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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid