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OSLO ATTACKS/ Inside the mind of Breivik

Massimo Introvigne comments on the jumble of ideologies that inspired the Oslo killer, Behring Breivik, and on the problems with the open Norwegian society.

(photo ANSA) (photo ANSA)

Norway mourns, and attempts to lynch the murderer Behring Breivik, responsible for the attack in Oslo and the massacre on Friday, when he is brought before the courts. While "the greatest monster," as the killer called himself, revealed that he was helped by two other accomplices who the police are now trying to bring to justice, there are questions about the principles that inspired the criminal lucidity of the smiling Breivik and that led to surprise throughout Europe on reading that in the civilized Norwegian society the murderer would serve only 21 years in prison.

In Breivik’s ideological handbook, a wad of 1500 pages—2083. A European Declaration of Independence –put online a few hours before the action, you can find everything. Anti-Islamic hate, Judaism, Christianity, Freemasonry, the Church of Satan, insults to the Pope, accusations of cowardice, attack plans, references to Italian political parties, neo-Templarism and much more. Ilsussidiario.net asked Massimo Introvigne, commentator and scholar of the relationship between religion and society, to shed light on the "extremism of identity" and the "anti-Islamic populism" of the killer of Oslo.

Massimo Introvigne, is there a connection between Norwegian-Scandinavian society, which has been defined as “open” and the incredible jumble of ideologies that inspired the killer Behring Breivik?
There is a link between the Nowegian tolerance and the facility with which Breivik was able to put his plan into action. After this episode, even Norway will have to reinforce its security systems, both in terms of police at public events and in terms of surveillance on extremist groups, even on the internet. All of this requires many resources, a lot of money and a change in mentality. But there is a globalization of evil as well and there are no more happy islands.

Some commentators have underlined the fact that Breivik’s inspiring motives were not a pure result of his criminal inventiveness because this inventiveness would have more easily taken root where a certain model of coexistence had not delivered the best results. What can you say about this?
A third of Breivik’s book is an anthology of texts on the problem of Islam in Europe and immigration. Some of these come from a paranoid anti-Islamic fringe group, and others from serious authors. It would be a shame if each of those cited by Breivik from now on became unviable. The fact that Breivik confronted the problem of immigration in a grotesque and deformed way in his book does not mean that the problem does not exist. How many immigrants can a small country like Norway permit? Doesn’t the famous Norwegian tolerance risk giving hospitality to ultra-Islamic-fundamentalists and terrorists? These questions do not become senseless just because Breivik also transcribed them, attaching them to delirious answers.

What is the breeding ground of political and esoteric ideas like those which inspired the perpetrator of the massacre?