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Norwegian Shooting Suspect's 'Manifesto' Inspired By American Right-Wing Thinkers

Norwegian shooter/bomber Anders Behring Breivik left behind a 1,500-page "manifesto," and its ideas bear an eerie similarity to American right-wing thought.
 
 
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Before the deadly attack in Norway that killed 76 people, suspect Anders Behring Breivik left a long trail of material meticulously outlining his political beliefs. His 1,500-page political manifesto, titled "A European Declaration of Independence," seeks common cause with xenophobic right-wing groups around the world, particularly in the United States. It draws heavily on the writing of prominent anti-Islam American bloggers, as well as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. His writing reveals he is a right-wing nationalist fueled by a combined hatred of Muslims, Marxists, multiculturalists and feminist women. Even after the massacre in Norway, some right-wing pundits in the United States have come out in defense of Breivik’s analysis. We speak with Jeff Sharlet, an author who has written extensively about right-wing movements in the United States, who has read much of Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto. "What struck me most about this document is just how American it is in every way. I mean, a huge amount of it is from American sources," Sharlet says. "He’s a great admirer of America, because he says United States, unlike Europe, has maintained its 'Christian identity.

AMY GOODMAN: Norwegians gathered in front of a cathedral in the center of Oslo Tuesday to mourn the 76 victims of the killer who stunned the nation with a deadly bomb and gun attack. Thousands of flowers and candles have been laid in front of the cathedral as people pay their respects to the victims. Crown Prince Haakon Magnus was among the prominent visitors also invited to an Oslo mosque in a sign of national unity.

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON MAGNUS: [translated] We have taken this initiative because of the incident on Friday. The people of the nation are in mourning. It is a difficult time, and we wish to distribute a message of hope, warmth, generosity and peace.

AMY GOODMAN: The suspect in the Norwegian attacks, Anders Behring Breivik, allegedly set off a bomb outside government buildings in Oslo Friday and then opened fire on a Labour Party summer camp for youth activists on a nearby island. During a court hearing Monday, he accepted responsibility for the killings but denied charges of terrorism. He says he belonged to an anti-Islam network that has two cells in Norway and more abroad. But Norwegian police and researchers have cast doubt on whether such an organization exists.

Breivik faces terror-related charges that carry a maximum 21-year sentence. His defense lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told reporters yesterday his client appears to be insane and that he would quit if Breivik did not agree to psychological tests.

GEIR LIPPESTAD: This whole case has indicated he’s insane. He said it was necessary to start a war here in Europe and throughout the Western world. So, he’s sorry that it was necessary, but it was necessary, he says.

AMY GOODMAN: But the suggestion that Anders Breivik is insane has been rejected by scholars following the rise of right-wing extremism. Instead, they see him as the extension of a virulently xenophobic narrative with deep roots in the United States.

Breivik left a long trail of online comments, a YouTube video, and a manifesto meticulously outlining his political beliefs. His 1,500-page manifesto, titled "A European Declaration of Independence," seeks common cause with xenophobic, right-wing groups around the world, particularly here in the U.S. It draws heavily on the writings of prominent anti-Islam American bloggers, as well as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. His writing reveals him as a right-wing nationalist fueled by a combined hatred of Muslims, Marxists and multiculturalists. In his video and manifesto, he identifies himself with the figures of the Crusades, in particular the early figures that actually fought a Muslim invasion of Europe. Breivik calls for a "conservative revolution" and "pre-emptive declaration of war."

 
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