The Norwegian Killer is Not an Anomaly

Anders Behring Breivik is not a lone wolf, as the media is portraying him. He is part of a wider problem. An industry that existed since before 9/11 but has burgeoned since then has systematically dehumanized Muslims and demonized Islam.  Look no further than the blogosphere to see what I’m talking about. (one such blogger, albeit a very insignificant one, constantly spews his hate on  iPouya.)  This wide-ranging industry has long sought to vilify Islam and Muslims and although some actors within that industry do not advocate violence against Muslims, a closer look suggests such action by implication.  Video games, movies, politicians, hearings, conferences, so-called experts like Daniel Pipes who state the Muslims should not be allowed to enter the American mainstream (presumably because they are evil), apocalyptic types like Glenn Beck all share in the responsibility. They may have not pulled the trigger or detonated the bomb, but they have helped foster an environment where Breivik was its logical endgame.   In the words of Marc Sageman, “a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam ‘is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.'”

If Islam is evil, and Muslims are evil, then violence against them is righteous.  And although Breivik didn’t target Muslims, his manifesto shows that his ultimate goal was to bring attention to this “scurge” from the East and how Norwegian leaders, specifically from the Labour Party, have failed to stem the flow of “them” into Norway.

This entire mentality, and the industry that has laid the infrastructure for this type of thinking, is based on a thinking that the Muslim world is one extreme and the west is another.  Bin Ladenites and their ilk mirror this sort of thinking.  In other words, Breivik and Bin Laden have a very similar worldview, not to mention employ the same violent means to bring attention to their ridiculous causes. This simple worldview is an injustice to recorded history, which shows that one section of the world was never neatly partitioned off from other geographical locations.  To say there’s an East and a West is to do away with all the important nuances that do not fit neatly into this paradigm.  In other words, Muslims have learned nothing from the “West” and the “West” has not learned anything from the “East” and that they’ve always been fighting along an imaginary border, that no Christians lived or still live in the Middle East and that no Muslims ever had a presence in Europe until modern times.

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