Shooting the messenger and perverting the message
In light of the recent frenzied media reports concerning the release of Anders Behring Breivik’s ideologically charged treatise and the subsequent bombing and shooting spree in Norway, I think we need to take stock for a moment. I think it is critically important that we examine and balance carefully what has been said, against what has been done on both sides.
Brevik explicitly articulates the case against a leftist leaning Higher Education establishment, whose great sin of ‘marxist-deconstructionist’ political correctness has poisoned higher education and media establishment’s in the West for a long time. He points out correctly that:
The techniques of political correctness are now well known: attacks on the curriculum in the name of “multiculturalism,” the imposition of restrictive and vaguely-worded “speech codes,” and mandatory “sensitivity training” courses for juniors that are little more than systematic efforts at ideological indoctrination. 
This sensitivity based indoctrination is hinged on the idea that the West can be ‘desconstructed’ by the application of the Marxist leaning ‘Frankfurt’ School of thought. In his treatise Brevik forensically establishes Adorno, Bottomore, Wiggershaus, Minnicino, Marcuse, Lukacs and Fromm among others as the leading lights of the Frankfurt School that shaped the formulation of the ‘New Left’. Brevik’s central argument is the establishment of a connection between Critical Theory and the New Left, through works like ‘Authoritarian Personality’, ‘Dialectic of Enlightenment’ and the garbled ’Reflections from a Damaged Life’, all clearly relevant in the political and philisophical sense.
It is here that we find Brevik synthesizing what he states himself as a complex work:
Written during World War II largely in response to Nazism 
He touches on other works like ‘Escape from Freedom’ and ‘Eclipse of Reason’ that highlight this intellectual arc. He does this through the sliding kaleidoscope of flowery ‘New Age’ Critical Theory. However there is a wider point to be made. Behind the barbarous evil of Brevik’s actions is the fact that Brevik is essentially trying to build a case that the Islamic World and the Marxist-Frankfurt deconstruction of Judeo-Christian civilization is inextricably linked to an indirect and direct partnership through intellectual ‘War’ against the West.
It is a partnership that he imputes exists between the Frankfurt School Institutions and the Islamic world at the secular, intellectual, financial, political and religious level. It is this contention that Brevik uses throughout the rest of his treatise in an attempt to establish the idea that this partnership is indeed working towards the poisoning and eventual demise of the West.
Overlaid within this is a very detailed examination of Christian ‘Crusade History’ and the Islamic ’Jihad History’ as a means of backing up the aforementioned points. Brevik states concisely that the Christian Crusade’s were a defensive project, whilst the Islamic Jihad was and remains an offensive one. This next point is key. He goes onto quote Bernard Lewis in ‘Islam and the West’ who states that:
We live in a time when great efforts have been made, and continue to be made, to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they would wish it to have been, as they would like their followers to believe that it was. All this is very dangerous indeed, to ourselves and to others, however we may define otherness — dangerous to our common humanity. Because, make no mistake, those who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present and unfit to face the future. 
Brevik expands on this by stating:
Since the creation of Islam in the 7th century and to up to this day, the Islamic Jihad has systematically killed more than 300 million non Muslims and tortured and enslaved more than 500 million individuals. Since 9/11 2001, more than 12 000 Jihadi terrorist attacks have occurred around the world which have led to the death of one or more non-Muslims per attack. In other words; there are around 150 deadly Jihadi attacks per month around the world. This trend will continue as long as there are non-Muslim targets available and as long as Islam continues to exist. 
He goes further and provocatively quotes Tina Magaard:
In Denmark, linguist Tina Magaard concludes that Islamic texts encourage terror and fighting to a far greater degree than the original texts of other religions. She has a PhD in Textual Analysis and Intercultural Communication from the Sorbonne in Paris, and has spent three years on a research project comparing the original texts of ten religions. “The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror … This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact we need to deal with.” 
In dealing with the systemic complexity that exists between the contended Islamic-Marxist partnership and the reaction and defensive position of the West, the question has to be asked. Does Brevik attempt to establish further where the war-like posture of Islam exists within this framework of social, political and religious battle? This is an important question because it runs parallel to the ongoing question of the West’s continued international military interventions and its continued support of Israel. Aligned to this is the perception that the Islamic world sees these Western interventions as a major factor in the stalled peace project in the Middle East and wider Arab world.
