Living in post-22/7 Europe

by , under All categories, Enrique

It is ironic that those right-wing populist and far-right parties that have gone out of their way to warn us about the threat of multiculturalism and religions like Islam, have become the threat and Trojan Horses in our societies. In one horrific blow, Anders Behring Breivik did not only strike at Norway’s liberal democracy, but tore a hole in the argument of the anti-immigrant populists and fanatics.

In the Nordic region, living in a post-22/7 Europe and Nordic region means a serious loss of public face for those groups that have been the breeding ground for hatred towards immigrants and minorities. We know as well that Islamists are not the only ones who commit acts of terrorism, as the Guardian of London pointed out.

When these groups warn us today of the “threat of multiculturalism” and how it is acceptable to treat minorities with contempt, a killer called Anders Behring Breivik will haunt us in the back of our minds.

Every time these individuals and groups spread their usual rhetoric of hatred, we will stop to think and see Breivik’s eerie arguments and logic that drove him to become a mass killer.

When people go to the polls the next time in this part of Europe, some will see gruesome images of Breivik shooting down young members of the Labor Party. People will think twice whether to cast their vote for the Progress Party of Norway, Finland’s PS, Danish People’s Party and  Sweden Democrats.

They will ask if supporting a party that bases its popularity on anti-immigration rhetoric is feeding future homegrown terrorism.

Possibly what happened on 22/7 will be a wake-up call for these parties to think about the impact their provocative claims not only have on immigrants but on deranged people like Breivik.

Matters have changed a lot in post-22/7 Europe.

  1. Mary Mekko

    Have matters changed a lot? Are Muslim males now afraid to harass Finnish women in public? That would be a major improvement indeed! Let me know if “that Norwegian guy” has helped in any way to give Finns the courage to fight the breakdown of Finnish society.

    Let’s also check the crime rates from the Helsinki police to see if the percent of nonFinnish criminals goes down. That would be a really nice change.

    Perhaps it will go up, as immigrants think that they now have the upperhand? Now that would be a nasty change, exactly the kind that perhaps you lefties are hoping for.

    Hope and change! Just hope that the change benefits the Finns, not the immigrants!!!

  2. Mark

    The Norway massacre – cultural self-defence taken to the absolute extreme!

    But there was more to this act than mere self-defence; the targets and victims were not the people of the ‘other’ culture, but his own. This was a one-man act of ‘civil war’ against the native population, against those he saw as most sympathetic to multiculturalism and most responsible for advocating it politically.

    That such evil can strive to find such political coherance is certainly reminiscent of past political evils like Nazism, and must be understood in the same context – the political rhetoric has suggested that a great violence is being committed against the ‘native cultures’ of Europe. It’s dangerous talk.

    And when the response of mainstream parties is to swing further to what has been perceived for decades as the far Right in an attempt to shore up public support, they must realise that the end result is that the whole political spectrum lurches towards the extreme.

    Words of war will inevitably lead to acts of war. When will we learn?

    • Enrique

      Mark! Great to hear from you! I couldn’g have said it better: Words of war will inevitably lead to acts of war. When will we learn?

  3. Yossie

    But Enrique, what does it mean to live in post 22/7 Europe? You said in other post,we should fight to oppose hate speech(PS?) forcefully. What does this mean in practise? What should be done?

  4. Mark

    Yossie & Enrique

    Any use of the word ‘forcefully’ should be considered very carefully in light of events.

    But it seems to be me that ‘force’ is the root of the problem. In the Nordic countries, the possibility of ‘lethal force’ lies in the hands of the civilian population as a result of very liberal gun ownership laws.

    A massacre on this scale was only possible because of the availability of automatic weapons. My view is that guns should only be available through gun clubs, to be kept locked up at rifle ranges, purchased through and by rifle clubs. As for hunting, the weapons available should be non-automatic, single-shot reload versions.

    And there is absolutely no reason for a civilian population to have automatic handguns.

  5. jackie31337

    Although I suspect MM is a troll, I would like to comment about the extremist us vs them thinking that does actually exist out there.

    I am an immigrant who has lived most of my adult life in Finland. People can usually tell that I’m not a native Finn – they notice that my Finnish pronunciation and grammar are not perfect, and that I don’t look like a typical Finn – but they can’t really guess where I might be from. I have never felt myself to be the target of anti-immigrant sentiment. Until recently, it wasn’t even something I had thought about. Then I finally figured it out: I am white and of European ancestry. I’m not the kind of immigrant the immigration criticizers are critical of. When some foreigners more foreign than others, that’s called racism.

