Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Norway’s Suspected Murderer Anders Breivik a Christian Terrorist?

The similarities between suspected mass killer Anders Behring Breivik and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh are striking.

Both were good-looking young Caucasians, self-enlisted soldiers in an imagined cosmic war to save Christendom. Both thought their acts of mass destruction would trigger a great battle to rescue society from the liberal forces of multiculturalism that allowed non-Christians and non-whites positions of acceptability. Both regretted the loss of life but thought their actions were “necessary.” For that they were staunchly unapologetic. And both were Christian terrorists.

Their similarities even extend to the kind of explosive used in their actions. Both used a mixture of fuel oil and ammonium nitrate fertilizer; which Breivik said he needed for his farm operations. The farm, it turned out, was rented largely because it was a convenient place to test his car bombs.

And then there is the matter of dates. McVeigh was fixed on the day of April 19, the anniversary of the Waco siege. Breivik chose July 22, which was the day in 1099 that the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established during the First Crusades.

The title of Breivik’s manifesto, which was posted on the internet on that day, is “2083”—the date Breivik suggested would be the culmination of a 70-year war that began with his action. Yet 70 years from 2011 would be 2081; why did he date the final purge of Muslims from Norway to be two years later, in 2083? I found the answer on page 242 of Breivik’s manifesto, where he explains that on 1683 at the Battle of Vienna, the Ottoman Empire’s military was defeated in a protracted struggle, thereby insuring that most of Europe would not become part of the Muslim empire. The date in Breivik’s title is the 400th anniversary of that decisive battle, and in Breivik’s mind he was re-creating the historic efforts to save Europe from what he imagined to be the evils of Islam.

The threat of Islam is a dominant motif of his 1500-page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.” The writing of a manifesto is a major difference between Breivik and McVeigh, who was not a writer; instead McVeigh copied and quoted from his favorite book, The Turner Diaries, a novel by neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald.

McVeigh’s beloved novel explains his motives in a matter eerily similar to the writings of Breivik in his “2083” manifesto: he thought that liberal politicians had given in to the forces of globalization and multiculturalism, and that the “mudpeople” (non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual, non-patriarchal males) were trying to take over the country. To save the country for Christendom the righteous white, straight, non-feminist Christian males had to be shocked into reality by the force of an explosion that would signal to them that the war had begun. These were McVeigh’s ideas from The Turner Diaries, but they were also Breivik’s.

“The time for dialogue is over,” Breivik writes on page 811 of his manifesto. “The time for armed resistance has come.”

The enemy of this imagined cosmic war were “the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites” whom he regarded as the “Nazis of our time,” intent on “leading us [White Europeans] to the cultural slaughterhouse by selling us into Muslim slavery.” Breivik says, threateningly, to the “multiculturalist elite” that “we know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you.”

The manifesto is an interesting and eclectic document, something of a scrapbook of everything from his instructions for small-scale farming to a syllabus for a course on revolution that he’d love to see taught (complete with extensive bibliography that includes authors such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Theda Skocpol, and Eric Hobsbawm; it recommends as a textbook Theorizing Revolution, a book written by my colleague at Santa Barbara, John Foran). It also includes theoretical and historical overviews of European history and political ideas, and an attempt to explain Muslim ideas and Islamic history; skewed in such a way to make it appear as if this major religious tradition were a single ideology eager to control the world.

The manifesto also includes a how-to manual for the creation of terrorist devices and acts of terrorism themselves—a manual not unlike the “Army of God” handbook created by Christian anti-abortion activists, most likely penned by Lutheran pastor Michael Bray. It advises on costumes that might be worn in order to avoid detection (including a policeman’s uniform).

Perhaps the most interesting section is Breivik’s day-by-day accounts of the weeks preceding the July 22 bombing and massacre, a chronology that ends with this matter-of-fact statement: “I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51.”

Moments later he posted the 1500-page book on the website before allegedly driving to downtown Oslo to detonate the bomb that killed seven and shattered major buildings containing the offices of the ruling political party. Afterward, he reportedly donned the policeman’s uniform to gain entrance to the liberal party’s youth camp where he coldly murdered over 80 of the young people in a rampage that lasted more than an hour.

Like McVeigh, he thought that this horrible dramatic action would bring a hidden war into the open. Like many modern terrorists, his violent act was a form of performance violence, a symbolic attempt at empowerment to show the world that for the moment he was in charge. The terrorist act was a wake-up call, and a signal that the war had begun.

Behind the earthly conflict was a cosmic war, a battle for Christendom. As the title of Breivik’s manifesto indicates, he thought he was re-creating that historical moment in which Christianity was defended against the hordes, and Islam was purged from what he imagined to be the purity of European society.

Breivik meticulously detailed what he expected to be the historical trajectory of this war through four stages, culminating in 2083. He expected that the forces of multiculturalism would be tough, and would resist the efforts to combat it. “It will take us up to 70 years to win,” Breivik writes on page 811, but adds that “there is no doubt in our minds that we will eventually succeed.”

In the final phase, the civil war between the evil multiculturalists and the righteous few, a series of coup d’etats throughout Europe will overthrow the liberal forces. Then, finally “the deportation of Muslims” will begin, and European Christendom will be restored.

Is this a religious vision, and am I right in calling Breivik a Christian terrorist? It is true that Breivik—and McVeigh, for that matter—were much more concerned about politics, race, and history than about scripture and religious belief; with Breivik even going so far as to write that “It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).”

But much the same can be said about Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and many other Islamist activists. Bin Laden was a businessman and engineer, and Zawahiri was a medical doctor; neither were theologians or clergy. Their writings show that they were much more interested in Islamic history than theology or scripture, and imagined themselves as re-creating glorious moments in Islamic history in their own imagined wars. Tellingly, Breivik writes of al Qaeda with admiration, as if he would love to create a Christian version of their religious cadre.

If bin Laden is a Muslim terrorist, Breivik and McVeigh are surely Christian ones. Breivik was fascinated with the Crusades and imagined himself to be a member of the Knights Templar, the crusader army of a thousand years ago. But in an imagined cosmic warfare time is suspended, and history is transcended as the activists imagine themselves to be acting out timeless roles in a sacred drama. The tragedy is that these religious fantasies are played out in real time, with real and cruel consequences.


FBI Report on "Right Wing Terrorism" (Radical Christian Terrorism)

Excerpt from the official FBI REPORT ON TERRORISM IN THE USA:


The major themes espoused today by right-wing
groups are conspiracies, such as the New World
Order and gun-control laws, apocalyptic views
stemming from the approach of the millennium,
and white supremacy. Many right-wing extremist
groups also articulate antigovernment and/or anti -
taxation and anti-abortion sentiments, and engage
in survivalist and/or paramilitary training to ensure
the survival of the United States as a white,
Christian nation. A convergence of ideas has
occurred among right-wing white supremacist
groups. Efforts have been made by these groups to
reduce openly racist views in order to appeal to a
broader segment of the population and to focus
more attention on antigovernment rhetoric and
resistance to anti-Christian court decisions.
Many extremist right-wing organizations gener -
ally operate through political involvement within
the established system. Most activity is verbal and
is protected by the First Amendment right of free
speech. Adherents of extremist organizations are
generally law-abiding citizens who have become
intolerant of what they perceive to be violations of
their constitutional rights. Certain extremists,
however, such as members of the “militia” or “patriot” movement are unable to work within existing
structures of government. These activists wish to
remove federal involvement from a host of issues.
For example, some militia members do not identify
themselves as U.S. citizens and refuse to pay federal
income taxes.
Membership in a militia organization is not an
illegal activity in the United States. FBI interest in
the militia movement is based upon the rise of violence or potential for violence or criminal activity
stemming from the militia movement.
Militias are typically loose knit in nature.
Adherents often are members of multiple groups,
and because leaders of these groups tend to greatly
inflate membership levels, actual group size is difficult to determine.
The most ominous aspect of the militias is the
conviction, openly expressed by many members,
that an impending armed conflict with the federal
government necessitates paramilitary training and
the stockpiling of weapons. Some militia members
believe that federal authorities are enacting guncontrol legislation in order to make it impossible for
the people to resist the imposition of a “tyrannical
regime” or a “one-world dictatorship.” Many militia supporters believe that the conspiracy involves
the United Nations as well as federal authorities.
The growth of the militia movement is traced,
in part, to an effective communications system.
Organizers promote their ideology not only at militia meetings, but at gun shows, patriot rallies, and
gatherings of various other groups espousing
antigovernment sentiments. Video tapes, computer
bulletin boards, and networks such as the Internet
are used with great effectiveness by militia sympathizers. Exploiting yet another medium, pro-militia fax networks disseminate material from wellknown hate-group figures and conspiracy theorists.
Another phenomenon related to militias is the
establishment of so-called “Common Law Courts.”
These courts, which have no legitimate legal basis,
have self-appointed judges and juries, and have
issued nonbinding “indictments” or “warrants”
against law enforcement and government officials
who have investigated or served them legal papers


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who owns America? Hint: It's not China

Who owns America? Hint: It's not China

Editor's Note: The following piece comes from Global Post, which provides excellent coverage of world news - important, moving and odd.

By Tom Mucha, Global Post

Truth is elusive. But it's a good thing we have math.
Our friends at Business Insider know this, and put those two principles to work today in this excellent and highly informative little slideshow, made even more timely by the ongoing talks in Washington, D.C. aimed at staving off a U.S. debt default.
Here's the big idea:
Many people — politicians and pundits alike — prattle on that China and, to a lesser extent Japan, own most of America's $14.3 trillion in government debt.
But there's one little problem with that conventional wisdom: it's just not true. While the Chinese, Japanese and plenty of other foreigners own substantial amounts, it's really Americans who hold most of America's debt.
Here's a quick and fascinating breakdown by total amount held and percentage of total U.S. debt, according to Business Insider:

Hong Kong: $121.9 billion (0.9 percent)
Caribbean banking centers: $148.3 (1 percent)
Taiwan: $153.4 billion (1.1 percent)
Brazil: $211.4 billion (1.5 percent)
Oil exporting countries: $229.8 billion (1.6 percent)
Mutual funds: $300.5 billion (2 percent)
Commercial banks: $301.8 billion (2.1 percent)
State, local and federal retirement funds: $320.9 billion (2.2 percent)
Money market mutual funds: $337.7 billion (2.4 percent)
United Kingdom: $346.5 billion (2.4 percent)
Private pension funds: $504.7 billion (3.5 percent)
State and local governments: $506.1 billion (3.5 percent)
Japan: $912.4 billion (6.4 percent)
U.S. households: $959.4 billion (6.6 percent)
China: $1.16 trillion (8 percent)
The U.S. Treasury: $1.63 trillion (11.3 percent)
Social Security trust fund: $2.67 trillion (19 percent)

So America owes foreigners about $4.5 trillion in debt. But America owes America $9.8 trillion.

For a smart take on how President Obama and House Republicans should end gridlock over debt and deficits, see our new GlobalPost series The Negotiator, which features Wharton's negotiation guru Stuart Diamond.

And to bone up on China's debt — another potentially big global economic headache — check out this interview with brainy-yet-coherent Northwestern University economist Victor Shih, who spoke with GlobalPost's David Case.


Aftermath of 7/22 Radical Christian Terrorism: Oslo Crusader's Manifesto Details War Plan

Oslo, Norway (CNN) -- A rambling, 1,500-page manifesto purportedly written by the suspect in Friday's deadly terror attacks in Norway lays out right-wing extremist views and vows that a "European civil war" will lead to the execution of "cultural Marxists" and the banishing of Muslims.

"If you are concerned about the future of Western Europe you will definitely find the information both interesting and highly relevant," the author writes, adding later that his "European Declaration of Independence" took him nine years to complete.

While the title page of the document says "By Andrew Berwick," the writer later identifies himself as Anders Behring Breivik, the suspect in the Norwegian terrorist attacks.

The document -- part political diatribe, part confessional and part action plan -- also contains a link to an online video post with the same title.

CNN could not independently verify that Breivik wrote the document or posted the 12-minute video, and Norwegian authorities would not confirm that the man in their custody wrote the manifesto, saying it was part of their investigation.

Police told the Norwegian newspaper VG that the document is "linked" to Friday's attacks.
Norway shooting survivors react Norway stunned, distraught after attacks Shooter not 'on the police radar' Manifesto refers to European civil war

Text in the video rails against the "Islamization" of Europe and "cultural Marxists" and asserts that the majority of Europe's population will be Muslim by 2050 "unless we manage to defeat the ruling Multiculturalist Alliance."

"Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution, for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven," the video says.

Parts of the document use the same wording as the 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto written by "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and published in the Washington Post in 1995.

In one passage, the document published online last week uses the same wording as the Unabomber's manifesto, but substitutes the phrase "cultural Marxist" where Kaczynski used the word "leftist," and uses the word "Muslims" where Kaczynski used the phrase "black people."

The document contains some of the same anti-Muslim rhetoric that has become a part of mainstream debate in Norway, according to Anders Ravik Jupskaas, a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Oslo who studies right-wing political movements in Scandinavia.

"What you see here is this new European phenomenon of this anti-Islamic rhetoric, where it's not only the immigrants (who are enemies). In fact, the main enemy is the political elite," he said. "They argue that this political elite has betrayed their own country. They have imposed multiculturalism."

But the writer takes such philosophies to another level, he said.
"It's part of the same stream of ideas, but it's still very different in terms of extremeness," Jupskaas said.

The old saying 'if you want something done, then do it yourself' is as relevant now as it was then.

--Excerpt from manifesto




Norwegian authorities have said they are still trying to determine the motive behind the terror attacks.

In the manifesto, the author vilifies Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his Labour Party, which has majority control in Norway's government, accusing the party of perpetuating "cultural Marxist/multiculturalist ideals" and indoctrinating youth with those ideals. The author accuses the Labour Party of embracing those ideals and therefore allowing the "Islamification of Europe."

The manifesto speculates about would happen if the author were to survive "a successful mission and live to stand a multiculturalist trial."

"Not only will all my friends and family detest me and call me a monster; the united global multiculturalist media will have their hands full figuring out multiple ways to character assassinate, vilify and demonize," it says.

The manifesto and videoinclude photos that appear to match those of the suspect, some of which had been posted on his Facebook page and several never-before-seen images of the same man. The author leaves clues about his family and background, and also indicates that English is his "secondary language."

The document and video are titled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," a date that the author later explains is the year he believes an European civil war will end with the execution of cultural Marxists and the deportation of Muslims.

This "civil war" would come in three phases, he predicts. The first runs through 2030 and includes "open source warfare, military shock attacks by clandestine cell systems (and) further consolidation of conservative forces."

Between 2030 and 2070, he calls for "more advanced forms of resistance groups (and the) preparation of pan-European coup d'etats."

The final stage features the deposition of Europe's leaders and "implementation of a cultural conservative political agenda."

The author does not specifically explain why he chose the date 2083, though it is the 200th anniversary of the death of Karl Marx.

The manifesto and video also containphotos of Breivik in what appear to be uniforms, including one in which he is wearing a U.S. Marine dress jacket decorated with an Iron Cross, Knights Templar and Free Mason medals.

Another picture shows Breivik dressed in a wet suit with a patch that reads "Marxist Hunter" and holding a high-powered rifle.

The author states that he was moved to action dating to "my government's involvement" in NATO's 1999 strikes during the Kosovo campaign, claiming this wrongly targeted "our Serbian brothers (who) wanted to drive Islam out by deporting the Albanian Muslims back to Albania."
He also criticizes "my government's cowardly handling of the Muhammad cartoon issue" -- a reference to the Norwegian government's apology for the nation's private newspapers having repeatedly published the controversial cartoon. Another reference blasts Norway, home of the Nobel awards, for awarding a peace prize to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The author details his bomb-making experiments, including a theory that one should purchase a farm so that purchase of large amounts of fertilizer -- which can be used to make bombs -- is less likely to be noticed.

"Be extra careful when researching for bomb schematics (fertilizer bombs), as many terms will trigger electronic alerts," he writes, one of several tips that include using an "anonymous laptop and browse free to your local McDonalds" in order to "avoid ending up on any watch list."
Besides hands-on instructions, the document also functions as a running diary. It also includes references to his relatives' sexual indiscretions, entries on some of his friends' personal lives, and his own off-and-on steroid use.

From July 2 on, though, the author becomes more business-like and complains that going off his testosterone supplements had ramped up his "aggressiveness." He then digs up his guns and prepares the bombs. It all leads up to July 22, the date of the Norway terror attacks.

"The old saying 'if you want something done, then do it yourself' is as relevant now as it was then," he writes. "In many cases; you could do it all yourself, it will just take a little more time. AND, without taking unacceptable risks. The conclusion is undeniable.

"I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51."
Less than three hours later, a bomb went off in downtown Oslo.


MORE NEWS ABOUT CRUSADER TERROR:'Manifesto'+envisions+civil+war%0APicture+of+suspect+emerges%0ASuspect+writes+Q%26A+with+himself+%C2%A0Time%0ANorway+wakes+to+new+reality%0ASurvivor+played+dead+|+High-res+photos%0ANorway+mourns+its+victims%0AEurope's+resurgent+right's+focus#sclient=psy&hl=en&safe=off&source=hp&q=Norway+terror+attacks&pbx=1&oq=Norway+terror+attacks&aq=f&aqi=&aql=1&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=8652l8926l0l9949l2l2l0l0l0l0l305l521l2-1.1l2&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=4314f23e9084643a&biw=1366&bih=643

Norway terror attacks
Police: Suspect says he acted alone
'Manifesto' envisions civil war
Picture of suspect emerges
Suspect writes Q&A with himself Time
Norway wakes to new reality
Survivor played dead | High-res photos
Norway mourns its victims
Europe's resurgent right's focus

New reality series tracks lives of American Muslims

New reality series tracks lives of American Muslims
By Dan Gilgoff, Religion Editor

(CNN) - TLC is premiering a reality series about the lives of American Muslims this fall, "All American Muslim," the cable TV network announced this week.

The series tracks five Muslim families living around Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the nation's largest Muslim enclaves.

The series is about “inviting viewers into a world they might not otherwise experience,” said TLC's general manager Amy Winter in a press release.

"Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America," Winter said in the Thursday release, "providing insight into their culture with care and compassion.”

The series, which premieres in November, tracks "very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype," according to the release.

Characters include a pair of tight-knit sisters, one of whom wears a traditional Islamic headscarf and one who sports piercings and tattoos and has recently married an Irish Catholic man who is converting to Islam.

Another character is a consultant to big auto manufacturer and struggles to strike a balance between work and raising a modern Muslim family, according to the TLC release.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released earlier this year found that 46% of all Americans have a favorable view of American Muslims, while 26% have an unfavorable view.

"Overall, positive views of American Muslims have risen since 2002, when memories of 9/11 were still fresh in most Americans' minds," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland in March, when the poll was released.

In 2002, only 39% of all Americans said they had a favorable view of Muslims.

Oslo Crusader's Manifesto: "Dreaming of a Knight's Templar Europe"

Text in the video rails against the "Islamization" of Europe and "cultural Marxists" and asserts that the majority of Europe's population will be Muslim by 2050 "unless we manage to defeat the ruling Multiculturalist Alliance."

"Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution, for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven," the video says.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norwegian massacre gunman was a right-wing Christian extremist who hated Muslims

Norwegian massacre gunman was a right-wing extremist who hated Muslims

Suspect named by Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik
Police believe he is not connected to Islamist organisations
'Loner' lived with mother in a wealthy suburb and is well-educated
Posted on Twitter: 'One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests'
Farm business gave him easy access to fertiliser - an ingredient used in bomb-making

Read more:


The massacre in Norway was the work of a man with extreme right wing views who hated Muslims, police said this morning.
Officers found a series of raving internet posts by 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, who was been charged with two accounts of terrorism after gunning down children on the island of Utoya and detonating a bomb in Oslo yesterday.
Media reports in Norway described Breivik as a 'loner', who lived with his mother in a wealthy suburb of west Oslo, was well-educated and enjoyed hunting.
Only a few days ago he set up a Twitter account and posted a single message: 'One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests'.
It is attributed to the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose concept of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.
The account appears to have only been set up a few days ago.
On his Facebook profile, Breivik describes himself as a Christian and a conservative.
It also listed interests such as body-building and freemasonry.
Breivik is believed to have grown up in Oslo, and studied at the Oslo School of Management.
He later appears to have moved out of the city and established Breivik Geofarm, a company believed to be an organic farm.
It specialised in melons and root vegetables. There is speculation among the media in Norway that this may have allowed him easy access to fertiliser, an ingredient used in bomb-making.
Along with the farm, he also appears to own a flat in Oslo. Breivik had no military background except for ordinary national service and no criminal record.
It is thought that the 32-year-old is a former member of Labour's opposition youth party, Fremskrittspartiet.
According the website, Breivik expressed extremist Islamophobic views on forums and criticised immigration policies.
He argued on a Swedish news website that the media were not critical enough about Islam and claimed that Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom in the Netherlands was the only 'true' party of conservatives.
He argued that socialism was breaking down traditions, culture, national identity and other societal structures and that this in turn made society weak and confused.
He claimed to admire the Norwegian Second World War hero Max Manus, a highly decorated sailor who was an expert in sinking Nazi ships.
Breivik's Facebook profile listed his favourite books as The Trial by Franz Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
His favourite TV show was named as Dexter - a series about a Miami police forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer of criminals whom he believes have escaped justice.
Police officer Roger Andresen said today: 'He is clear on the point that he wants to explain himself.'
Andersen said the suspect posted on websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies. He did not describe the websites in any more details.
National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told public broadcaster NRK that the suspected gunman's Internet postings 'suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but if that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen'.
Six foot tall and blond Breivik is reported to have arrived on the island of Utoya dressed as a policeman and opened fire after beckoning several young people over in his native Norwegian tongue.
Reports suggest he was also seen loitering around the site of the bomb blast in Oslo two hours before the island incident.
Police said later that the suspect had right-wing and anti-Muslim views, but the motive for the attacks was unclear.
The Norwegian daily Verdens Gang quoted a friend as saying he became a rightwing extremist in his late 20s. It said he expressed strong nationalistic views in online debates and had been a strong opponent of the idea that people of different cultural backgrounds can live alongside each other.
An official said the gunman used both automatic weapons and handguns, and that there was at least one unexploded device at the youth camp that a police bomb disposal team and military experts were working on disarming.
Some 91 are believed to have been killed - seven in Oslo and 84 on Utoya Island, 50 miles north of the capital.
Initially it was not known what were the motives of the gunman and architect of the car bomb - whether they or the single person had been radicalised and was part of a militant Muslim group waging Jihad or was trying to further a home-grown political cause.
But it now appears Breivik was behind both attacks, a fact that it took police hours to realise as the mayhem ensued.

Crime scene: The 32-year-old Norwegian is said to have used this white van to drive onto the island of Utoya
The incidents come as social tensions with Norway heighten in recent months over the country’s perceived stance on Islamic issues.

Fatal: Seven people were killed in the Oslo bomb blast (pictured)
Though a long-standing Nato member, Norway has not attracted many enemies because it has tended to stay out of international conflicts.
However, it has recently increased its military presence in Muslim countries such as Afghanistan or Libya, a move bound to anger fanatics.
There was anger among some of the 150,000 Muslims living in Norway when a newspaper reproduced the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in January last year.
Last night ‘Helpers of the Global Jihad’ posted a message on the internet claiming the bombing was ‘only the beginning’ of the retaliation over the cartoons.
But this has been dismissed by some commentators as a publicity stunt.
Other Scandinavian countries have faced radical Islamic attacks in the past.
Violence erupted in Denmark after a newspaper published a cartoon of the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb in 2005.
And last December an Islamic suicide bomber, who was radicalised in Britain, set off a bomb in Stockholm.
Police would not speculate on who was responsible for the attack or whether international groups were involved.
But the country is also in the midst of grappling with a homegrown terror plot linked to al-Qaeda.
Two suspects are in jail awaiting charges.
Last week, a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the Scandinavian country.
The indictment centred on statements that Mullah Krekar - the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam - made to various news media, including American network NBC.

MASSACRE AT KIDS' CAMP: More than 30 feared dead as terrorist opens fire at Norwegian summer camp and car bomb devastates Oslo
'Norway's 9/11': At least 30 feared dead in double attack on Norwegian capital and holiday island
Terrified teens 'swam for their lives and hid in trees' as island gunman fired at them
Jihadist groups have also made recent threats to Norway over plans to expel Mullah Krekar, the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam.
Norway's support of NATO's mission in Libya also earned it enemies, Bob Ayers, a former U.S. intelligence officer, told AP.

Suspect: The 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who has been arrested after the attacks
'Norwegians are in Afghanistan. They're in Tripoli. They reprinted the cartoons,' he said.
Many intelligence analysts said they had never heard of Helpers of Global Jihad, which took initial credit. Ansar al-Islam also took credit on some jihadist web sites.
And Ayers said it appeared more than one person was involved.

Wrecked: The blast in Oslo was outside a government office
Asked at a press conference in Tripoli about Libya's reaction to the events in Oslo, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said, 'We never support any acts of terrorism whatsoever.'
But he suggested NATO's policies could have prompted the attack, saying, 'NATO is planting terrorism in the hearts of many. This is unfortunate and sad.'
Authorities in Norway and other Scandinavian countries have focused on anti-terrorism tactics that frustrate countries like the U.S. that are more aggressive about making arrests.
Scandinavian authorities fight terrorism by disrupting plots, sometimes telling suspects they know what they're up to, and warning them of the consequences.
Terror convictions are also difficult to get because of scepticism in Scandinavian courts toward cases built on intent - as most terrorism trials are - and a demand for more evidence than in the U.S. and many other places.
Europe has been the target of numerous terror plots by Islamist militants.
The deadliest was the 2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs exploded, killing 191 people and wounding about 1,800.
A year later, suicide bombers killed 52 rush-hour commuters in London aboard three subway trains and a bus.
And in 2006, U.S. and British intelligence officials thwarted one of the largest plots yet - a plan to explode nearly a dozen trans-Atlantic airliners.
In October, the U.S. State Department advised American citizens living or travelling in Europe to take more precautions following reports that terrorists may be plotting attacks on a European city.
Some countries went on heightened alert after the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden.
Intelligence analysts said they doubted the attack was linked to bin Laden's death.
'Al-Qaida would have targeted something closer to U.S. interests if it was related to bin Laden,' Ayers said.

Read more:

Friday, July 15, 2011

FBI to probe Fox News & Murdoch's other companies over Sept. 11 allegation

News Corp: The Evil Theocratic Empire of Rupert Murdoch...

FBI to probe Murdoch's company over Sept. 11 allegation


Washington (CNN) -- The FBI has launched an investigation into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. after a report that employees or associates may have attempted to hack into phone conversations and voice mail of September 11 survivors, victims and their families, a federal law enforcement source told CNN Thursday.

"We are aware of the allegations and are looking into them," said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigation. "We'll be looking at anyone acting for or on behalf of News Corp., from the top down to janitors," to gather information and determine whether any laws may have been broken.

Because the investigation just began, it's too early to say when the first interviews will be conducted, the source said, adding the probe is a "high priority."

New York Rep. Peter T. King, a Republican, earlier this week asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the possibility that journalists working for Murdoch may have tapped into the phones of 9/11 victims and relatives.

News Corp. said Thursday it had no comment on the FBI investigation or the possibility of congressional hearings.

Concerns appear to be traceable to a story published Wednesday by the Mirror, a British tabloid that includes a section it describes as "gossip gone toxic."

The newspaper cited "a source" who referred to a former police officer who now works as a private investigator. "The investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims' private phone data," the source reportedly told the newspaper. The source told the Mirror the request came from News of the World, the newspaper at the center of the phone-hacking scandal in Britain.

Rupert Murdoch will attend UK hearing Hacked Off calls for full public inquiry FOX avoiding News of the World scandal? Senator calls for probe of News Corp.

"He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their relatives," the newspaper said.
"His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voice mails, just like has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.

"The investigator said the journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks."

Relatives of the victims of the terrorist attacks expressed outrage over the possibility the journalists may have been hacking victims.

What they went through is "heartfelt stuff, and it shouldn't be out there for all to see unless the family approves," said Jim Riches, a retired New York Fire Department deputy chief who lost a son in the attacks.

"Until we get some accountability, they're just going to keep doing it," Riches said. "It's completely unethical, unprofessional and basically criminal."

Sally Regenhard, who also lost a son in the attacks, called it "very horrifying that privacy and personal security could be violated in such an egregious manner."

"I would hold these people accountable and responsible," she told CNN Thursday. "Someone has to defend the dead."

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said the September 11 families have "suffered enough" and deserve answers.

Pressure mounted for a federal investigation into Murdoch's media empire, as a key member of a House oversight committee called for Congress to look into the allegation that one of his U.S.-based companies may have broken anti-bribery and other laws.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, told CNN that "Congress has important oversight responsibilities" in responding to the charges and "getting to the bottom of this evolving scandal."

"My number one priority is to protect U.S. citizens from violation of the law," he said.
News of the World, a 168-year-old British newspaper owned by Murdoch, folded over the weekend in the wake of accusations that its reporters illegally eavesdropped on the phone messages of murder and terrorist victims, politicians and celebrities. Police in the United Kingdom have identified almost 4,000 potential targets of phone hacking.

There also were allegations that reporters may have bribed law enforcement officers.
On Wednesday, several senators sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to look into concerns that News Corp. violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law, enacted in 1977, makes it illegal for a U.S. person or company to pay foreign officials to obtain or retain business.

Potential liability flows from journalists at News of the World to its parent, News International, and to its parent, News Corp., which is a publicly held company in the United States.

Rupert's News Corp. -- the parent company of Fox News -- may have engaged in "political espionage or personal espionage," Braley said.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, told CNN earlier this week he may start his own investigation.

"My bet is we'll find some criminal stuff," Rockefeller said. "This is going to be a huge issue."

In an interview published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp., Rupert Murdoch said the company would establish its own independent committee "to investigate every charge of improper conduct."

Murdoch said the committee, to be led by a "distinguished non-employee," also will draw up a "protocol for behavior" for the company's new reporters.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, told "John King USA" that he wrote a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, asking that the British government share information from its investigation about any possible phone tapping of U.S. citizens.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Responsibility of the American Shia: Part I

This is a very timely and important article regarding the American Muslim Community and especially the American Shia Muslim Community specifically:  
This article will explore the responsibilities that come with the unique identity of being an American Shia Muslim. This means it will not include the many responsibilities that come with American citizenship alone or the countless more that come with the practice of the Twelver tradition. Surely, the scope of such an endeavor would require more effort than this writer can muster.
The idea for this article has been brewing for some time now but with the recent increase in discussions among American Shias regarding our community affairs, no time has seemed better than the present.

The Question of Culture

It is natural to retain an attachment to the culture of one's parents or even distant ancestors. Culture is a set of values and traditions created and practiced to allow emotional fulfillment or disapproval through appropriate behavior by members of its group. In this way, it establishes a complex symbol of community pride defined by a shared history and common experiences. If not obvious already, the question is whether the many Arab, South Asian, African, and other cultures that exist within our community have a place in the future of the American Shia experience. Indeed, they do in so much as they will define in our hearts and minds our individual sense of who we are, our connection to our individual past, and the experiences of our immigrant relatives – those courageous souls who found their way to a far away land with nothing but promise. The fear is that if we replace their traditions with our own, ones that may better represent our needs as a community here, that somehow we will betray their legacies.
This fear requires closer examination. First, let's try to imagine the fear of those that brought us here. Maybe 20, 50, 100 years ago, a young man sat at a dinner table talking to his parents about his dream to go to America. After much laughter and a subsequent scolding, he finished his dinner and went to bed. But for some reason, his dream lingered, floating around the voices of fear in his head, fears that said "How dare you leave your parents behind to live in a Kafir country", "what will your extended family think?","have you forgotten who you are?", "your country needs you". Was his journey to America a betrayal? Perhaps he felt that way – perhaps it is guilt that caused our parents to re-establish their cultural traditions here in the US. Or perhaps when traveling to a land of opportunity, they conquered their fears, followed their rebellious dreams, and brought their values and traditions with them and established religious and cultural institutions here to ensure their coming generations would not forget their most cherished beliefs. It is important to emphasize that this single courageous decision of every American Shia immigrant creates the unique set of responsibilities and opportunities that we have the privilege of discussing now.
So the question then is whether our fears of betraying the culture of our parents is reason enough to dismiss the opportunities that lie in front of us. Indeed, they are not. Rather, to honor their adventurous spirit, it is imperative that we embrace their courageous attitudes. Yes, that is right – we are the children of visionaries.
The fact is, as a community we have succeeded in establishing religious institutions where we can practice our Shia traditions in whichever language and tradition we choose. This is because our most cherished values are defined outside of any culture, through the verses of the Holy Qur'an and actions of our beloved Prophet's Holy Family (peace be upon them) which transcend language. And throughout the 1400 years of our history, Shias have practiced their faith in diverse societies, spreading the message of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) in every language and through the fibers of every culture.
It is appropriate to note here that the most famous poet and reciter of Noha in the South Asian subcontinent and Urdu-speaking world, Ali Mohammed Rizvi, known to his fans as Sachey, meaning 'truthful', was a controversial figure when he first emerged in Pakistan. Many elders of the community at that time were against some of his recitations because they felt they were too socio-political in nature. But the delivery and message was so compelling that Sachey single-handedly established a new dramatic culture within the Muharram commemorations of Pakistan and India, one that countered the anti-Shia political rhetoric of that time. And today, he is considered a traditionalist. So, the measure of what is appropriate for contemporary culture in this regard can and should only be judged by the new generation of American Shias who bear the responsibility of establishing a new artistic tradition. The road is open for new passionate poets inspired by Karbala to harness the growing atmosphere of human rights and social justice here in America and build it into a new social movement through new compelling, artistic mediums.
So, the need for an American Shia culture should now be a foregone conclusion. This entails establishing traditions in English with unique American cultural expressions, whether it is through original poetry, literature, dramatic performance, theatrical plays, or cinematic films. New American Shia traditions must also be established for our Eid celebrations and Muharram commemorations using these same mediums. And it is the collective responsibility of our entire community to create spaces where those American Shias with special creative talents are allowed to experiment with such Halal artistic expressions freely, without judgment.

The Shia-Sunni Question

American Muslim institutions that do not acknowledge our individual identities will not bring the community together. There are plenty of examples of substantial American Muslim organizations that have placated Shias, taken their donations, and invited them to join their boards during their formation, only to eject them politely or through social pressure when the organization started to flourish. It is the responsibility of the minority to demand its inclusion in larger American Muslim groups. This recognition must include a verbalization of different historical narratives and perspectives in the Islamic tradition, distinctions in belief, and a subsequent re-acknowledgement of brotherhood and sisterhood despite these differences.
Any majority community cannot be expected to take these actions on its own. We need only look at recent history to see the struggle of minorities to achieve something near racial equality and egalitarian reform here in the United States and across the world. Although it may seem unbelievable to many of us that such inequities could have ever existed, the sad reality is that they still exist. And in the case of the oppression of Shias, they have existed for over 1400 years.
Park51 Community Center in downtown Manhattan is one example of an attempt to build community with an intrafaith focus. Just last year, Park51 held Majalis on all 10 days of Muharram 2010 AD/1433 AH. These commemorations were in English and included amateur poetry. Although we have a long way to go in developing inspirational material and mediums in this regard, it was exactly the open and creative space we needed to experiment and invite those who had never attended a Majalis to participate.
Some say this is not the Prophetic way, not Islamic. This assertion highlights a major issue in our understanding of how to behave in our society today. There is a difference between merely copying actions and acting with the spirit of the Prophets and Imams (peace be upon them) in our particular situation and circumstances. If the former was the case, every Imam would have taken the same actions as Imam Hussain, but not every Imam was at Karbala. It is the latter that we are meant to pursue as Muslims to live as effective human beings in our respective communities. So imagining what a community center would look like in the time of the Prophet would only be relevant to his particular circumstance whereas the method he used would be relevant for all times and places. One thing is for sure: all the Prophets and Imams did not preach and practice solely inside the mosque.
What we are talking about are not interfaith activities, which are essentially politically-correct efforts to soften the idea that we actually think other religions are wrong. Rather, we are talking about building community and learning how to fully function with each other in society despite our honestly expressed differences. This means walking the same halls together, dining together, attending lectures together, debating, performing community service together, and really trying to understand how to live amongst each other. This has not been achieved anywhere in the world. New York City, the most intellectually diverse city in our nation and in particular Park51 is a first time for American Muslims to lead such an effort. We need to be the ones building such community centers all over the country, keeping in mind the specific needs of local communities.
This is a Part 1 of a 3 part series to be published in the coming issues of Islamic Insights.
Mohammad Ali Naquvi is a lawyer and community activist based in New York, NY.  He is Secretary to the Board of Trustees of Mohsena Memorial Foundation and Founder of Independent Viewpoints, an organization that endeavors to bring American Muslims and non-Muslims together on common civic concerns.  He can be reached at
Editor's Note: As with all opinion pieces, views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Islamic Insights or its staff and writers.