Brevik addresses this by quoting among others the following Quranic texts:
The Quran occupies a place that has no parallel in Western civilisation. The Quran is considered by Muslims and by traditional Islamic theology to be dictated word for word by Allah himself through the Angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. Sura 98 Verse 6 .
Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and the prophet Muhammad) from among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Musrhikun (other disbelievers) will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are he worst of creatures. Sura 9 Verse 29 .
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger. … and fight against those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e., Islam) among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah (Tax for Jews/Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. Sura 9 Verse 111 .
It is from these provocative statements we find the religious end game. Brevik himself recounts this by stating the following:
It is from such warlike pronouncements as these that Islamic scholarship divides the world into dar al-Islam (the House of Islam, i.e., those nations who have submitted to Allah) and dar al-harb (the House of War, i.e., those who have not). It is this dispensation that the world lived under in Muhammad’s time and that it lives under today. Then as now, Islam’s message to the unbelieving world is the same: submit or be conquered. 
Brevik renders the clear notion that the entirety of Western Christendom and it’s liberal democratic civic societies exist within the Islamic mind as ‘The House of War’. It would seem at this point that a back-down on the question of Israel is most morally and politically repugnant.
The most powerful and explicit indictment against Islam lays at the heart of Brevik’s own quotation of [Serge Trifkovic] who states that Islam is a:
“geo political project … a system of government and a political ideology”. 
Is there hence a future for peace? Those in the west who believe in Western Judeo-Christianity both at the civic and religious level would certainly want it to be so. However history and human nature tell a disastrously different story. My greatest regret is that Anders Brevik has ignited through violence an important conversation about the War between the West and Islam that goes to the heart of religious and political realities as well as mythology regarding same.
Despite my heightened opposition to the violent acts that Brevik has allegedly perpetrated, the open ended debate regarding the Marxist-Islamic partnership and the role of the West in the current ‘War on Terrorism’ must be addressed anew from both sides. I believe for far too long the issue of ‘Islam’ and ‘Terrorism’ has been seen within a dynamic of Cold War styled constructions that fashion the Islamic side in the old “Soviet” enemy context and the West as the old Western “Allies” protagonist.
Key is the fact that individuals and ‘non-state actor’ groupings are playing a more significant role in this new world we are living in. We need to renew our awareness of this and be prepared to re-frame our pre-conceptions. Ironically and perversely Brevik has attempted to blast apart the ‘Islamic Project’. He has done this by destroying any intellectual credibility his arguments may have had by allegedly stepping straight into the trap of directly emulating the actions that he seeks to lambaste.
The other clear message that emerges from these recent events is a fresh labelling process that has linked Christian Fundamentalism with Brevik. Merv Bendle from Quadrant cogently cites this by stating:
A Google search for ‘Breivik, right-wing’ produces 2.4 million results; ‘Breivik, Christian’, 3.1 million results; and ‘Breivik, fundamentalist’, 950,000 results; while even the omnibus appellation, ‘Breivik, right-wing, Christian, fundamentalist’, scores 503,000. 
Clearly the connection of ‘Fundamentalism’ and ‘Christianity’ tarnish the millions who seek peaceful means of resolving conflict. Brevik’s treatise and subsequent alleged actions are a demonstrable case of ‘shooting the messenger and perverting the message’. Ironically he has brought this on himself. This comes at a time when the circumstances demand a measured, considered and consistent response to prevent future violence.
Future terrorism policy configurations and debate must recognize and adapt to these new challenges. Without it the memory of those senselessly killed will be in vain.
Timothy W Humphries is a post-graduate Journalism student at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
1. Anders Behring Breivik Manifesto 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence By Andrew Berwick. 2011. Anders Behring Breivik Manifesto 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence By Andrew Berwick. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/60849766/Anders-Behring-Breivik-Manifesto-2083-%E2%80%93-A-European-Declaration-of-Independence-By-Andrew-Berwick. [Accessed 01 August 2011].
2. Fjordman: Islam is the most Warlike Religion. 2011. Fjordman: Islam is the most Warlike Religion. [ONLINE] Available at: http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/09/islam-is-most-warlikereligion.html. [Accessed 01 August 2011].
3. Quran Explorer . 2011. Quran Explorer . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/[Accessed 01 August 2011].
4. Quadrant Online – The myth of right-wing terrorism. 2011. Quadrant Online – The myth of rightwing terrorism. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2011/08/the-mythof-right-wing-terrorism. [Accessed 02 August 2011].
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