  6. Hanna

    I´d just like to say that I have NEVER been harassed by a Muslim in public. In a bar, yes, they have come a bit too close sometimes. But more often it is a Finnish guy who doesn´t take No for an answer.

    Mary Mekko you are a hatefull, little person who just needs somebody to hate so you can ignore the emptines in your own life.

    “Hope and change! Just hope that the change benefits the Finns, not the immigrants!!!”

    Why can´t it benefit everybody?

    • Enrique

      Hi Hanna and jackie 31337 and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for dropping by!

  7. Mika

    Even though what happened in Norway was because of far right wing ideas should we take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture of what at the moment is taking place in Europe. Over the last few months due to the euro crisis we have seen riots on the streets Athens in which the far left where heavily involved, so is not what happening in Greece and what happened in Norway on Friday just part of the same issue of that European citizens are feeling like the ruling classes are following at different agenda to what its citizens want and also refusing to listen to them. Of course what happened in Norway will put more pressure on the extreme far right groups but at the same time the police and security groups should not take their eyes of the more extreme left wing groups, Because I do not think for one minute that there is no reason in this current climate for the extreme left to be the perpetrators if we are to see another terrorist attack on European soil

    • Enrique

      Mika, can you tell me specifically what is “the bigger picture?” I think there is a big difference between demonstrating in Greece and what happened in Norway. I don’t understand how you can connect both of them.

      I personally believe that what happened in Norway deflated your argument and that of other right-wing populist and far-right groups.

      Please read the latest blog entry and tell us what you think. You appear to be justifying what happened.

  8. Mika

    Because what happened in Greece and what happened in Norway are two separate things carried out by two opposing extreme ideas .Greece its taking the country deeper into the EU regardless of the views of its citizens which the far left have latched on as a reason to go on the rampage in the streets, where in Norway it could be that the government immigration polices have been latched onto by the extreme far right of course the result is much much worse than the situation in Greece. But if there is terrorist attack carried out by the far left (which I think we are going to see ) it will stop the idea that what happened in Norway was the extreme right wing attacking the democracy and freedom of Europe, because If both the far left and far right go after the same people or system then that shows that there is a issue that many people are not happy on how Europe is run. Because if both the left and right feel like they are both not being represented by the political system in Europe then who is Europe representing. What happened in Norway was carried out by the extreme far right but it could have been carried out the extreme far left they have just as much anger with governments as the far right does.

  9. Mark

    Mika

    Ideas do not carry out atrocities – people do!

    Greece is protesting austerity measures, while Anders Breivik appears to be protesting the Islamisation of Europe. Trying to describe both events as somehow born of a similar discontent is rather moronic, not to mention trivialising.

    Is this how those sympathetic to the Far Right are going to defend themselves against the inevitable and necessary criticism of all the heated ‘war-like’ rhetoric? By saying that the Far Left are really just as bad, and if they haven’t done something similar already, they soon will? Your logic is quite full of fog. And by Far Left, I assume you mean those supporting multiculturalism?

    Really, the horror of this act and the clear insanity that seems to have motivated it really don’t penetrate the thick skulls of some individuals.

  10. Hmmm

    I agree with Mika. I also think that not too much emphasis should be put on the right-wing-aspect because it seems the maniac was acting alone. Of course it’s another issue if it turns out there was a significant organized group behind it. After all, most of the European political terrorist acts, with organizations behind them, have been carried out by the left-wing.

  11. Mark

    Hmmm

    So, you don’t think that the increasingly poisonous atmosphere of anti-immigration rhetoric over the last ten years has any relevance to this massacre? And even if it did, there are plenty of massacres committed by those on the Left, so that what, makes it all even?

  12. Mika

    Are you trying to say at this moment there is a not a loner who is motivated by Karl Marx who is thinking putting a car bomb outside the major headquarters of a bank somewhere in Europe and then attacking the country club which its board members go to?
    To say that the far left are happy with the situation in Europe and they only threat to the peace of Europe is not from the far left but from the far right is ridiculous
    No sensible person would disagree that the political and social conditions in Europe are what a loner who has a far left views would need to launch a attack .We are still in a war in Iraq where opposition to this war came strongly from the left that would be enough reason a person would need to commit a act of terrorism.

    And its true groups who support the far left have carried out more attacks and caused more damage and murder in Europe than those from the far right.

  13. Hmmm

    “So, you don’t think that the increasingly poisonous atmosphere of anti-immigration rhetoric over the last ten years has any relevance to this massacre?”

    It had, but there are bound to be some psychos out there who get excited about god knows what. We can’t let that stop people from expressing their opinions. Opinions like promoting mass murder must naturally be dealt with, but how to draw some “lines” and what to do with those that cross it, is not that easy.

