Analyzing the Motives of the Oslo Terrorist

Last Friday, a crazed lunatic set off a car bomb in Olso and went on a shooting rampage at a Labour Party Youth Camp. His latter victims were trapped on an island, defenseless. The death toll is estimated at 76. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims' families.

Immediately after the attack, with few people knowing anything about it, there was a flurry of speculation as to what ideology the terrorist subscribed to. In particular, it came out that he was probably a conservative and a Christian. Many were quick to pounce on this and blame Christianity for promoting terrorism. It demonstrated an appalling lack of objectivity. Whatever its faults, Christianity does not promote terrorism.

As better details emerge about the terrorist, he is indeed turning out to be politically on the right but with strong views against Marxism and Islam, though this is far from the whole story. He may be Christian but that is not what motivated him. He seems to be his very own strand of crazy.

So far, it does seem like the mainstream media has been responsible enough to not try to hang this terrorist attack around the neck of any given ideology. Perhaps they are all hanging their head in shame for jumping the gun so quickly. More likely, I think Breivik’s views are not ones that the media or population at large have been taught to hate, thus they just don’t know what to make of it. His views are also so scattered and contradictory that any sensible person would be wise to not accuse a particular ideology as being to blame, for it is likely easy to prove Breivik had just as many left leaning views as right leaning ones. The one specific group that will take a blow from this will be those who are critical of Islam—who will likely be associated, by some radical left wing groups, with the Oslo terrorist. The majority of America, however, will not do this.

I think it is important to take a serious and objective look at any terrorist’s motives and to determine what philosophical errors they may have, thus driving them to become violent. I did the same thing after 9/11. After Muslim terrorists hijacked American planes and used them as missiles to target innocent civilians, I studied their professed and stated motivation: Islam. It is clear, after studying Islam, that this ideology of hate, which preaches the killing of all infidels, drove them. Terrorists are not created in a vacuum; poisonous and/or mentally unstable ideas drive them.

Anders Behrin Breivik, the terrorist, left a 1500+ page “manifesto” to describe his exact ideology and motives. It is impossible to get through the entire thing so I will say that the following is what I gathered from it after skimming it—getting the main point of a section then moving on until the subject changed. After 9/11 I analyzed the Koran—a book I found abhorrent and miserable to read—and I am doing the same thing after this terrorist attack, by reading his “European Declaration of Independence.”

His manifesto is a very bizarre document to read. He starts off with very pointed arguments against Marxism—that it is against human nature—a point many people probably agree with. He also praises the US Declaration of Independence—a point virtually every American will agree with. He has a very long section criticizing Islam. He also claims to favor a 2-parent home and to return to more traditional values.

But then at the end of the document, he argues in favor of segregated liberal versus conservative zones, with liberals being allowed to engage in free love and homosexuality. Although he says he favors a 2-parent home, he describes how children can be raised in a controlled, communal environment:

The only alternative would be that the state, or state funded institutions take on the role for fostering these children. This is how the arrangements could work:

A large facility or a so called “boarding home” is created which is divided into 5 separate areas:

Although he writes against Marx and in favor of the US Declaration of Independence, he writes: “Being right-wing and anti-Marxist does not mean you oppose the idea of a welfare state.” I will say that statements like this are very European. Very few Americans think this way (in favor of a welfare state).

But what really drove this lunatic? What ultimately turned the crazy switch on? I take Breivik at his word regarding what is really important to him and what really drives him. He writes: 

This is primarily a cultural fight between nationalism (Monoculturalism) and internationalism (multiculturalism) and not an economical war between capitalism and socialism.

This statement is one of utter racism. He wants to keep Norway ethnically pure. I contend that Breivik was not just anti-Islam but anti-Muslim. There is a difference—a very large, very important difference.

I am not at all bothered to tell you that I am anti-Islam. It is a miserable religion that preaches hatred and violence toward infidels. I did a study of the Koran and found that over 50% of it is insults aimed at infidels: that they are stupid, thankless, liars; that Allah hates them; that they will be choked to death; and will go to hell where they will have no friends. It calls for war against infidels until all the world be of God’s. Muslims have rights to conquered infidels’ houses and women. It is abusive to women and outright advocates rape. It is a scourge that has kept the Middle East in worse than the Dark Ages.

