by our European affairs correspondent (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 40, No. 6, Ramadan, 1432)
Minutes after the Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik launched his atrocious plan on July 22 — blowing up a government building by a car bomb in the center of Oslo that killed seven people and then moving on to Utoya Island for a two-hour rampage shooting dead 84 youths — it became uncomfortable and even unsafe for people with Middle Eastern features to walk in the streets of Europe.
Minutes after the Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik launched his atrocious plan on July 22 — blowing up a government building by a car bomb in the center of Oslo that killed seven people and then moving on to Utoya Island for a two-hour rampage shooting dead 84 youths — it became uncomfortable and even unsafe for people with Middle Eastern features to walk in the streets of Europe. Western media and pundits immediately linked the attacks to Muslims by formulating the usual “Islamic terrorism” narrative. The Sun newspaper of London, owned by the disgraced media mogul Rupert Murdoch, even carried a huge headline blaming Muslims. This writer was subjected to intense cold stares from shoppers in a Vienna supermarket following the attacks.
The terror attack in Norway is the critical point that Crescent International referred to when analyzing the potential of the EU becoming the next superpower
As it became clear that the terrorist was not a Muslim, but a “Christian” with strong Zionist connections (few corporate media outlets mentioned the fact that the youth at the Utoya Island camp had erected a sign that read: “Boycott Israel”) who had penned a 1,500-page manifesto vowing to revive the medieval Knights Templar, it was hard to hide the relief felt by Muslims in Europe and indeed in North America. This was especially true in the US where Muslims have been subjected to relentless attacks since 9/11. As one turned on the news, relief was replaced by frustration. Instead of providing detailed reports and analyses about the tragedy and the perpetrator’s background, the BBC and other imperialist media outlets started focusing on the death of pop singer Amy Winehouse. Crude media attempts to downplay the terrorist attacks and massacre in Norway as the work of a “lunatic” became evident to any reasonable observer. The story lost its appeal for the corporate media when they learned that no Muslim was involved. Innocent Norwegian victims could not be turned into an instrument of Western neo-colonialism. The story no longer had strategic value.
One can imagine the outrage of “res-pectable” commentators and the rampage that rightwing and Zionist terrorists would have indulged in against Muslims in Europe and indeed even in North America had a Muslim been responsible for such terrorist attacks. Masjids would be firebombed — they are still being bombed and desecrated in various parts of the US 10 years after 9/11 — and copies of the Qur’an would be burnt. Muslim women in hijab would be specially targeted and there would be endless commentaries on radio and television talk shows emphasizing the “incompatibility” of Muslims to Western “values.” Anti-Muslim bigots and racists would be given a platform to rave and rant on television adding fuel to the fire. Uncle Tom Muslims and Muslimahs (one wonders why such people call themselves Muslims at all?) would froth against “Islamists” in return for some baksheesh from their white masters.
When a Christian-Zionist influenced by Muslim-hating Americans such as Robert Spencer, Pamella Geller and Daniel Pipes or the Norwegian anti-Muslim racist Hans Rustad — founder of a rightwing blog — commits such heinous crimes, he is dubbed a “lunatic” — yes a mere lunatic. After all, how can a good old white European with blue eyes and blonde hair indulge in such a crime if he were sane? There have been no detailed discussions of his background or any analysis of his links with pro-Zionist rightwing groups and writers in the US and Europe.
Apart from exposing a coordinated media war on Islam in the West, the attack in Norway uncovers the inability of the European society to deal with its new multicultural identity. The European continent lost its homogenous racial, religious and cultural composition decades ago. However, European political elites have been unable to construct fair and just socio-political policies to deal with this new reality that has emerged in Europe. Instead, they have jumped on the US-led War on Terror bandwagon and surpassed Washington in its racist policies and statements toward Muslims.
The terror attack in Norway is the critical point that Crescent International referred to when analyzing the potential of the EU becoming the next superpower (see EU’s superpower ambitions unlikely to materialize, in Crescent, January 2011.) The Norwegian massacre is the beginning of the point of departure where economic collapse of the EU will begin converging with its ethnic, religious and cultural problems.
In Germany where the four million Muslims make up a mere 5% of the total population, 35% of Germans believe the nation is “swamped by foreigners” and 10% want the return of a leader that will rule with an iron hand. Throughout the EU, right-wing parties are rising to power and draconian anti-Muslim policies are becoming the norm. If the niqab ban in France and the minaret ban in Switzerland seem isolated incidents to naïve segments of Muslims in Europe, the recent ban on halal meat in the Netherlands is a clear sign that anti-Islamic agenda is a strategic policy. It is a “perfect” situation in the making in order to divert the attention of Europeans from the economic crisis and the incompetence of the EU leadership. Taking into account that Europe already has such a historical precedent it should not be surprising at all.
The greatest lesson the European society can learn from the Norwegian tragedy is that fostering anti-Muslim sentiments and policies endanger not only Muslims but also non-Muslims and the entire EU. The fact is that Breivik killed non-Muslims because he hated Muslims. While French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are unlikely to ponder over this aspect of the crime because they want to promote such thinking resulting from their warped priorities, the average European must do so if he wants to save the continent. Breivik’s hatred of Muslims was at least partly reinforced by EU state institutions and policies. European citizens must, therefore, hold the current Eurocentric/racist political leadership of the EU politically accountable for the crime in Norway at the next elections.