    “And even if it did, there are plenty of massacres committed by those on the Left, so that what, makes it all even?”

    No. That’s just stupid… Try a little harder.

  14. Mark

    Hmmm & Mika

    ‘No. That’s just stupid…’

    Glad we agree! Shame you or Mika don’t seem to want to stand by your own opinions. Oh, and Mika, seeing as you think the sensible response to this massacre is somehow to make a body count, you seem to have forgotten the 6 million Jews massacred by the Nazis. Or are you going to throw in Stalin’s Gulags to ‘even things up’?

    All of which is irrelevant. Debate is one thing, and I encourage it, but the atmosphere of debate on immigration has largely become poisonous. And the reason? The Far Right and many simply on the Right have been very happy to play up the ‘cultural self-defence’ argument as a way of gaining popular votes that feed on an all too easy tendency in human nature to ‘scapegoat’.

    But really, do you think that there is a point at which the Far Right go too far? Where is the line on hate speech, anti-islam and anti-immigration? At what point do you think the Far Right or any politican should accept responsibility that words of war have the potential to inspire ‘acts of war’, whether that is street warfare or modern terrorist warfare?

  15. Hmmm

    “Shame you or Mika don’t seem to want to stand by your own opinions”

    Says you 🙂 Again, try a little harder…

    “And the reason? The Far Right and many simply on the Right have been very happy to play up the ‘cultural …..”

    Yes, and the unwillingness of the society to open certain issues for public discussion. The situation could have been avoided if there had been courage to talk about things 10-20 years ago. Instead, PC was the word at the time…

    “But really, do you think that there is a point at which the Far Right go too far?”

    Yes, but there are so many open questions that it is very difficult to create an official policy. It is impossible to pinpoint some exact point when a line has been crossed. And while all this public outcry is going on (and for a good reason, I might add), it is business as usual on the other side… letter bombs and such, it’s just that nobody is interested because it’s not the evil right-wing…

  16. Mika

    I have just given you enough valid reasons why what happened in Norway is not a example of the threat of the far right to the peace of Europe which people are making it to be. but with immigration,Islam, the war in Iraq, the EU, the rescue of the banks, is causing enough motivation from both the extreme right and the left to react, what happened in Norway was the response from the far right and we may see a response from the left wherever it will be a single person or a group, if that is to happen it will show that what happened in Norway is not Europe against them but there is a bigger picture that Europe is facing dangers from both ends of the extreme political views.

    And now I have to read a post about mention Stalin and Jews and body counts. If you not able to to handle the fact that a blog of yours may be questioned or in some cases proved wrong I can not understand why you want to put it online in the first place. There may be some sensible views in your blog which is about immigration which is strange as we where talking about the threat to Europe from both political extremes you can bring in it if you want but it does seem it like a attempt to prevent someone from challenging your view that what happened in Norway would only have come from some one from the far right and not from another political view point. But your last blog seemed to be if your where typing it whilst having some kind of fit. I be happy to respond to you blog but please type it when you are more stable.

    • Enrique

      Mika, the reasons you pointed out (immigration, Islam, Iraq and others) don’t stand. I am surprised that a person who has gone through the Finnish school system and, judging by your English, probably studied in university, cares so little about our democracy. Are these many of the types of people who voted for the PS in April?

      More stable? Hmmm.

  17. Mika

    Theses are genuine reasons where people from the more extreme fringes of political ideas would use to commit an act of violence is that not the reason what Anders what he in Norway. Europes situation is we are going through theses issues all at the same time so when you have more than one idea which motivates a extremist group this would give a person or group more reason to act on it or for them justify their actions . At the moment we have only seen what the far right have done to the extreme but if the economic and financial situation in Europe is what is motivating the extreme left and with the possibility that the economic powerhouse which is Italy could be the next to fall I think you will see a very high chance that they will start to play their hand. It may not be on the level of which Anders did, but it will that people will star to ask in what direction Europe is going

  18. Hmmm

    “I am surprised that a person who has gone through the Finnish school system and, judging by your English, probably studied in university, cares so little about our democracy.”

    What Mika basically stated was the undeniable fact that the left side is also capable of terrorism. Would you care to explain how that is not-caring-about-democracy in your eyes?

    • Enrique

      –What Mika basically stated was the undeniable fact that the left side is also capable of terrorism. Would you care to explain how that is not-caring-about-democracy in your eyes?

