The New York Times wasted no time in jumping to conclusions about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who staged two deadly attacks in Oslo last weekend, claiming in the first two paragraphs of one story that he was a “gun-loving,” “right-wing,” “fundamentalist Christian,” opposed to “multiculturalism.”
It may as well have thrown in “Fox News-watching” and “global warming skeptic.”
This was a big departure from the Times’ conclusion-resisting coverage of the Fort Hood shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Despite reports that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he gunned down his fellow soldiers at a military medical facility in 2009, only one of seven Times articles on Hasan so much as mentioned that he was a Muslim.
Of course, that story ran one year after Hasan’s arrest, so by then, I suppose, the cat was out of the bag.
In fact, however, Americans who jumped to conclusions about Hasan were right and New York Times reporters who jumped to conclusions about Breivik were wrong.
True, in one lone entry on Breivik’s gaseous 1,500-page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” he calls himself “Christian.” But unfortunately he also uses a great number of other words to describe himself, and these other words make clear that he does not mean “Christian” as most Americans understand the term. (Incidentally, he also cites The New York Times more than a half-dozen times.)
Had anyone at the Times actually read Breivik’s manifesto, they would have seen that he uses the word “Christian” as a handy moniker to mean “European, non-Islamic” — not a religious Christian or even a vague monotheist. In fact, at several points in his manifesto, Breivik stresses that he has a beef with Christians for their soft-heartedness. (I suppose that’s why the Times is never worried about a “Christian backlash.”)
A casual perusal of Breivik’s manifesto clearly shows that he uses the word “Christian” similarly to the way some Jewish New Yorkers use it to mean “non-Jewish.” In this usage, Christopher Hitchens and Madalyn Murray O’Hair are “Christians.”
I told a Jewish gal trying to set me up with one of her friends once that he had to be Christian, and she exclaimed that she had the perfect guy: a secular Muslim atheist. (This was the least-popular option on the ’60s board game Dream Date, by the way).
Breivik is very clear that you don’t even have to believe in God to join his movement, saying in a self-interview:
Q: Do I have to believe in God or Jesus in order to become a Justiciar Knight?
A: As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus.
He goes on to say that a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” is “everything we DO NOT want,” and a “secular European society” is “what we DO want.”
“It is enough,” Breivik says, “that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist.” That statement doesn’t even make sense in America.
At the one and only meeting of Breivik’s “Knights Templar” in London in 2002, there were nine attendees, three of whom he describes as “Christian atheists” and one as a “Christian agnostic.” (Another dozen people mistook it for a Renaissance Faire and were turned away.)
Breivik clearly explains that his “Knights Templar” is “not a religious organization but rather a Christian ‘culturalist’ military order.” He even calls on the “European Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu community” to join his fight against “the Islamization of Europe.”
He doesn’t believe in Christianity or want anyone else to, but apparently supports celebrating Christmas simply to annoy Muslims.
Breivik says he is “not an excessively religious man,” brags that he is “first and foremost a man of logic,” calls himself “economically liberal” and reveres Darwinism.
But Times reporters had their “Eureka!” moment as soon as they heard Breivik used the word “Christian” someplace to identify himself. No one at the Times bothered to read Breivik’s manifesto to see that he doesn’t use the term the way the rest of us do. That might have interfered with the paper’s obsessive Christian-bashing.
Other famous killers dubbed conservative Christians by the Times include Timothy McVeigh and Jared Loughner.
McVeigh was a pot-smoking atheist who said, “Science is my religion.”
Similarly, Breivik says in his manifesto that “it is essential that science take an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings” –- a statement that would be incomprehensible to all the real scientists, such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Bacon, Newton, Mendel, Pasteur, Planck, Einstein and Pauli, all of whom believed the whole purpose of science was to understand God.
The Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner, was lyingly described by the Times as a pro-life fanatic. Not only did more honest news outlets, such as ABC News, report exactly the opposite — for example, how Loughner alarmed his classmates by laughing about an aborted baby in class — but Loughner’s friends described him as “left wing,” “a political radical,” “quite liberal” and “a pothead.” Another said Loughner’s mother was Jewish.
The only reason Timothy McVeigh has gone down in history as a right-wing Christian and Jared Loughner has not — despite herculean efforts by much of the mainstream media to convince us otherwise — is that by January 2011 when Loughner went on his murder spree, conservatives had enough media outlets to reveal the truth.
