We’d like to believe that the Holocaust could never happen again. Surely, we’ve learned from the slaughter of millions that we as people are all one, and there is no superior or inferior race, no racial cleansing necessary, no needless murder justified. According to this CNN article, a picture is emerging of the Norwegian terrorist who murdered at least 86 people between his ambush on Utoya Island and the government buildings he simultaneously bombed in Oslo. The suspect, who has been arrested and has plead not guilty, is 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik. Apparently, he is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who may have had an issue with Norway’s multi-cultural society. Jonas Kallmyr is quoted as saying that encountering Breivik was “like meeting Hitler before World War II.”
The last Twitter post on Breivik’s account is chilling. “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests,” it says, adapting a quote from 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill.
How his extremist beliefs fit in with what he is alleged to have done remains to be explored, but we can assume, since he targeted a political youth retreat full of Labour Party political party members and a government building of the same political leaning, that it had something to do with politics. A 1,500 page manifesto he published online may hold the key. The document, which apparently took him nine years to write, rants against Muslims and how they’re overtaking Europe, and calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism, and execute “cultural Marxists.” In the manifesto, the author vilifies Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his Labour Party, and accuses the party of perpetuating “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist ideals” and indoctrinating youth with those ideals. According to the manifesto, the Labour Party is responsible for allowing the “Islamification of Europe” and needs to be stopped.
So with the misguided fervor and racial intolerance that fueled the actions of people like Hitler, the 9/11 terrorists, and those responsible for the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, the world is mourning, once again.
When Will It End?
Will we always have to grieve the loss of people who have died at the hands of those who are intolerant of differences? Will we never be free of such mass murder in the name of politics and religion? Will we ever learn that we as people are all one, and harm aimed at any one of us injures us all? When will we learn, and when will the madness end?
And where is the love, people? I’m all for standing up for what you believe. Go ahead. Wave picket signs. March on the Capitol. Write letters to your Congressperson. Publish manifestos. Speak your truth. Write what’s true for you. Stand for your beliefs, even if they’re unpopular.
But how can murder in the name of your belief ever be justified? How can anti-abortion crusaders rationalize killing doctors while calling themselves “Pro-Life?” How can terrorists kill in the name of religion? How did Hitler ever convince the Nazi army to slaughter perfectly innocent people?