However, my stance has always been—and always will be—against Islam and not Muslims. You may say: but a Muslim is one who follows Islam. Yes, I know. The problem is most Muslims are Muslim in name only and really have no idea what their religion preaches. Estimates easily put over half the world’s Muslim population as illiterate. Of the ones who are literate, they probably don’t read the Koran. Many Muslims feel pressured to call themselves “Muslim” even if they don’t believe—it is the thuggish law in many countries. The ones who become terrorists are the ones who devoutly study the Koran. It is not the muddled poor that orchestrate Islamic jihad but the rich and educated.

As such, I believe this is an ideological battle against Islam. I favor completely peaceful methods to criticize this scourge: open and free debate. In my opinion, this is the most powerful way to combat Islam—a way that is completely bloodless. I do not favor any physical war in any way against Muslims as such. The Crusades proved to be a gigantic waste of lost lives, time, and resources. It would be impossible to physically eradicate Islam by eradicating every Muslim—not to mention grossly unethical. I also do not favor immigration policies against Muslims. As an American, my experience with Muslims is they come to America and easily assimilate. In my opinion, there is only one criterion to wage any kind of violence against a person: are they violent themselves? Any Muslim who has committed or vows to commit violence should be hunted down and brought to justice. Terrorists and criminals should not be allowed into peaceful countries. But for peaceful people, I welcome them with open arms.

Breivik takes the completely opposite stance of mine. He sees it as a war against physical people: anyone not Norwegian, especially Muslims. In fact, he is blatantly opposed to ideology of any sort:

One of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, “This system must be true.” Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points.

He further writes that: “War or armed resistance has traditionally always been used as a last resort, used when dialogue has proven to be ineffective.”

If you do not believe in “ideologies” (ideas); if you think dialogue has proven ineffective, you see the world in simple terms of physicality. If ideas cannot be discussed and reasoned, you cannot eliminate problems through reason; you can only eradicate them by violence. This is what flipped Breivik’s crazy switch on.

Like any awful situation, there are a multiple number of factors involved. Breivik’s actions very much strike me as the actions of a man who felt like a caged animal. This is not to excuse his behavior in any manner whatsoever. Europe, however, does not hold free speech as the high value that America does. They do not allow people to simply speak out about what they disagree with—something that is completely harmless. If you cannot speak out or reason, you may feel like Breivik does—that reason and debate are useless.

Also, I believe that the welfare state that he speaks so highly of contributes to the very “Muslim problem” that Breivik talks about. The welfare state is directly opposed to what we call the American Dream. The American Dream is that if you put enough work into it, you can succeed at almost anything. This fundamentally means that we are not each other’s Brother’s Keepers but rather whatever success we get, we keep. I believe this is why Muslims come to America and easily assimilate. There is so much opportunity here that they easily gets jobs, acquire wealth, and by the 2nd or 3rd generation, most Muslim immigrants have abandoned the traditions of their Muslim faith. That does not happen in Europe. It is very difficult to find opportunity or advancement in Europe. As such, Muslims do not assimilate. They stay segregated and keep their religious traditions.

To associate Breivik’s actions with Tea Party values, conservatism, or pro-American or pro-Western values is completely dishonest. If anything, his views are reminiscent of past European dictators. Like Hitler, he favors nationalism. Like Mussolini, who advanced fascism, he favors a totalitarian state.  

And, as far as his stance on Islam, one man’s actions do not alter what Islam is or its bloody history. I do hope that after this attack some of the racist rhetoric against Muslims dies down. But, after the continued attacks by Muslims against many Western countries, we have earned the right to be as critical of this religion as we want to be. Deal with it.

Perhaps with an honest look at what drives terrorism—and the total freedom to speak out against the evil ideologies that inspire it—the world can one day be terrorist free.

Amber Pawlik
July 25, 2011


Islam on Trial: The Prosecution’s Case
Amber Pawlik
An article that argues that the violent ideology of Islam is the root of Islamic terrorism. Until we challenge Islam ideologically, Islamic terrorism will not be defeated. It includes a statistical study of the Koran which found over 50% of it is hatred of infidels. 16 pages long.

This article is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976. No part may be copied.