      Where is left-wing terrorism prevelant in Europe? In Greece? Italy? What we have is nationalist-driven terrorism. ETA of Spain is a good example. Why are we diverting what happened and speaking of hypothetical cases. No matter the reasons, any person that takes the law in his or her hands is wrong. This is exactly what happened in Norway. Because I don’t like how the majority of people voted or because he I hate certain groups, I can go and kill people as a wake up call. Irrespective of who you are and what your ideology is, we abide by our laws and our democratic system.

      I sense the Mika is more interested in trying to justify these person’s actions than condemning what he did.

  19. Mika

    No I am not if he was against immigration although the progress party is political excluded they are growing to a point that after the next election the government would have to cave in so I can not understand why he did not run the course. But my issue is at the moment the media are talking about the threat of the far right.are we are only going to hear about the threat of the far left when they wipe out a government building in some city in southern Europe. We need to address the facts now that the conditions and situations for a extreme left wing attack are right so we should be more cautious and aware.

    Of course we do not have left terrorism in Europe but I have typed there are ample condition’s for theses groups to be created or re born

  20. Allan

    The deed was that of a psycopath. I would draw parallells to the Oklaholma City bomber. He was also very strongly disillusioned of “the government”. However the rhetoric in the USA did not much change (nor did the availability of guns).

    If you look statistically the “lone wolf” terrorism which is a single “lunatic” going on a rampage its very difficult to predict. And the motive can be anything -and for that person it is the “truth”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_wolf_%28terrorism%29

    As for what comes to writings and such – lets not forget Beatles song lyrics “inspired” Charles Manson.

  21. Hmmm

    “I sense the Mika is more interested in trying to justify these person’s actions than condemning what he did.”

    That kind of one-sided logic is just the hysteria type of thinking I’m against. I sense that the attitude you’re represent is saying that if you even try to remind about the evils or threat of any other side than the right-wingers, you’re “not-caring-about-democracy” (or something similarly silly). What happened was a terrible thing, the twisted thought patterns behind it should be condemned… but it should not make you so one track minded. You know, talking about the negative aspects of side x does not automatically make you the supporter of y, or even the opposition of x.

    • Enrique

      Hmmm, I believe the answer to that question is in part due to our generational differences and what we have experienced in life. I grew up during a time when the horrors of World War 2 were not too far off. In order to avoid these atrocities from happening again we were taught about the horrors of fascism. I also had the opportunity to live under a military dictatorship and learn what it was like to be in a country where there was no habeas corpus or respect of human rights. The regime in Argentina during 1976-83, upheld many fascist values but never admitted being fascist. Their crusade (believe it or not) was defending Western values! So, Hmmm, when I speak of defending democracy I mean that nobody has the right to hijack it and manipulate it for his own purpose by excluding others. Like the military regime in Argentina, the biggest losers and victims if a right-wing populist and far-right groups in Europe took power would be immigrants and minorities. Not understanding that is like sticking you head in the sand. Apart from his mass killings, his ideas about otherness is not that different from the usual hate websites and those politicians who are against Islam and multiculturalism.
      Maybe that is way I am so passionate about democracy and don’t understand those that want to study the gray areas so to speak. It is a bit like the ongoing debate on immigration. Those who are racists want to institutionalize racism as if it were ok but in fact it never was in our democratic society. It must be strongly condemned.

  22. Mika

    I understand you have a problem with the far right But do you seem to have a problem admitting that the current economic and social climate in Europe at the moment could breed a more extreme left wing view which could result in a attack of some sort. And if that was the case then it would disprove the idea that European values for the coming years are threatened only by the extreme far right. Only a few months ago we had a bomb in pasila which did not go off and the burning of a railway junction box theses did not kill anyone and lets face it where pathetic but those where carried out from the more extreme left so the motivation is out there for people from that political area to do things like this. So to think that even if Italy or Spain go to the wall or we end up in another war somewhere that the the threat still is from the far right as theses events would not cause a extreme left wing reprisal is a not only a ridiculous view point is also dangerous to your personal safety to think like that

    • Enrique

      –I understand you have a problem with the far righ.

      I don’t have a “problem” with the far right. I consider them a threat to our liberal and democratic societies. I don’t have any problem seeing what is going on in Europe I just don’t agree that because the situation is what it is I can take the law in my hands and declare war like what happened in Norway. This is unaccetable irrespective of the situation especially when we live in a democratic society.

      The extreme right or right-wing populism is only a knee-jerk reaction that doesn’t offer any solutions to real issues. Even the extreme left and anarchist groups in Europe use violence (bombs and assassinations) to make a political statement are not justifiable.

  23. Hmmm

    Ok, that clears it a bit. Defending democratic values is of course a good thing. But I also think that you seem more hell bent on attacking the right-wing than objectively analyzing the potential threats of democracy. That sort of one track minded thinking is never good. Mika just gave some examples that point out that the left side extremism has the potential for political violence even here in Finland. To turn a blind eye to that, and to any other possibilities, is just not sensible. Also, to automatically think that anyone who dares to bring a second point of view to the table must have an ulterior motive is not a very good example of defending democratic values. Furthermore, to someone it might appear that there is a hidden agenda motivating such bias.

    • Enrique

      –But I also think that you seem more hell bent on attacking the right-wing than objectively analyzing the potential threats of democracy.

      The far-right and right-wing populists attack immigrants and minorities all the time. It’s a part of their political agenda. Any sensible person who is being attacked politically and socially must defend himself or herself.

      Hmmm it boils down to this: democracy is non-negotiable; racism is unacceptable; there are no gray areas as the far-right and right-wing populist parties would want us to see their world. Are we in spite of all ready to debate these things for the sake of our democracy, Migrant Tales has shown that it can. I have mentioned before that the problems with the websites like Homma and Scripta is that they only talk to themselves. They are only one group agreeing and pumping each other up without any dissention. We are not that kind of a blog. Why? Because opinions from different points of view will make us stronger not weaker.

  24. Mark

    A lot of denial as usual on this blog by some posters.

    Allan

    – “As for what comes to writings and such – lets not forget Beatles song lyrics “inspired” Charles Manson.”

    I take it you mean that we shouldn’t read too much into the writings of Allah-oho inspiring Berveik because the Beatles inspired Manson? Not quite the same, though, is it Allan?

    Manson took vague musical lyrics that were poetic and interpreted them as specific messages to him about his ‘revolution’. Not quite so vague with Allah-oho, is it? His writing suggests a clash of civilisations and the incompability of Islamic culture with Western culture. Plain and simple and that is how Berveik seems to have read it.

    Not only that, but this isn’t the first time that Allah-oho has been accused of inspiring/fermenting resentment and hatred. I don’t recall the Beatles being accused on a regular basis of inspiring hatred, do you?

    So, as usual Allan, your attempts to trivialise the key arguments fall down because your comparisons don’t stand up to proper scrutiny. Yours is a house built on sand.

    Mika

    What is with you? Why are you trying to find equity here in the potential militant capabilities of the Far Left and Far Right? Does that let the Far Right off the hook? I don’t support extremists of any kind, left or right. I’m not defending the Far Left, so why do you want to bring them into the equation?; they both attempt to take too much control of people’s lives and thoughts, and then generally totally abuse that power.

    But Mika, you miss the point completely, and obviously quite deliberately. It’s not the Far Left that is making regular and worrying inroads into Europe’s national parliaments on the back of an agenda fed on hatred and intolerance towards foreigners, is it? No-one is writing about the Far Left because they are not politically relevant. So why are you trying to make them so?

    Of course, extremists of all kinds appear capable of extreme violence. But why would that be the most important point you want to make after this massacre? It’s a quite absurd reaction!

    You need to address the reality of the current situation. The key issue is the rise in popularity of political doctrines that spread or ferment hatred and subsequently potential violence (Far Right are not known for being pacifists, are they?!).

    It is no accident that the word Nazi comes up again and again in the debate about today’s Far Right. It’s not just cheap political point scoring. The point is that violence stems from hatred and resentment. And that is built into the doctrines of the Far Right. It’s not a misinterpretation, it’s an extension. Berweik made that quite clear in his writings. He ‘believes’ the doctrine of the modern day Far Right to the point of acting on it, and not simply having ‘an interest’.

    It’s rather hollow to campaign politically on a platform that incites hatred, intolerance and resentment and to then claim that that has no influence whatsoever on acts of violence that stem directly from those attitudes and feelings.

    • Enrique

      Mark, you make excellent points. Sometimes I feel that people who are lured by the far-right don’t grasp the horrors they brought on the world. Fascism was big in Spain as well with Francisco Franco never mind a long row of military dictatorships in Latin America. Why would I defend a doctrine that wants to reduce me to second- or third-class status as that of the PS?

      Have you ever visited teh PS website? This statement really gets to me: “The work of the Perussuomalaliset (party) is based on honesty, justice, humanity, equality, work and respecting entrepreneurship as well as spiritual growth.* Wow, I wonder what immigrants have to say about this statement, especialy the one “based on equality.” Maybe the PS should ask how credible that statement is with the Romany. Why not ask gays while you are at it as well as Multicultural Finns. Here is a party that bases much of its populist rhetoric on bashing immigrants and picturing them as enemies but is for “equality.” The question, therefore, is who the PS is ready to grant these rights. That is what the PS won’t tell you but we all know that the list is long of those that would be excluded if the party ever got to power.

      Hmmm, tell me why I should not be critical of a party that wants to not only deny my rights in Finland but deny my history?

      *Perussuomalaisten toiminnan perustana ovat rehellisyys, oikeudenmukaisuus, inhimillisyys, tasa-arvo, työn ja yrittämisen kunnioittaminen sekä henkinen kasvu.

  25. Hmmm

    “Any sensible person who is being attacked politically and socially must defend himself or herself.”

    So it’s more of a personal thing then, I see. But even though you have such strong personal ties to the issue, it should not make you blind to other things. E.g. pointing out that there are also other serious threats to consider does not mean promoting or even condoning the other. Don’t let your personal feelings take over rational reasoning. A society concentrating on only one potential threat leaves the door open for others… That was my point (maybe Mika’s too) in the midst of the current hysteria.

    • Enrique

      Hmmm, any group or person, ok? Don’t try to take us to a gray zone where you can make a case for just about anything you want. I think you should take time an listen to others and not only one point of view.

      –A society concentrating on only one potential threat leaves the door open for others…

      A society looks at a lot of threats. The wisdom is figuring out which are storms in tea cups and which are not. Do you really believe that what this person in Norway believed were threats are? Is it Islam? Immigration? Cultural diversity? Or are they the parties that claim these are, usually far-right and right-wing populist? I think it is the latter.

      You may disagree, but racism and excluding others from society is a threat to society. Those groups that do that (even if they don’t say it openly) should be challenged.

  26. Hmmm

    “Hmmm, tell me why I should not be critical of a party that wants to not only deny my rights in Finland but deny my history?”

    Now, where did I say you shouldn’t be critical? Read my previous post, particularly the last one, before putting words into my mouth.

  27. Mika

    Many media outlets and this blog promote the idea that this was a far right attack on a peaceful democratic Europe and my argument is if we maybe look at the way is Europe is at the moment and if the problems continue will we in five years time have have to look at Norway as not a single incident by the extreme right but one of many incidents carried out by various ideological ideas against and towards the same system. I
    If you have read my blogs I have mentioned that the far left is irrelevant but with the social situation in Europe is this the catalysis groups like this will need to re start their actions. Which is the core of my argument are political classes in Europe giving too many reasons for theses people and groups from every political view point to carry out attacks?

    I understand what happened in Norway is a golden chance for you you attack the right wing politics in the hope it may halt them and you want to get as much mileage out of it and this is why you do not want to address my argument because if you do agree then you can use Norway to attack the far right with as much force as you are now doing,
    But most media outlets have already made that comment that Anders is not a reflection of the Norwegian progress party and in a poll PS are still the biggest party which I think shows that the voting public don’t see a person like Anders and populist political parties as one of the same thing.

    • Enrique

      –Many media outlets and this blog promote the idea that this was a far right attack on a peaceful democratic Europe..

      Read Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto and tell me whose ideology does it follow? PS? Suomen Sisu? BNP? Danish People’s Party? What about EDL?

      –I understand what happened in Norway is a golden chance for you you attack the right

      I think what happened in Norway is a good opportunity for you to look at the consequences of far-right and right-wing populist thinking.

  28. Mark

    Hmmm

    “That was my point (maybe Mika’s too) in the midst of the current hysteria.”

    I think that a certain amount of ‘hysteria’ can be forgiven given the circumstances. People have had a very strong emotional reaction to this. But I don’t see hysteria. Where do you see it? Would you like to give me a specific instance?

    Do you personally feel this ‘hysteria’ to be a criticism of your own beliefs or attitudes in some way?

  29. Mark

    Mika

    “…which I think shows that the voting public don’t see a person like Anders and populist political parties as one of the same thing.”

    I see your points. I still think this talk of hypothetical attacks by the left to be veering away from the current reality. But I guess you see yourself as just being a smart predictor of events to come. I still see that as a strange reaction to this event. It’s like saying, okay, the water pipe burst in the toilet – let’s not talk about that, let’s look at the potential wiring problem in the bedroom instead, even though there has been no hint of a problem with the wiring there. I mean, you are assuming a very tenous link between two very different categories of social event, one of cultural self-defence vs. economic unrest, and yet you seem all too happy to dismiss any link between populist parties and the actions of Anders, even though they are both spouting exactly the same ideology? Sorry, Mika, that’s a cognitive dissonance too far for me to swallow!

  30. Hmmm

    The choice of the word “hysteria” was exaggerated, I know.

    “Where do you see it?”

    Everywhere where potential threats are seen only from the right side.

    “Do you personally feel this ‘hysteria’ to be a criticism of your own beliefs or attitudes in some way?”

