|In light of the fatal Norway attacks which took place on 22nd July 2011, investigations into the background and motives of Anders Behring Breivik have sought to shed light on the ideology which drove him to commit such an atrocity. Breivik had broadly justified his acts in the name of defending Europe from what appeared to him to be the dangerous Islamisation of the continent. |
One key element identified by IRR are the non-violent ‘counter-jihadists’ who take strongly to the idea that Europe is being slowly ‘Islamised’ and will succumb eventually to the imposition of shari’ah law.
“Whereas Breivik saw himself as a political soldier in a revolution against Muslims, multiculturalism and civilisational decline, most counterjihadists, while sharing much of Breivik’s discursive frameworks and vocabulary, stop short of advocating violence as a means of achieving their goals,” the paper notes.
At the other end of the spectrum lie the neo conservatives, or cultural conservatives, which include individuals such as Education Secretary Michael Gove; Douglas Murray of the Center for Social Cohesion; Baroness Caroline Cox, and journalist Melanie Phillips (see also here),
“They do not directly support the idea that there is a deliberate conspiracy theory to Islamicise Europe and impose multiculturalism, and they certainly do not advocate violence. Rather they warn that through omission, through naivity, through an unwillingness to act, or even recognise the dangers ahead, Liberal elites leave Europe vulnerable to Islamisation… For such neoconservative writers, combating Islamisation is also part of their duty, as intellectuals, to combat…civilisational decline, and the sapping of the European creative spirit”.
The briefing paper also identifies that within the discourse there exists a staunch and uncompromising defense of Israel,
“These neoconservatives also share the counterjihadists’ and extreme Right’s fascination with Israel as a muscular nation, uncorrupted by European decadence (ie cultural relativism and hatred of its colonial past) and thus best placed to defend civilisational values in the face of the Islamic onslaught.”
The paper then goes on to identify some of the key strands which run through the conspiracy of a Europe in the process of ‘Islamisation’, including the conquest of Islam through immigration and the idea of ‘Eurabia’; the development of the idea of the clash of civilisations with a focus on Islam vs the west; the idea of ‘Islamofascism’ which identifies Islam as a whole as an extreme religion; hatred of the Prophet Muhammed; and the ‘new anti-semitism,’ which conflates anti-Zionism, particularly in the Arab world, with anti-semitism.
The briefing paper provides a good background for people who seek to understand more deeply some of the ideas driving Islamophobia in Europe and the currents underpinning them. The briefing paper is available to read in full, here.
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