How Jihad Influenced the Norway Massacre
In his manifesto, Anders Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norway massacre, in which 80 people were killed and many wounded, mentioned the Crusades and aspects of it as they had been an inspirational factor to him. Predictably, Western elites—especially through the mainstream media—have begun a new round of moral, cultural, and historical relativism, some even conflating the terrorist with former President Bush, who once used the word "crusade."
The fact is, there are important parallels between the Crusades and Breivik's actions—but hardly the way portrayed by the media. Ironically, this terrorist attack, like the historic Crusades, was influenced by the doctrine of jihad.
While many are aware that historically the Crusades were a retaliation to centuries of Muslim aggression (see Rodney Stark's God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades), few are aware that the idea of Christian "holy war"—notably the use of violence in the name of Christianity and the notion that Crusaders who die are martyrs forgiven their sins—finds its ideological origins in Muslim jihad.
As historian Bernard Lewis puts it, "Even the Christian crusade, often compared with the Muslim jihad, was itself a delayed and limited response to the jihad and in part also an imitation." How? The popes offered
forgiveness for sins to those who fought in defense of the holy Church of God and the Christian religion and polity, and eternal life for those fighting the infidel. These ideas … clearly reflect the Muslim notion of jihad, and are precursors of the Western Christian Crusade.
Still, Lewis makes clear some fundamental differences:
But unlike the jihad, it [the Crusade] was concerned primarily with the defense or reconquest of threatened or lost Christian territory. … The Muslim jihad, in contrast, was perceived as unlimited, as a religious obligation that would continue until all the world had either adopted the Muslim faith or submitted to Muslim rule. … The object of jihad is to bring the whole world under Islamic law.
If the Crusades arguably find their ideological origins in jihad, so too does much of modern day terrorism. The medieval Hashashin— archetypal terrorists who gave us the word "assassin"—were, for example, a Muslim sect that pioneered the use of fear and terrorism for political gain during the Crusader era, around the eleventh-thirteenth centuries.
Because much of this background is missed by the media, more ironies abound. Many point, for instance, to Breivik's fascination with the Knights Templar, a Crusading order, as proof that he was motivated by the Crusades. Yet, as one AP report indicates, "The Knights Templar was a medieval order created to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade in the 11th century."
How exactly a military order devoted to protecting Christians inspired someone to kill innocent children in Norway is left unanswered. As one historian put it, the original Knights Templar, a "very devout people," would be "horrified" to find themselves compared to Breivik.
Even more ironic, the Knights and Crusaders in general were frequently on the receiving end of the Assassins' terror; far from being inspirations for terrorism, they bore the brunt of one of the earliest manifestations of Islamic terrorism.
In reality, Breivik's actions are more inspired by the Jihad than by the Crusades, by the Assassins rather than the Templars, and by al-Qaeda—"which he cherishes great admiration for"—than the IRA. As CNN's Fareed Zakaria correctly asserts that in Breivik's view, "the Knights Templar resembles nothing so much as al Qaeda."
The parallels are evident: Medieval Europe, in an effort to retaliate against an expansionist Islam, articulated a means influenced by jihad, or "holy war": the Crusades. Today, modern Europeans like Breivik, in an effort to retaliate against an expansionist Islam, have articulated a means influenced by al-Qaeda: jihadi-style terrorism.
Some may argue that there are non-Muslim terror groups from which Breivik can draw inspiration. Even so, in a globalized world where Islam has by far the lion's share of terrorism—where nonstop images of jihadi terror have metastasized in the media, and thus the culture—it is not hard to see from where Breivik got his inspiration.
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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by Burak Bekdil
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It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.