Twilight in Gellerland

As an example of callous brutality and gimlet-eyed hatred, the latest take on the Norway killings by American ‘counter-jihadist’ Pamela Geller takes some beating. According to Geller, the Labour Party summer camp at Utoeya was in fact an ‘anti-semitic indoctrination centre.’

How does she know this?  Because one of the survivors of the massacre told ABC news immediately afterwards how ‘Some of my  friends  tried to stop him [Breivik] by  talking  to him. Many people thought that it was a test …comparing it to how it is to live in Gaza.’  Well that proves it, doesn’t it?   But in case there was any doubt, Geller reports a visit to Utoeya by the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who told the assembled youth that the Palestinians ‘must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now.’

Still uncertain about the dark purpose behind this seemingly innocent island, you skeptics? Geller has definitive proof, in the form of a photograph of smiling youths in a boat with Palestinian flags and banners calling for the defeat of the Gaza blockade.   All of which demonstrates that ‘ Glenn Beck was not that far off when he compared it to the Hitlerjugend or Young Pioneers.’

No he really wasn’t, was he?  And all this kinda puts Anders Breivik’s decision to massacre these kids in perspective don’t you think?   You don’t?   Well consider what Auntie Pamela has to tell y’all

[stextbox id=”alert”]Breivik was targeting the future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives, including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole… all done without the consent of the Norwegians.
The day before the shooting, a pro-Palestinian rally was held.[/stextbox]

So there you have it.   Quid pro quo.   But don’t you go thinking that Pam approves of what Breivik did.   She makes it clear that she doesn’t, telling us that

[stextbox id=”alert”]Of course, the genocidal leftists will twist what I write here; I am not condoning the slaughter in Norway or anywhere. I abhor violence (except in regard to  self defense). But the jihad-loving media never told us what antisemitic war games they were playing on that island. Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda.  Only the malevolent media could use the euphemism summer camp and get away with it.  The slaughter was horrific. What these kids were being taught and instructed to do was a different kind of grotesque.  There is no justification for Breivik’s actions whatsoever. There is also no justification for Norway’s antisemitism and demonization of Israel.[/stextbox]

Do you see now readers?   There is no justification for Breivik’s actions, but then Norway is antisemitic and demonises Israel, so maybe in fact there is some justification after all.   And if Geller approves of violence as self-defence, and if the pretend summer campers were really brainwashed communist kids playing anti-semitic ‘wargames’, and if Breivik was responding to an act of cultural aggression/betrayal (something he himself argued), then doesn’t that mean that his actions were legitimate?

Far be it from a genocidal leftist like me to jump to the conclusions of the malevolent media.  But then why did Geller’s photograph of the youth gathering at Utoeya originally contain the caption ‘Note the faces which are more MIddle [sic] Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian’ – a caption that has since been removed?  What exactly was her point here?

And  just in case any of you were still so disturbed or distracted by the mass slaughter of teenagers on Utoeya that you were in danger of taking your eye off the ball,  Geller reminds us where the real danger lies

[stextbox id=”alert”]Only days after a deranged Anders Breivik claimed creeping Islamization of Norway as an excuse for cold-bloodedly murdering 76 people, the majority of which were children, a group of British Muslim extremists have seemingly mocked the tragedy by hanging bright yellow posters in several  London  boroughs declaring them “Sharia-controlled zones.”
One has to wonder about the timing.[/stextbox]

One really does.    And one also has to wonder why this ridiculous and utterly marginal Muslims Against Crusades outfit does anything at all, or what its yellow posters were intended to achieve except to reflect back and magnify the fantasies of bigots like Geller and the EDL.    But what one really has to wonder about is the hypocrisy, the glib illogic and underlying savagery of the Queen of the counter-jihadists and her fellow ‘freedom-fighters’, who claim that they wish  to save civilisation, even as they sink deeper and deeper into their own dank swamp.



