Breivik’s manifesto 2083 — A European Declaration of Independence. IPT’s research establishes that quite a few conservative writers are mentioned there, but also many liberals and leftists as well as various Christians and Muslims plus numerous historical figures and writers.
All together, the IPT counted 84 names mentioned ten or more times in 2083, encompassing a wide and somewhat unfocused range of different figures and ideologies. Among leftist thinkers, Karl Marx was mentioned 27 times, followed by Theodor Adorno (26), George Lukacs (26), Herbert Marcuse (24), Antonio Gramsci (23), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (21), Colin Barker (20), and Friedrich Nietzsche (10).
Hylland Eriksen may be described as a center-left ideologue in favor of mass immigration, whereas Nietzsche’s complex and controversial ideas defy simple political characterization.
Leftist politicians mentioned in the manifesto include Tony Blair (20 times), Barack Hussein Obama (19), Andrew Neather (15), Javier Solana (12), Romano Prodi (12), and Gordon Brown (11).
Muslims: Anwar Shaaban (48 times), Islam’s founder and prophet Muhammad (36), Osama bin Laden (29), Yasser Arafat (19), the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid (15), Abu Talal al-Qasimy (13), Ahmad Abu Laban (12), Ibn Khaldun (12), Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (11), Hasan al-Banna (11), and Sayyid Qutb (11).
Christian figures: Jesus Christ (mentioned 63 times in the text), Pope Urban II (13), Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir (12), Michael the Syrian (11), and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (10).
Random historical figures: Charles Martel (53 times), Adolf Hitler (50), Winston Churchill (23), Duke Odo of Aquitaine (21), John III Sobieski (19), Thomas Jefferson (18), Napoleon Bonaparte (17), Sitting Bull (14), and Benjamin Disraeli (10).
Some of the great many writers encountered were Aristotle (25 times), Ivo Andrić (20), William Shakespeare (20), Plato (16), Salman Rushdie (16), George Orwell (12), Wilhelm Reich (12), and Sigmund Freud (11).
The most frequently mentioned individuals in the manifesto are: Bat Ye’or (71), Fjordman (63), Jesus Christ (63), Robert Spencer (54), Charles Martel (53), Shaykh Anwar Shaaban (48), Adolf Hitler (50) and Mohammed (36). The American author Daniel Pipes shares ninth place with the Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the Islamic Jihadist terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, all with 29 mentions, just edging out Karl Marx with 27.
As Dr. Pipes commented, it is somewhat bizarre to be ranked alongside Osama bin Laden and ahead of Karl Marx in importance. I’m sure it is. It is even more bizarre for me to share the same ranking as Jesus Christ. The entire mix is quite bizarre. Breivik’s manifesto comes off as a mixed bag; some would say an incoherent mess.
Left-wing critics might suggest that the conservative names are quoted in a positive light whereas the left-wing ones are seen in a negative light. Yet this is not always the case.
Breivik has been routinely described as “anti-Islamic” in the mainstream press. I was therefore surprised to encounter a significant number of implicitly or explicitly pro-Islamic viewpoints championed in his manifesto. His understanding of “martyrdom” as linked to murder is much more closely tied to a Muslim shahiid, an Arabic term often translated as “martyr” in European languages, than it is to traditional Christian martyrs.
A Muslim shahiid is not just one who dies for his faith, as Jesus did, but can be understood as one who murders others for their beliefs and happens to die himself in the process. Breivik openly praises this Islamic concept of martyrdom and wants to emulate some of the Islamic rituals performed by Jihadists. On pages 1,074-1,075 he wrote about “Learning from the Muslims,” especially when it comes to “martyrs” and the treatment of them.
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