Anders Breivik and Islamofascism’s youthful bloom

There’s a great piece on exploring the sad overlap between the worldview of Norway’s mad Islamophobe murderer Anders Breivik and the thinking of significant swathes of political life in Western countries today, especially on the Right. His mindset and hate are hardly unheard-of in these polarized times.

Oxford historian Tim Stanley makes many good points. The one you ear least often but which I think in a lot of ways is the most important concerns the very recent vintage of Islamic extremism. From “In Breivik, troubling echoes of West’s view of Islam” on (April 18, 2012):

The mistake being made by all these people is to conflate a tiny minority of political Islamists — whose precise ideology has only really emerged in the last 30 years — with the entire global and historical community of Muslims. It is true that Islam has never undergone a total Reformation, but it has experienced mini-enlightenments. The most celebrated is the Islamic Golden Age (750- 1258), centered in Baghdad, in which the arts and sciences flourished in a manner that left Dark Ages Europe far behind. (You can also find humanist poetry and art in Persia and even a small amount of erotica in Northern Africa.)

I’ll forgive Stanley his resort to the hackneyed Reformation quip. The Reformation certainly was a critical event in the development of Western values, but the idea that something like it is desirable for the Muslim world is debatable. Indeed, in many respects the modern, Salafist ideologies whose newfangled influence Stanley is highlighting here are highly “Protestant” (with apologies to Protestant Christians–the analogy is intended in a very limited, methodological sense). Note the shared insistence on Sola scriptura, the common rejection of age-old established religious institutions, and the parallel repudiation of the authority of a sacred tradition developed over many centuries. (Again, no offense  intended to Protestants out there–I just happen to think the Church had the better of that argument, however pivotal the Reformation turned out to be the development of Modernity.)

Anyway, I like how he points that the obscurantist, intolerant and indeed sometimes fascist ideologies that many non-Muslims now associate with Islam are a recent historical development, born in a unique petri dish  in the Muslim world during the second half of the Twentieth Century of petrodollar-funded Wahhabi indoctrination, singularly inept (and insincere) promotion of secular values by corrupt elites , and a variety of other unique socio-cultural circumstances (e.g., the Six-Day War of 1967).

That’s not to say many Muslims haven’t been ignorant, warlike, intolerant, misogynistic or otherwise unenlightened in the past. (I don’t idealize Muslims, past or present.) But there’s no question that the interpretative framework that governs the ideology of most Islamic extremists is new in Islamic tradition, whatever its merits may be.

That admission doesn’t let Muslims off the hook for falling prey to such madness and foolishness, nor does it in itself explain why traditional Islamic scholars weren’t more successful at inoculating modern Muslims against these spiritual and intellectual plagues. But it does help us better situate today’s problems in historical context and show us that there’s nothing natural, innate or preordained about them.

A similar case can be made concerning the ahistoricity of Breivik’s brand of conservatism and nationalism, such as they are. His embrace of anarchic revolution–to say nothing of his psychotic comfort with murder and mayhem–is utterly contrary to all strains of traditional conservatism.

  • BraveNewEurope

    An often overlooked issue is that the alleged theoretical beauty of Islam by no means represents the horrific reality that is life in Islam: extreme religious conservatism, blood revenge for family honour, oppression of women, stoning of women for the crime of “falling in love”, lack of rule of law, and so on.

    But even more important: the recent waves of Islamic immigration to Europe involve mostly uneducated and low skilled immigrants, who -obivously- will have a hard time adjusting to the complex lives of Western people. This makes for a dysfunctional new lower class of Islamic immigrants – the perfect breeding ground for vile Imams to exploit and to promote violence against the West.

    This is not “islamophobia”. It is Islam itself , a religion bent on molding the dumb masses, that is the problem.

    • Svend White

      Actually, it is rather more simply stupidity and ignorance itself. The essentializing declarations of a person who obviously hasn’t a clue how easy it to is to find comparable problems among non-Muslims in similar historical and cultural circumstances. Sure, there are real differences between cultures in particular times and places–and such differences sometimes have major consequences,whether for good or ill–but one thing never changes over the years: the easy, instinctive way that fools who by luck of the draw find themselves on top of some colonial pecking order heap abuse on the “natives” and ascribe all manner of sociologically-explicable differences and problems to some inborn essence like some 19th century Social Darwinist quack. Whether it’s a British worthy sneering at African tribesmen through a pith helmet a century ago, or an observer from the wealthy, politically ascendent West of Europe half a century later holding forth on how the problems of Eastern Europe and Russia stem from their alien, inherently despotic, irrational and superstitious Greek Orthodox religion. It the same old dehumanizing, pseudo-intellectual claptrap to rationalize domination and indifference to human suffering.

