Breivik, the conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre

September 1, 2011 — Press release

Written by Institute of Race Relations

A thorough analysis and full documentation of the context and background to the Oslo massacre is published today by the Institute of Race Relations.

The IRR examines in this Briefing Paper the background and context of the extreme and aberrant actions of Anders Behring Breivik, perpetrator of a gruesome massacre on 22 July which claimed the lives of seventy-seven people, in two attacks, the first on government buildings in central Oslo, the second on the tiny island of Utøya, thirty-eight kilometres from Oslo.

The murderer has already explained his motivations in court and in his 1,500-page manifesto 2083. A European Declaration of Independence. Breivik has said that he targeted young Labour Party activists at Utøya island because it was necessary to wipe out the next generation of Labour Party leaders in order to stop the further disintegration of Nordic culture from the mass immigration of Muslims, and kick start a revolution to halt the spread of Islam. But as the IRR’s Briefing Paper demonstrates, the myth, that Muslims, supported by liberals, cultural relativists and Marxists, are out to Islamicise Europe and that there is a conspiracy to impose multiculturalism on the continent and destroy western civilisation, are circulated daily on the internet, in extreme-right, counter-jihadist and neo-Nazi circles.

Author Liz Fekete believes that it is high time all those in positions of power – particularly those in governmental, political and media circles – treated this Muslim conspiracy theory as seriously as they would anti-Semitism. For ‘The Muslim conspiracy theory bears many of the hallmarks of the “Jewish conspiracy theory”‘, even though, ironically, ‘its adherents – some of whom were formerly linked to anti-Semitic traditions – have now become staunch defenders of Israel and Zionism’.

This twenty-five page Briefing Paper includes:

  • An analysis of the various elements in the Islamic conspiracy theory that Breivik drew on, its discursive frameworks, its key shapers and followers. Here certain intellectual currents within neoconservativism and cultural conservatism, and concepts such as clash of civilisations, Islamofascism, new anti-Semitism and Eurabia, are examined. While these may not support the notion of a deliberate conspiracy to Islamicise Europe, they are often used by conspiracy theorists to underline the righteousness of their beliefs and actions.
  • An appendix of ‘Responses to the Oslo massacre’ from official statements to ripostes from counter-jihadists, extreme-right politicians and neoconservative political commentators.
  • Detailed documentation of anti-Muslim violence and related provocations throughout Europe in 2010 and 2011 including desecrations of mosques and Islamic cemeteries; petrol bombs and other attacks on mosques and worshippers; physical attacks and extreme-right campaigns.

Briefing Paper No.5: Breivik, the conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre can be downloaded here (pdf file, 444kb)

Related links

Download ERA Briefing Paper no.5: Breivik, the conspiracy theory and the Oslo massacre (pdf file, 444kb)

Download ERA Briefing Paper no.4: Accelerated removals: a study of the human cost of EU deportation policies, 2009-2010′ (pdf file, 145kb)

Download ERA Briefing Paper no.3: ‘The background to the French parliamentary commission on the burqa and niqab’ (pdf file, 145kb)

Download ERA Briefing Paper no.2: ‘Direct democracy, racism and the extreme Right’ (pdf file, 200kb)

Download ERA Briefing Paper no.1: ‘The Swiss referendum on minarets: background and aftermath’ (pdf file, 152kb)

Read more about the work of the European Race Audit here

IRR European Race Bulletin back issues

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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