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Hegghammer portrays both the international Islamist-jihadist-terrorist movement of which Al-Qaeda is a part and Breivik as new “macropolitical” movements that advocate total war between clashing civilizations:
In the Muslim world, so-called pan-Islamism has a long history and has inspired militancy since at least the 1980s, when Arabs traveled to Afghanistan to fight with fellow Muslims against Soviet occupation. The West has long lacked similar movements, but the rise of counterjihad in the 2000s and the appearance of the Breivik manifesto suggest that this may be changing.
When we think about Hegghammer’s analysis, however, the asymmetry it postulates between the “maropolitical” jihadist movement and its supposed Western “counterjihad” counterpart is staggering. The jihadist “macropolitical” phenomena includes hundreds of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, thousands of terrorists, as well as millions of people and several governments–e.g. Iran, Syria, Pakistan –who support them. Hegghammer’s putative Western, anti-Islamist “macropolitical” counterpart, on the other hand, consists of–Anders Behring Breivik.
And then there is former BBC reporter Alan Hart, now writing for Dissident Voice, who compares Breivik favorably to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu:
“The man now on trial for killing 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July has admitted, even boasted about, what he did. Netanyahu denies Zionism’s crimes.”
What these two individuals have in common, according to Hart, is “the mania of victimhood” and “the fact that they both live in fantasy worlds of their own creation and talk a lot of extreme rightwing nonsense.”
“The nonsense Anders Breivik speaks is driven in general by his fears about the consequences for Norway of immigration and multiculturalism and, in particular, by his vision of an Islamic takeover. The nonsense Netanyahu speaks is driven by his perception of Israel in danger of annihilation.”
Perhaps Hart’s vicious comparisons require no comment, other than that they reveal the extreme malice and total disregard for the truth of Israel’s enemies.
While the pro-jihad, anti-Israeli demagogues have drawn false lessons from the Breivik disaster, there are some legitimate ones that may be drawn from it: A society like Norway’s, which seeks to avoid conflict at all costs by avoiding public discussion of sensitive issues, may succeed instead in exacerbating conflicts and permitting them to fester.
After all, Breivik succeeded in getting the attention he wanted for his ideas, and above all for himself, by committing mass murder. Before he did that, no one had noticed him and his ideas, and no one was likely to have paid any attention to them.
And a society that discourages from early childhood the expression of negative feelings by such harmless or relatively harmless means such as crying, shouting, or blunt language may end up with the spectacle of Anders Behring Breivik, dressed in an elegant suit, discoursing calmly and in meticulous detail about the 77 murders he has committed.
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