Bano Rashid RIP

Bano Rashid, the 18-year-old Kurdish refugee and Labour party youth activist was the first of the ‘Marxist Hunter ‘ Anders Breivik’s victims on Utoeya island to be buried in Norway yesterday.  The funeral service was presided over by an imam and a Christian pastor and attended by her Kurdish family, her Norwegian friends and Labour party political comrades, and her coffin was draped in the Kurdish and Norwegian flags.

Bano Rashid’s family came to Norway from Iraq in 1996, where they were given refugee status, and the New York Times has described how ‘Ms. Rashid wanted to stretch the limits of the country”s blond and blue-eyed identity, to help redefine what it means to be Norwegian.’     Last summer she saved up money to buy the expensive Norwegian national costume, the bunad.  She wanted to be a lawyer and a politician and dreamed of becoming prime minister like her political idol, Norway’s former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

In an article last year for the newspaper Aftenposten,  the 17-year-old youth activist criticized the populist Progress Party, Norway’s second largest political party,  and the anti-immigrant message of its leader Siv Jensen:

[stextbox id=”alert”]She knows  well that  people have  immigrated  for thousands of  years,  and that  it  has  gone very well.  It always turns out that people  who move  to a country  adapt to its culture  and its  way of life.  It  just takes  some time.  If  Jensen is really  afraid of  Muslims, she can  see  the  birth  rate of  Muslim women in  Norway.  It has  fallen  significantly.  It  is  an example of the way people  who live  in Norway have adapted to Norway.  We integrate ourselves….There  is  no  doubt that  Oslo would grind to a halt if it went one day without the work of immigrants.    Would it not be better to view immigrants  as a  tremendous  resource?  Let  Norway use the resources of its immigrants.   Give us time to integrate, preferably without discrimination.[/stextbox]

Bano Rashid embodied that capacity for integration.  Kurdish, Muslim, Norwegian, and a Labour party activist, she was also an anti-racist and a strong critic of discrimination of all kinds.    Such transformations  are anathema – and are in fact incomprehensible – to the Breiviks of this world and all the other bigots and racists who warn of the evils of multiculturalism and the threat to European and national identity from Europe’s Muslim communities.

Today, these forces are on the ascendancy all over Europe.  And as Norway prepares to bury its ‘lost generation’ it is to be hoped that Europeans across the continent can learn from the savage and senseless death of this talented young woman who was clearly a gift to her adopted country and whose country was a gift to her – and also from the bright hopes and aspirations that inspired her.

As young as she was, Bano Rashid was clearly capable of being many different people at the same time.   In these dark times we need to remember that such things are possible, and perhaps to hold onto these words from  her childhood friend Siva Jagdar, another Kurdish Norwegian, who told the BBC

[stextbox id=”alert”]Her death won’t scare Muslims like me away from politics.  If anything she has been an inspiration in life, and I hope she will be an inspiration still, to show Norway what we can be… I hope Bano can be a symbol for Norway’s youth, for Christian youth, for Muslim youth, for Kurdish youth. To show everyone that they can follow their dreams.[/stextbox]


Free speech and straw men

One of the interesting things about writing on the Internet, as opposed to the printed press, is that you very quickly become aware of the responses to what you have written.   This experience is not always particularly uplifting.

Earlier this week I wrote a piece for the First Post online magazine on the Norway killings entitled ‘What made Anders Breveik quote from the Daily Mail‘ .  It’s essentially a potted version of an earlier post on this website on the ‘paranoid style in European politics’ – which argues that Breivik’s paranoid visions of Muslim immigrant ‘invasions’ and European cultural collapse are not that far removed from the everyday discourse of the right.

Needless to say this piece generated a lot of hostile posts.    The general tone is summed up by one commentator, who accuses me of  ‘Gloating over the tragedy of the right’ and  joining ‘ the amen corner of shedding crocodile tears for the Muslims.’    Another makes the argument that

[stextbox]Clearly the guy is a bit crazed and what he did was unacceptable. However I do understand his point of view that the western world is rapidly being taken over by the religious cultures, and people form [sic]countries who can not even look after themselves.[/stextbox]

It is pretty obvious where most of these commentators are coming from.   But it’s a bit much to find myself on the website Crikey described by Brendan O’Neill of Spiked magazine as some kind of anti-liberal authoritarian in an article entitled Breivik and the right’s right to write’.     According to O’Neill

[stextbox]The British terrorism expert Matthew Carr has a pop at the right-wing thinkers who have denounced Breivik”s murderous spree, arguing that “those who propagate fantasies of immigrant invasions and civilisational collapse cannot be entirely surprised that there are those who take such fantasies literally and engage in their own form of war”.[/stextbox]

This is a fairly accurate summary, even though I really don’t like the whole concept of the ‘terrorism expert’ and I certainly have no desire to be labelled as one, thank you.  But then there is the following

[stextbox ]Carr reckons European politicians should do something about the “toxic and often delirious bile” that Breivik wallowed in and regurgitated in his dumb manifesto. Do what about it? Blacklist it? Ban it? Burn it? Prevent Melanie Phillips from ranting on about Islamists just in case someone somewhere with some screws loose decides to act on what he thinks is the true meaning of her words?[/stextbox]

O’Neill then goes on to argue that

[stextbox]I thought us progressives were meant to be against this kind of thing, against the idea that speech causes violence and thus the state must curb and control and rigorously police our speech?[/stextbox]

Er, no Brendan.  I don’t recommend that ‘the state’ should do any such thing.  What I actually said was

[stextbox]Breivik is not the first far-right activist to contemplate such acts in recent years, and unless European civil society and politicians can find the will to recognise, confront and isolate the toxic and often delirious bile in which his fantasies of ‘resistance’ marinated for so long, he may not be the last.[/stextbox]

Notice how O’Neill leaves out the reference to ‘European civil society’ to support his straw man  ‘illiberal leftist argues for state prohibition’ argument.   Nowhere do I advocate banning writers like Melanie Phillips or Mark Steyn, nor would I wish to see them banned. Recognizing and confronting the dangerous and ‘toxic’ lies, subtexts, prejudices and sheer barking lunacy emanating from Phillips et al is not the same thing as  banning or blacklisting them.

It means analysing, deconstructing and exposing their arguments in a democratic forum.    It means that I would like to see politicians and civil society forcefully articulate a more humane, accurate and inclusive counter-narrative about immigration that does not depict Muslim immigrants as barbarian invaders engaging in ‘demographic jihad’ or multiculturalism as a Trojan horse intended to bring about the cultural destruction of Europe.

In a healthy society such arguments would indeed be confined to the wacky fringes – by argument and debate and a shift in public attitude,  not by legislation.    At present we are very far from this situation.  You may disagree with this perspective.  You might, as some of the First Post‘s readers clearly do, think that Steyn and Phillips are fighting the good fight against the enemies of civilisation.

But O’Neill is so determined to make his non-point and present himself as a ‘progressive’ iconoclast that he clearly isn’t interested in engaging  with what I actually wrote.   Or maybe he was just too busy churning out copy to actually read it, let alone think about it.



Simon Jenkins and the madman scenario

There is a rather weak piece by Simon Jenkins in today’s Guardian which makes the argument that  ‘the last thing Norway needs is illiberal Britain’s patronising.’   Jenkins has been good on terrorism in the past,  and has been one of the few critical voices in the mainstream media on the political manipulation of 9/11 and terrorism in general, but he’s barking up the wrong tree here.

His central point is that Anders Breivik is a madman, and that therefore

[stextbox id=”alert”]The Norwegian tragedy  is just that, a tragedy. It does not signify anything and should not be forced to do so. A man so insane he can see nothing wrong in shooting dead 68 young people in cold blood is so exceptional as to be of interest to criminology and brain science, but not to politics.[/stextbox]

Jenkins criticizes David Cameron’s proposal to order  ‘ a review of the far right’ because

[stextbox id=”alert”]The hysteria of the moment may require a knee jerk from those in power, but why the national security council was summoned, or “a review of our security at home” needed, is a mystery. To the victims, the killings were an act of random madness, a terrible accident, a car crash, a catastrophe out of the blue.[/stextbox]

