The Norway Killings: Jumping the Gun

The herd mentality of pundits and commentators was on display as they fell over each other to immediately blame the Norway killings on Muslim extremists. It wasn’t long before it became clear that the culprit, Anders Behring Breivik, was a blond Norwegian far right sympathiser, an Islamophobe, a Christian fundamentalist and an admirer of the English Defence League and of Geert Wilders.

Muslim extremists have indeed been responsible for atrocities in Europe, but this fact has merged with a more generalised anti-Muslim prejudice to produce a fixation with Muslims as the source of numerous negative trends afflicting Europe. We’re constantly being warned about the dangers of ‘Islamo-fascism’, a seriously flawed concept, while the European fascism that we know and love is being shortsightedly neglected.

You only need to read this article by Gary Younge, dating from 2008, to realise that the heirs of Hitler and Mussolini are once again flexing their muscles as they benefit from alarm over immigration, the failures and iniquities of capitalism, the greed of bankers and high unemployment. Or follow the work of Cas Mudde who warns that the new right as represented by Wilders and others are still closely attached to the ideas of the traditional far right.

Follow me on Twitter: @tonylerman

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4 Responses to The Norway Killings: Jumping the Gun

  1. Pingback: What, no Muslims?  | SHOAH

  2. Pingback: In the Belly of the Beast: 7/23/11: Sen. Sanders (I-VT) suggests Obama should be primaried | A New Worlds in Birth

  3. Ben10 says:

    European Media
    The situation in Norway is tragic and my deepest sympathies go out to those in mourning.

    The larger question revolves around the virulent growth of anti-muslim sentiment throughout europe and north america which the majority of the media are directly complicit in.
    I can’t help but feel this hateful rhetoric has been given tacit approval by large swathes of the conservative and social democratic political classes as a useful tool in bolstering support for western interventions in Iraq, Afganistan and now Libya (which are in fact deeply unpopular in a majority of european countries). Conflating Islam with tyranny (even if it’s western backed) or terror (not state terror though!) provides a useful means of justifying foreign policy in the minds of the public.

    Being an Islamophobe in much of europe is not something people are, by in large, particularly ashamed of. Rather then simply condem an act of violence, it seems easier for the Right to denigrate a culture, belief (even if it’s a widely held belief outside of that culture), or even dress as a way of seeking to degrade people who share that culture, belief or dress.

    It’s telling then that the Right has been quick to disassociate itself from Breivk, it’s own repudiated violence, as if they themselves were not an integral part of it’s inner formation. That violence has come home to roost, tragically on left leaning children at a camp in norway, is also depressingly unsuprising.

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