The gruesome tragedy in Norway, leaving 93 (as of writing) dead, is being compared to the Oklahoma bombing, is a chilling reminder of the dark side of ideologies – when it comes to mixing politics of hate with personal beliefs. As details about the gunman and arsonist Anders Behring Breivik emerges, it is becoming increasingly clear that the about so-called extreme psychopathic behaviour need not emerge from those have been diagnosed mental illness or have a history of violence; as the 32-year-old mild-mannered agriculturalist would first bombed the city centre have with explosives made from fertilisers, and then went on a murderous rampage, demonstrates.
If reports of the suspected gunman’s manifesto published on CNN are subsequently verified, he describes himself as a “Justiciar Knight Commander for Knights Templar Europe and one of several leaders of the National and pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement.” It has also been reported that he was anti-Islamist, and an extreme right-wing Christian who harbored some kind of deep resentment towards the ideal of multiculturalism encouraged by the Norwegian government, and in particular paranoid about the growing strength of Islam in his country, although in reality it was around 3%. He anticipated a ” European civil war taking place in three stages, ending in 2083 with the execution of cultural Marxists and the deportation of Muslims.” At that stage, in his view, “Europe would have become 30 to 50% Muslim.” (1) Indeed he accuses the Norwegian Prime Minister of multicultural and cultural Marxist views, and accuses him of indoctrinating the youth with the ideals; and this could have been the motive for his attack on the youth at that ill-fated summer camp. He apparently states in his journal that this call to action was prompted by the Norwegian government’s support for the 1999 NATO airstrikes in the Kosovo campaign, and in his view it was wrongful to attack “our Serbian brothers (who) wanted to drive Islam out by deporting the Albanian Muslims back to Albania.”
Here in lies a deep irony– while his actions, fuelled by a self-fulfilling fantasy as a Knight Templar is likely to go down in history as a psychopathic delusion, it raises an even deeper question about multiculturalism itself, as a political phenomenon. For modern states to acknowledge that its citizens have the right to identify themselves with separate ‘religious’ sub cultures would, inevitably, lead to deepening fragmentation amongst the population insistent on exercising that political right. Modern states and their politics should ideally distance themselves completely from any form of public acknowledgement of religion, and even the notion that religion is anything apart from individual ideas in people’s heads.
Moving away from a world of religious ‘rights’ to one where secularism is the default norm, and the right to remain secular be accepted as a prime human right.
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