As explained in the smash best-seller “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America,” the liberal rule is: Any criminal act committed by a white man with a gun is a right-wing, Christian conspiracy, whereas any criminal act committed by a nonwhite is the government violating someone’s civil liberties.
It’s too bad Breivik wasn’t a Muslim extremist open about his Jihadist views, because I hear the Army is looking for a new psychiatrist down at Fort Hood.
“Like a fire bell in the night,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1820, “this momentous question … awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union.”
Jefferson was writing of the sudden resurgence of the slavery issue in the debate on Missouri’s entry into the Union, as foreshadowing a civil war.
And that massacre in Oslo, where a terrorist detonated a fertilizer bomb to decapitate the government and proceeded to a youth camp to kill 68 children of Norway’s ruling elite, is a fire bell in the night for Europe. For Anders Behring Breivik is no Islamic terrorist.
He was born in Norway and chose as his targets not Muslims whose presence he detests, but the Labor Party leaders who let them into the country, and their children, the future leaders of that party.
Though Breivik is being called insane, that is the wrong word.
Breivik is evil — a cold-blooded, calculating killer — though a deluded man of some intelligence, who in his 1,500-page manifesto reveals a knowledge of the history, culture and politics of Europe.
He admits to his “atrocious” but “necessary” crimes, done, he says, to bring attention to his ideas and advance his cause: a Crusader’s war between the real Europe and the “cultural Marxists” and Muslims they invited in to alter the ethnic character and swamp the culture of the Old Continent.
Specifically, Breivik wanted to kill three-time Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the “mother of the nation,” who spoke at the camp on Utoeya Island, but departed before he arrived.
Predictably, the European press is linking Breivik to parties of the populist right that have arisen to oppose multiculturalism and immigration from the Islamic world. Breivik had belonged to the Progress Party, but quit because he found it insufficiently militant.
His writings are now being mined for references to U.S. conservative critics of multiculturalism and open borders. Purpose: demonize the American right, just as the berserker’s attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson was used to smear Sarah Palin and Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City bombing was used to savage Rush Limbaugh and conservative critics of Big Government.
Guilt by association, which the left condemned when they claimed to be its victims in the Truman-McCarthy era, has been used by the left since it sought to tie the assassination of JFK by a Marxist from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee to the political conservatism of the city of Dallas.
But Europe’s left will encounter difficulty in equating criticism of multiculturalism with neo-Nazism. For Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and David Cameron of Britain have all declared multiculturalism a failure. From votes in Switzerland to polls across the continent, Europeans want an end to the wearing of burqas and the building of prayer towers in mosques.
The flood of illegal aliens into the Canary Islands from Africa, into Italy from Libya and Tunisia, and into Greece from Turkey has mainstream parties echoing the right. The Schengen Agreement itself, which guarantees open borders within the European Union to all who enter the EU, is under attack.
None of this is to deny the presence of violent actors or neo-Nazis on the European right who bear watching. But, awful as this atrocity was, native born and homegrown terrorism is not the macro-threat to the continent.
That threat comes from a burgeoning Muslim presence in a Europe that has never known mass immigration, its failure to assimilate, its growing alienation, and its sometime sympathy for Islamic militants and terrorists.
Europe faces today an authentic and historic crisis.
With her native-born populations aging, shrinking and dying, Europe’s nations have not discovered how to maintain their prosperity without immigrants. Yet the immigrants who have come — from the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia — have been slow to learn the language and have failed to attain the educational and occupational levels of Europeans. And the welfare states of Europe are breaking under the burden.
Norway, too, needs to wake up. From the first call for help, police needed 90 minutes to get out on the island in the Oslo lake to stop the massacre by the coward, who surrendered as soon as the men with guns arrived. Apparently, Breivik wanted to be around to deliver his declaration of European war in person. Yet, if convicted of the 76 murders, Breivik can, at most, get 21 years, the maximum sentence under Norwegian law.
Norway is a peaceful and progressive country, its leaders say.
Yet Norway sent troops to Afghanistan and has participated in the bombing of Libya, where civilians have been killed and Moammar Gadhafi has himself lost a son and three grandchildren to NATO bombs.
As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.