The Strange World of Anders Behring Breivik, “Justiciar Knight”

The 1500 page “manifesto” by the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is being circulated all over the internet. You can download the 1omb pdf here, or read the lowlights here or here.

Needless to say, it’s really fucked up. He is racist, misogynist, homophobic, etc. etc. But it is interesting reading because of the way he synthesizes some very common right wing literature, such as Robert Spencer’s work on Islam and the Eurabian theory popularized by Bat Ya’or, as well as theories of a Marxist-Islamist conspiracy to destroy western civilization, popularized by Professor Glenn Beck.

His main target is Islam. He believes in a top-level EU conspiracy to incorporate Arab states into an expanded Mediterranean-based super-state. As such, he denounces politicians and political parties he sees as involved in this conspiracy, as well as anyone committed to multiculturalism, internationalism or the EU as a “traitor-whore”; which explains his targeting of the Labor Party youth camp.

The document also details his actions leading up to the attacks and his formation of a modern army of knights – the Justiciar Knights” – at one point he claims there are 15-80 active “knights” in Europe, but its not clear if this actually exists or if it’s just a make believe army. He’s planned it all down to their shoulder patches, rank insignia and what color velvet an officers uniform shall be.

One interesting point is on religion because he was claimed to be a Christian fundamentalist on some news sites. This doesn’t seem to be the case, though. On page 1373 he outlines his religious views:

Religion: Christian, Protestant but I support a reformation of Protestantism leading to it being absorbed by Catholisism. The typical “Protestant Labour Church” has to be deconstructed as its creation was an attempt to abolish the Church.
Religious: I went from moderately to agnostic to moderately religious.

From pages 1301-1310 he claim religious justifications for his actions; citing Biblical legitimations of violence in self-defense and Papal support (and indulgences) for earlier Crusdaes. But it strikes me as an afterthought; the piece is all about defending Nordic ethnic culture from what he sees as invasion from the Middle East. It’s essentially a secular policy document where religion comes in its done with no particular care or expertise; it’s a grab-bag of texts, with a Protestant using the existence of Papal indulgences to justify his actions. Crucially, Christianity is only referred to in sections about Christianity; this is a secular rather than fundamentalist approach because fundamentalists don’t compartmentalize. His beef with Islam is that he views it as inherently violent and expansionist, not because it constitutes any religious heresy; in fact, he writes that he’s quite happy for “agnostic” and “atheist” Christians to join his Knights of the Round Table. It seems that for Breivik, Christianity is an affective (emotional) identity, not a question of propositonal beliefs; it’s also interchangeable with ethnic identity. The key point of Christianity is that it’s not-Islam. This is in keeping with the use of religion on the broader far-right; the BNP for example talk about defending Judeo-Christian civilzation, but are not personally devout nor do they ground their politics in religious doctrine.

Anyway, because this is Berlusconi Youth, key portions of the text will be brought to you by Alf:

Update! Uh, apparently this is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles, Gert Wilders stole it from the Israeli Secret Service and Breivik stole it from Wilders.


9 responses

  1. Maclagan Independent European Youth Movement

    Shit, you’ve gone all serious.

    So, comparing this fruitcakey manual with the 9/11 manual, would you call the 9/11 bombers fundamentalists but not Breivik? That is, the 911 bombers really believed in their religion, whereas Breivik found it it useful. Or, in another mode: ish what we are dealing with here not the same as the typical Western reaction to the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan? That ish, the religious statues have value to the Western multiculturalist only as cultural icons; the Taliban, by contrast, fail to maintain the proper distance from their religion.

    On a related point ever notice that the same people who bitch and moan about essentialism tend to assign some purist historicist meaning to “fundamentalist” in order to argue that we shouldn’t use the term, and then replace it with the transparent stand-in “conservative evangelical” or something? It’s “like” those people who can’t bear to use the term “primitive” for those oh-so-difficult-to-define African religions, so search for the term that most disguises that they’ve never departed from the social developmental concept of which it inevitably reeks (“oh, could I just ask that we use the term ‘non-modernist other’ rather than ‘backward primitives’ to describe Africans who haven’t yet experienced enlightenment – thanks”).

    July 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

    • The 9/11 bombers were fundamentalists; the root of their political objection was a religious one – that Muslim lands were being polluted by the presence of the US military and that the governments of Muslim majority countries like Saudi Arabia were apostates. Plus their language and behavior was fundamentalist, showing an obsession with the purity of their bodies after death, etc. And if you read Bin Laden’s statements (and the collection Bruce Lawrence edited is floating around the internet as a piracted pdf) he’s constantly citing scripture and religious scholars. Buddy Boi Breivik did no such thing.

      Also, I think “primitive” dropped out of fashion not just because we’re post-colonialists now, but because it’s a religious value judgment that doesn’t hold water anymore; they’re primitive because they’ve not learned to sing Charles Wesley songs yet and put away their infernal Bunga-Bunga parties. Few people care about that stuff anymore; give me a belief system that will make your jungle safe for tourism and mineral extraction and you Queenslanders can worship what the hell you like.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

  2. Maclagan Independent European Youth Movement

    Yeah – I’ve read them. Bin laden is/was “very religious” (religion infuses the way he conceives of all he does, provides his primary ideological framework for responding to material circumstances, etc); Breivik is a disaffected extreme right-winger who uses religion (already itself, of course, tied up with European identity, etc) as a tool in his neo-fascist toolbox, just as you see among the BNP in Engerland or Aryan Nation in Amerikkka. A simpliification, sure, but a better simplification than painting bin Laden and Breivik as Islamic and Christian versions of the same “fundamentalist”.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  3. The workers and peasants of Berlusconi Youth have been prevented from commenting on the discussion HERE, but suffice it to say everyone is wrong except “Deane”. For once.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:18 am

  4. Maclagan Independent European Youth Movement

    Your opinions were considered “spam”, so I rescued them.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:56 am

  5. Justin

    I fear Hayden Ballantyne may just be the beginning.

    At first I wondered why he attacked the Freo Dockers, then I learned that this was a Peel Thunder bloke and that the he lost out in the Sandover medal to Callum “The Chump” Chambers. So Ballantyne apparently thought it was a legitimate shot at what he saw as a kickable target.

    However, future assaults may be against the Eagles instead of against native Fremantle Dockers. If someone attacks a nightclub which is known for encouraging Ben Cousins, this could win popular support among the AFL and the West Australian, even if they would not admit it publicly at this time.

    Whatever the target, it is tragic that the Fremantle Dockers have allowed their team to deteriorate to the point where Hayden Ballantyne is taking things into his own hands and trying to save Fremantle from another wasted season by such drastic means. Such shit kicks at goal are the desperate acts of Dockers who see everything their forefathers built over the four quarters being destroyed in front of their eyes.

    I hold Hayden Ballantyne personally responsible for murdering the Fremantle Dockers chances, and he should face justice in club training during the week. On the other hand, the deeper responsibility lies with all the coaching staff of Fremantle who have allowed Freo to be overrun by arse monkeys in front of goal. Perhaps they should share the same wet towel flicks as Hayden Ballantyne.

    July 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

  6. What I find riveting is that Breivik’s vision of a “Patriotic Guardian Council” having veto power over the elected government is precisely the system which pertains in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Also, we’re a happy team at Hawthorn.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

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