    No. Do you want to believe that and if so, why?

    • Enrique

      –Everywhere where potential threats are seen only from the right side.

      In light of what happened, people have the right to be outraged. It’s a very normal reaction to such an outlandish crime.

  31. Mark

    Hmmm

    “Everywhere where potential threats are seen only from the right side.”

    Do you mean every time the Far Right is mentioned as the possible cause of this tragedy, you would like to see a disclaimer that of course, extremists on the Left can also give rise to terrorism? As an editor, I would find that kind of qualification as being totally unnecessary. What is important is that journalists explore both ideological and psychological factors and do not rule either one out. Clearly there are people who have similar ideological beliefs that have no intention of causing harm to others – they simply want to live in an imagined racially pure society.

    But, and I think this is crucial, the Far Right has time and again historically given rise to great evil and violence, and I don’t think that is any accident. That is not to say that idealists on the Left have not equally imposed tyranical rule and committed atrocities and genocide. It’s simply to say that something in the ideology of the Far Right pushes close to the threshold of violence, control and abuse. And then we simply observe that one of the key political ideologies of the Far Right is the belief we are under seige or even at war culturally with people of other ethnicities and that they are somehow benefiting in unfair ways, which feeds feelings of intolerance, racial hatred and resentment to people of other nationalities, groups or minorities. So there we have it. Do we draw any conclusion from this? Or do we say, it’s merely a coincidence?

    I think you live in a sanitised world, Hmmm, so let me fill you in on some historical basics about the flotsam floating around in society:

    Far Right = Nazi = skinhead = thug = violence.

    Of course, I could write it as

    Far Right = Ghandi = peace = love = human rights,

    but somehow, it just doesn’t have the same ring of truth about it. Now the Far Right can sanitise their movement and control their PR, but every now and then, the animal within breaks out! And then we see what we all knew was there. Hatred.

  32. Hmmm

    “Don’t try to take us to a gray zone where you can make a case for just about anything you want. I think you should take time an listen to others and not only one point of view.”

    It’s kind of funny that this is exactly what I was saying: “not only one point of view.” The world is not black and white…

    “Do you really believe that what this person in Norway believed were threats are? Is it Islam? Immigration? Cultural diversity? Or are they the parties that claim these are, usually far-right and right-wing populist? I think it is the latter.”

    I think poorly managed immigration, far-right and far-left are threats, for example. Not only one thing.

    “You may disagree, but racism and excluding others from society is a threat to society.”

    Agreed.

    —–
    “Do you mean every time the Far Right is mentioned as the possible cause of this tragedy, you would like to see a disclaimer that of course, extremists on the Left can also give rise to terrorism?”

    No. The threat of far-left has been overlooked in the public and this event is likely to take this even further.

    “I think you live in a sanitised world, Hmmm,”

    Funny, I thought the same about you.

    “Far Right = Nazi = skinhead = thug = violence.”

    Now, where did I defend the far-right? Or why did you feel the need to post that? Please answer.
    —–
    “In light of what happened, people have the right to be outraged. It’s a very normal reaction to such an outlandish crime.”

    Yes, but the eyes of the society should not be focused only on one issue, even in a situation like this.

    Let me get this clear: I have not defended any far-xxxx movement or violence. I dislike both far-ends but I do dislike the left side slightly more. But this is not based on the movements themselves. It’s based on the way these movements are presented in the European public.

    • Enrique

      –I think poorly managed immigration, far-right and far-left are threats,

      What is “poorly managed immigration?” Is it immigration of people you don’t like? Please elaborate.

  33. Hmmm

    It is somehow descriptive of the situation that a text saying that terrorist acts can happen committed by also others than right-wingers caused such a lasting reaction. I can understand the hypothesis that Mika would be trying to lead the discussion away from the far-right (which would be a futile attempt to begin with) but it would be pure speculation as we can’t really know Mika’s intentions. But yet he was straight away declared to be not-caring-about-democracy. If that’s not jumping the gun, I don’t know what is. On the other hand the point of view of denying the possibility that the left-wing can commit terrorist is simply undefendable. But still this keeps going on and is turning into a discussion about the participants, not the real issues. Not very constructive.

    • Enrique

      –It is somehow descriptive of the situation that a text saying that terrorist acts can happen committed by also others than right-wingers caused such a lasting reaction.

      BUt that is the shock of the whole think, Hmmm. Most people, even experts, pointed the finger at Islamists for the bombings in Oslo. So to find one of “us” was quite a revelation.

      I think we can agree that political violence is unacceptable in the forms of bombs and mass killings.

  34. Mark

    Hmmm

    Now, where did I defend the far-right? Or why did you feel the need to post that? Please answer.

