News / Europe

Norway Massacre Highlights Europe's Growing Far Right

This image from an undated interview made available by VBS.TV on July 27 2011, shows Paul Ray of Britain; Anders Behring Breivik describes him as a mentor
This image from an undated interview made available by VBS.TV on July 27 2011, shows Paul Ray of Britain; Anders Behring Breivik describes him as a mentor

Multimedia

Audio

Norway's prime minister says European intelligence agencies have joined the investigation into last week's terror attacks that left at least 76 people dead.  Jens Stoltenberg says the country's core values will grow stronger. Friday's attacks have been linked to far-right Norwegian zealot Anders Behring Breivik. The views he allegedly published on the Internet have put Europe's far right in the spotlight.

Speaking Wednesday, Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said there will be a security review in Norway that will include police organization and capacity.

He said Friday's attacks will bring more political engagement to Norway.

"The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation," said Stoltenberg.

Details of the deadly attacks continue to emerge including a more detailed profile of the man who says he is responsible.

The defense lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik says his client's actions suggest he is insane.  But political analysts say the gunman's opinions, which seem to have motivated him, are in line with many among Europe's extreme right.

Norway's twin terror attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle after leaving the courthouse following a hearing in Oslo, July 25, 2011
Norway's twin terror attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle after leaving the courthouse following a hearing in Oslo, July 25, 2011

Breivik allegedly wrote a 1500-page manifesto published online.  The text rants against Marxism, multiculturalism and globalization, and warns of what he calls an Islamic Demographic Warfare.  He calls for a crusade to defend his idea of Europe.

An expert in European right-wing extremism at London's Kingston University, Andrea Mammone, says Breivik's ideas are consistent with many on the extreme right in Europe.

"These ideas of having a pure community, of having a white Europe are quite widespread across European right-wing extremism," Mammone explained.  "Certainly immigration and for now Islam, which is a very easy target, they are against this.  They are for an immigrant-free Europe, this is quite evident."

And it is an outlook that is gaining political ground.  In Norway, the populist right-wing Progress Party is the second largest in parliament.  Breivik was a member until he decided it was too moderate.

In Sweden, Democrats joined parliament last year with the slogan "Keep Sweden Swedish," and in Finland, the nationalist True Finns have one in five votes.

It is not just the Nordic countries. Geert Wilders, leader of the third largest party in the Netherlands, says he "doesn't hate Muslims. [He] hates Islam."

K. Biswas from the magazine, the New Internationalist, says a tide has turned over the past decade.

"You've seen parties in Italy, in Denmark, in Holland that have grown outside the mainstream conservative electoral vehicles in their countries, and they have had an effect," noted Biswas. "They have had an effect on immigration.  They have had an effect on the language used by mainstream politicians."

Across Europe, the far right has joined in the outrage against Breivik.  The leader of Norway's Progress Party, Siv Jensen, called his acts "repulsive."

The extreme right may agree with much of Breivik's outlook, but, they say, not with his tactics. Biswas says it is important to separate the two.

"What is interesting to note is that these views are no longer fringe views," Biswas noted.  "These views are entering part of the mainstream.  To link Islamophobia, hostile anti-elite views to violent acts I think is wrong."

Extreme politics can be a dangerous starting point, but, he says, the path does not necessarily lead to violent extremism.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid