Geert Wilders yesterday Monday 25-7-11 condemned the attacks by the 32-year-old Breivik. According to the Irish Times Wilders, writing on a news website, said the PVV “abhors all that Breivik represents and has done”. On Twitter he described the attacks as “awful”, saying those killed and hurt were “innocent victims”, describing Breivik as “a violent and sick character”. Wilders offered the PVV’s condolences to “the families of the victims and to the Norwegian people.” Adding that Breivik had shown “a total lack of respect for human life”.
Although there are less thoughtful commentaries, there seems to be a developing consensus among the more serious analysts, that Breivik is most likely a ‘Lone Nutcase’, what most people would describe as a psychopath, though psychologists and psychiatrists would be more likely to use the term Malignant personality, which is the most anti-social type, of Sociopathic personality.
This suggests that Breivik’s claim that he is part of a wider far-right network of anti-Islam “crusaders”, is the bragging of a narcissistic, psychopathic fantasist who is reported by the Irish Times to have written that exaggeration is a way to sow confusion among investigators. Aftenposten suggests Breivik’s interrogation is moving slowly, with Breivik refusing to speak further about his claims of sleeper cells and other collaborators.
“Intuitively, it feels like he is alone when you read the document. It’s like he’s lost in this made-up world and can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality,” Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College. “He has no empathy, he is indifferent to the people he kills, he has no conscience and no remorse, . .. ..”They (mass killers) are usually alone,” said Ragnhild Bjoernebekk, of Norway’s police school.
The final entry in Breivik’s 1,500 page manifesto says on July 22nd: “The old saying: ‘if you want something done, then do it yourself’ is as relevant now as it was then.”
As I have argued elsewhere in these pages this creates a conundrum for Wilders and other anti-Islamists. To my mind there is a clear separation between Breivik and the Anti-Islamists, in a general sense: though we might question certain individuals with violent histories such as Steven Lennon, founder and leader of the English Defence League. However as Wilders and the rest are so clear to accept a distinction between the polemics of Breivik and their own ideas, why are they so reluctant to recognise a similar distinction between ordinary Muslims who were for instance alongside other Norwegians in last nights vigil, and the terrorists responsible for attacks such as 9-11, 7-7 and the Madrid bombings.
Personally I distrust Theocracy in all it’s forms, however the west has only begun to lose the overwhelming influence of Christianity in it’s government and legal systems over the last fifty years or so, that the rest of the world has not yet integrated this idea fully is not an argument against Islam, rather it suggests that progress takes time. Progress is not helped by claiming the disturbed actions of a few represent all who share some of their beliefs. After all, Hitler was a vegetarian, but no one would take seriously the idea that all vegetarians are potential genocidal maniacs.
There seems to me to be a double standard in operation, the anti-Islamists want their cake and to eat it, either the same logic which applies to separating them from breivik, applies also to separating Muslims from the Terrorists, or they risk associating themselves more closely with Breivik.
This has already been noted by Former CIA officer and terrorism consultant Marc Sageman who said it would not be fair to suggest that Breivik’s violence was the fault of the writers he drew on to shape his view of the word. However, “counterjihad writers” like Spencer argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged”.