Anders Breivik’s War on Multiculturalism
In the aftermath of the horrific bombing and shootings in Oslo and Utoya, Norway, the pieces of the puzzle were swiftly put together. Like many of you, before the news of the capture of Anders Breivik, I conjectured that these disgusting actions were put into place by an Islamic terrorist group. It turns out that we were all wrong. These were the actions of a sociopathic, right wing extremist.
Anders Breivik is an excellent example of how extreme intolerance can breed hate and violence. He is a conservative Christian fundamentalist. He hates communists and Muslims. He considers himself a mercenary; a soldier in a war against Islam, Socialism, and immigration. His nationalism lead him down a zealous path of hatred and destruction that is paved with the dead bodies of innocent people, whose only crimes were those that Breivik perceived in his diseased, bigoted mind.
Breivik’s personal war on multiculturalism and liberal ideology is by no means unique nor is it an isolated incident. His tactics were tried and true; create a diversion, and go after the real targets; in this case, the children of the left wing Norwegian ruling elite, under the cover of the chaos created by the diversion. He followed a game plan put in place by many terrorists before him. If there were a hall of fame for domestic terrorism, Breivik would have a plaque right next to Timothy McVeigh.
As much as we want to deny it though, there is a little Anders Breivik in most of the global population. He can definitely be found bubbling near the surface of nearly every GOP presidential candidate, as well as far right legislators on state and national levels. While their weapons of rhetoric and prejudicial legislation may not be violent, they are certainly more effective in promoting the fear and hatred of entire cultures or religions that they do not fully understand. Meanwhile, right wing hate groups such as the KKK here in the U.S. or the neo-Nazis in Europe are not only staging comebacks, they’re growing stronger than ever.
History is pockmarked with racism and oppression,as well as fear and hatred of those cultures, religions, and races who are different from our own. Nationalism and persecution form perfect partners, particularly in times of economic crisis. Times get tough, and a scapegoat is needed. The objects of Breivik’s hatred are representative of the current global bias toward Islam and immigrants. His actions tell us that while multiculturalism may not be dead, as Angela Merkle has stated, it is and has been for some time, an entity that is on life support. The violence perpetrated by terrorists, both domestic and international, is a microcosm of the efforts from the far right to pull the plug, ending the tenuous grip of multiculturalism in our society .
Breivik is an extreme extension of the right wing group mentality; there is an ever growing resistance across the globe toward immigrants, Muslims in particular, and Nationalism is becoming as strong as ever. There is a concerted effort by conservatives in almost every country to close their borders, as well as their societies, in order to protect their own from those “damn foreigners.”
Breivik, and those who came before him, as well as those who come after, are symptoms of a greater disease; intolerance of those who are not like us. I would like to think that the cure is possible. I’m not very optimistic that there is one. Our human history of violence and oppression toward each other supports my pessimism.