Jul 24, 2011

Norway suspect sought 'Christian war' against Islam


Norway suspect sought 'Christian war' against Islam

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

By Getty Images, Getty Images
Islamophobia has reached a mass murder level in Norway as the confessed killer claims he sought to combat encroachment by Muslims into his country and Europe.

Anders Behring Breivik's bombing and shooting spree puts the spotlight back on Europe's uneasy adjustment to a shifting population.

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According to The New York Times, he called for

... a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination... And acquaintances described him as a gun-loving Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threats of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

Thomas Hegghammer, a terrorism specialist at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, told the times that Breivik's manuscript, like the major Qaeda declarations, include...

detailed accounts of the Crusades, a pronounced sense of historical grievance and calls for apocalyptic warfare to defeat the religious and cultural enemy.

But despite Breivik's fears of cultural shifts, Muslims today are only 6% of the region's population -- and just 3% of the population in Norway, 34% of them immigrants, according to a massive study by the The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, released in January

It found Muslims will be more than one-quarter of the Earth's population by 2030 -- but only 8% of the population in Europe and 6.5% of the population in Norway. The Future of the Global Muslim Population analyzed statistics from United Nations data and census material from more than 200 countries and studies by 50 international demographers, using birth rates, death rates, immigration and more, for the study.

In Europe as a whole, the Muslim share of the population is expected to grow by nearly one-third over the next 20 years... rising to 8% in 2030. In absolute numbers, Europe's Muslim population is projected to grow from 44.1 million in 2010 to 58.2 million in 2030.

The Pew Forum is now working on similar comprehensive population studies for other religious groups. But statistics don't shed any light on the confessed actions of Breivik. According to wire service reports:

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told reporters that the attacks, believed to be the work of a man who has posted on Christian fundamentalist websites, showed you can't jump to conclusions about terror acts. He said most of the political violence that Norway has seen has come from the extreme right.

So, I have a bundle of questions now.

Who here knows exactly what's meant by Norwegian Christian fundamentalist? Should such terms be tossed about without definition? Is he a terrorist because he's Christian or a Christian who happens to be a terrorist or, if he's a terrorist, can he really be a Christian at all? And isn't that exactly the same points Muslims make about terrorists who claim to be Islamic?

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