by Madeleine Kando
Anders Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who is currently on trial for the murder of more than seventy-seven people, most of them young men and women has been in the forefront of the news of late. In this video, taken during the initial court proceedings, you can see him perform the far-right salute as soon as his handcuffs are removed. This is followed by an endless procession of polite handshaking with court personnel. If one didn't know that this man is a mass-murderer, one would think that he is some kind of venerated celebrity.
In another clip we see Breivik become teary-eyed as he is shown the anti-Islamic video he aired on You Tube prior to the killings. A 20 minute convoluted rant against the Norwegian government and its policy of 'Multiculturalism'. A mix of critique against Cultural Marxism and admiration for historical figures such as Richard the Lion Heart and Charles Martel. Breivik's list of heroes also includes 'Vlad Tepes' or 'Vlad the Impaler', the real Count Dracula of Transylvania.
Breivik's trial has focused a great deal on his political convictions. As if that makes the monstrous nature of his crime more tolerable. As if that helps the families of the victims. He is enamored with himself and what he represents. Shouldn't he be tried on what he has done, not on his ideas?
There is something fundamentally wrong with the Norwegian legal system. Since there is no death penalty, the maximum punishment for the likes of Reivik is 27 years in jail, with the possibility of parole. The Norwegian idea of a just legal system is parodied in a hilarious scene in the movie 'Lillyhammer', in which an American mobster ends up doing a stint in a Norwegian jail, where he is offered woodworking classes, music lessons and cake on demand. Naturally Breivik himself has said that a logical verdict would be either the death penalty (conveniently non-existent) or acquittal. He thinks a 27 year jail sentence is 'laughable'.
Breivik has no remorse and says that he would 'do it again'. He considers himself a 'Christian Warrior' who is trying to save Norwegian culture from the Muslim invasion. The question that is often asked, here and in Europe, is whether the policy of Multiculturalism is the real culprit in Reivik's actions. Are the politicians that advocate multiculturalism to blame? Or is it simply that this man's twisted ideology has been shaped by OD-ing on on-line video games? Whose sole source of education are entries on Wikipedia?
But according to Willem Schinkel, a Dutch sociologist, multiculturalism has never really existed in Europe. In England Sikhs were exempt from wearing helmets on motorbikes because of their turbans. Does that qualify as multiculturalism? It is the 'depoliticization' of European Democracy that feeds extremism, says Schinkel. In other words a lack of ideology has forced Breivik to seek purpose in a fantasy world of his own creation, which he then proceeds to make real by shooting people.
Be that as it may, Breivik has, indeed become a celebrity. I have to pinch myself as I watch the court proceedings. It is as if he has entranced the whole world. Our need to understand what drives someone to do such a horrible thing, makes us gullible enough to take the words and ideas of this mentally deranged individual seriously. Does understanding it make it less monstrous? We are asking ourselves 'Who is to blame? Him? Society?' One thing is for certain: If this man is not jailed for the rest of his life without parole, then there is truly no justice in the world, least of all in Norway. leave comment here
Sunday, April 22, 2012
by Madeleine Kando