He then argues that

[stextbox id=”alert”]Terrorism is a specific and rational political form: the use of an violence to achieve a multiplier of fear through a civilian population to a particular end. Visiting ‘shock and awe’ by bombing Baghdad in 2003 was an act of    terrorism, as were the bombs on the London Underground. Killing Norwegian teenagers (not Muslims) to express some vague hatred for society is not. It is merely deranged.[/stextbox]

This analysis is too complacent by half.   Of course Jenkins is right to warn against a kneejerk security overreaction – we’ve already seen quite enough of that over the last ten years thank you.   But after years in which terrorism has been depicted as an exclusively Muslim activity, it is quite sensible for governments – and societies – to realise that such acts are not limited to the various offshoots of the global jihad.

His attempt to detach Breivik’s actions from the realm of politics is also facile and simplistic.   Breivik may well be mad, but the fact that he ‘can see nothing wrong in shooting dead 68 young people in cold blood’ does not in itself make him insane.

If respect for human life were a marker of insanity,  then Al Qaeda, the 7/7 bombers and the Ba’athist and jihadist anti-occupation groups would also have to categorised as pathological deviants rather than political protagonists.  Few people would consider this to be an adequate explanation for their actions.  Nor can Bleivik’s atrocities be pigeon-holed so easily under the label ‘mental illness.’

Jenkins is certainly correct in  describing ‘shock and awe’ as an act of (state) terrorism and a ‘multiplier of fear’.   But fear is only one component of Breivik’s ‘day of rage’, which otherwise is entirely in keeping with the  logic of revolutionary terrorism that first emerged in the late nineteenth century, when anarchists and anti-Tsarist revolutionaries began assassinating prominent officials and heads of state according to the strategy of ‘propaganda by deed.’

This ‘technique’ of violence as it was sometimes called,  was intended to enable small and sometimes marginalised groups to ‘punch above their weight’ and compensate for their lack of military power by generating dramatic and shocking political spectacles. In doing so the groups and individuals that carried them out hoped to galvanise a wider constituency to follow their example,  and generate a wider confrontation that would spread across the whole of society.

Breivik’s own statements make it quite clear that he had the same intentions.  His actions belong to the same tradition of ‘leaderless resistance’ developed by the American far right in the 1990s, to which Timothy McVeigh also belonged.  Of course we may wonder at the personal motivations that lead this murderous and ultimately pathetic and self-regarding ‘warrior’ to  believe that killing teenagers was a legitimate act of ‘war’, but such actions, however despicable,  can rarely be understood solely in terms of individual psychology.

Not only did the Norway killings have political objectives, but they were also the product of a  political context.  Yet Jenkins insists

[stextbox id=”alert”]Nor can I see any purpose in detailed textual analysis of Breivik’s so-called manifesto, least of all as a means to make easy partisan points, leftwing or rightwing, out of its garbled horror.[/stextbox]

Garbled it may be, but the ideas and assumptions it contains about immigration, Islam and Western cultural collapse are now everyday currency across a very wide spectrum of opinion.  As a witty post on ‘the rise of the nutters’ on the Schnews website observes,  the views contained in Bleivik’s manifesto are not exactly unfamiliar territory

[stextbox id=”alert”]apart from a load of weird stuff about body-armour, the Knights Templar and the appropriate use of steroids, at the heart is a vision eerily familiar to readers of such fringe esoteric publications as say the Daily Express, Daily Mail or Sun.[/stextbox]

Schnews goes on to point out that

[stextbox id=”alert”]The Daily Mail has now denounced Breivik as neo-Nazi, despite his explicit rejection of Nazism – in fact politically he wasn’t much more right-wing than them. There is now a concerted attempt to divorce Breivik’s ideas from his actions – to suggest that he was just ‘insane’ or ‘sick’, even calls to not allow his monstrous actions to ‘shut down the debate on immigration’. When jihadists commit an outrage there isn’t usually such a rush to let their ideology off the hook.[/stextbox]

Indeed there isn’t.  And Schnews is really talking a lot more sense on this issue than the Guardian‘s illustrious columnist.