    • Svend White

      As for the “alleged theoretical beauty”–a curiously self-indicting barb; I guess you’re setting the record straight in the face of all the Muslim apologists running around insisting on how wonderful Islam theoretically is–I wasn’t arguing for its beauty, whether on the theoretical plane or the practical one. Like many, I happen to find that it has both in great measure, but that’s neither here nor there.

  • nanothermite

    Breivik is a VERY SANE anti-christ fascist as many in european tribes who did the 9-11 inside job on behalf of the khazars who control them psychologically and financially. Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic were covered up by the european tribes and a FALSE FLAG of 9-11 was painted. Honorable Dr Alan Sabrosky, Dr Niels Harrit, Dr Steven Jones, Dr James Fetzer and the architects for 9-11 truth have all proven that 2 planes hit, 3 buildings fell, Building SEVEN mysteriously fell in controlled demolition style and NANOTHERMITE chips were found in tons of quantities as well as the molten iron streams. The european cant hide their true deceptive face. The ANTI-AMERICAN Federal reserve SCAM is run by khazar banksters that represents the tables of the money changers that Jesus overturned.

    The ANTI-AMERICAN Federal reserve SCAM is run by khazar banksters that represents the tables of the money changers that Jesus overturned.

    FBI is Odiously and criminally negligent not to sieze the backers of FED and the FED itself and audit it.

    Maybe khazars have goods on the FBI and things like the ones on the secret service criminals and prostitutes.

    Brievik is the kosher fruit of decades of european lies during the bosnian genocide, the appeasement of the serbs, and the service to the khazars and the 9-11 false flag lies. he is the kosher fruit and there might be many more humungous fruits from the seed of lies europe sowed in the previous decades.

    Darrel Myatt is one more Brievik in the USA in the making

    • Svend White

      I don’t buy this “Truther” stuff and I think it’s vile to arbitrarily link Brievik to Judaism just because his insane worldview happens to favor Israel.

  • nanothermite

    A new analysis of Breivik has recently appeared on youtube.

    Please share it with others if you think it is valid or has some points.

  • klevius

    Again, nowhere is it said what this “beautiful islam” really is, only what it’s not! Not beauty but Salafist etc “extremist” interpretation of islam explains its historical origin in the vacuum after the Romans left. It was pure militant/political islamic parasitism, not beauty, that “conquered” slave trade stations throughout Mideast a well as South Asia, East-Africa, Northern Africa and eventually parts of Europe. And the formula was effective albeit evil: slaughtering or enslaving or dhimmitude for males who didn’t convert, and rapetivism for girls/women, i.e. as sex slaves and reproducers of new muslim males. All packed in a tight and totalitarian (“monotheist system” as Osama bin Laden describes it) one way system of rituals and apostasy ban for the purpose of hindering deflection. The Mohammed figure and the Koran were later inventions under Malik for the official institutionalization and moral excuse for islam, i.e. by referring to “the only god”. And the “golden age” was, when it comes to islam, totally dependent on slavery. Slaves and sex slaves have from scratch been islam’s main currency. This is why islam approves of slavery and why authoritative Saudi women now still propose the taking of non-muslim sex slaves for their sex hungry men. And what is truly islamic in islam has never produced any science etc. It’s precisely because of the deep evilness in islamic one way patriarchal reproduction and apostasy ban that we today have so many muslims that some of us don’t dare to say the Saudi caliph and his Saudi based muslim world sharia organization OIC are naked!

    • Svend White

      Go burn a cross or something. And learn a little history–slavery was enthusiastically practiced (and shamelessly justified by clergy) in various forms within Christendom for most of the last 2 millenia. Victorians were so scandalized by the discovery of slave collars (in one memorable case, inscribed with something like “I belong to Bishop So-and-so. Please return me.”) from early archaeological sites of early Christian communities that they pretended them to be dog collars! And even after it was theoretically repudiated in Western culture after the Enlightenment and other developments, equally vicious de facto slavery (and sometimes genocide) was still imposed on colonized peoples.