    I have not seen you defend the Far Right. I have seen you try to shift the attention away from the Far Right, the ideology of which was part of what happened in Norway, and instead focus the attention on the Far Left, with the justification that there may come a threat from there. All of which I think must be terribly useful to this debate, I’m sure. I guess looking left and right when crossing the road was always the safest thing! 🙂

    What I don’t understand fully is how you are contextualising this event. I think that you see the calls by ‘lefties’ like Enrique and me for more restraint and responsibility on the part of the Far Right (=populism+nationalism) as being exploiting the situation, and rather than let us have it all our own way, you think it only fair to bring some balance.

    From that, I guess you are more sympathetic to the Right (of course I know you are from previous discussions on this blog), which you perceive as vaguely under threat in this from opportunists like myself and Enrique. And let’s be honest, they probably are. This could backlash on them very strongly in the Nordic countries at least.

    Parties with ideologies traditionally associated with the Far Right have done a lot to sanitise their reputations in recent years, even while extreme elements still mix freely in their membership, though many have ditched their skinheads, not unlike Militant in the days of Old Labour and Neil Kinnock. That neo-Nazism and thuggery have been the bedfellows of the Far Right for several generations is beyond question. Yet we, the Public, are expected to believe that actually the Far Right is really just popular socialism, while they STILL peddle the same anti-immigration, xenophobic, racist and homophobic shit they always did as a means of tapping into popular prejudices.

  35. Mark

    Hmmm

    – “On the other hand the point of view of denying the possibility that the left-wing can commit terrorist is simply undefendable. ”

    And who has denied it? I think the strongest ‘rejection’ was that it’s just not relevant. Both Enrique and myself have said it’s possible. Straw man Hmmm.

    – “But still this keeps going on and is turning into a discussion about the participants, not the real issues. Not very constructive”

    I agree.

  36. Hmmm

    “What is “poorly managed immigration?””

    It’s the kind that causes major problems such as we see in Malmö e.g. But do we really need to extend this discussion to that?

    “So to find one of “us” was quite a revelation.”

    That’s right and it should be a wake-up call. But still we need not, and should not, forget other threats in this “hysteria”.

    “I think we can agree that political violence is unacceptable in the forms of bombs and mass killings.”

    In any kind of form.

    “I have seen you try to shift the attention away from the Far Right…”

    You’re wrong. It’s funny that I already touched the subject on the previous post.

    “All of which I think must be terribly useful to this debate…”

    Well, if you want to pad each other on the back and congratulate each other on how right you were, go ahead. Now, that’s really useful.

    “…you think it only fair to bring some balance.”

    Something like that but not in favour of any far movements.

    “From that, I guess you are more sympathetic to the Right…”

    See the previous post.

    “This could backlash on them very strongly in the Nordic countries at least.”

    Yes, and this would not bother me at all. Unless of course it gives room to other extreme movements or shifts attention away from their dubious activities.

    • Enrique

      –It’s the kind that causes major problems such as we see in Malmö e.g. But do we really need to extend this discussion to that?

      Is it poorly managed immigration of poorly managed integration program? Or are you staying that “poorly managed” immigration can be solved by not allowing Muslims and Arabs to immigrate to Europe? Chek out this interesting report on the “Counter-Jihad” by Toby Archer of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Here is the link.

      In other words, when the far right and right-wing populist party say that immigration is poorly handled they mean we should halt people like Muslims and Africans from moving to Europe. It is a racial and religious thing, right?

  37. Hmmm

    “And who has denied it? I think the strongest ‘rejection’ was that it’s just not relevant. Both Enrique and myself have said it’s possible. Straw man Hmmm”

    No, you missed that I was speculating on the different hypothesis. I did not make any straw men.

  38. Hmmm

    To sum it up: the discussion has been about potential other threats than the right wing. One conclusion was that there exists other possible threats and nobody denies it. Then that leaves the discussion to contain only pure speculation about the motives for bringing that up. The other side says there can be no other motive than trying to steer the discussion, while me (and Mika?) say there can be other motives. Is there anything to add?

  39. Mark

    Interesting summary, Hmmm. What are the other motives for bringing it up? I see it as a kind of trivialisiing, or a desire to disengage the psychological aspects of the mass murderer from the attenuatiing political ideologies that he was mixed up in. Personally, i think that is a mistake, as would blaming the political ideologies alone. But, as I pointed out, and it’s worth saying again, the link between violence, evil and Far Right ideologies is an old one.

    The discussion is about potential other threats? Actually the discussion was originally about how populist groups would have to re-address the issue of provocative rhetoric about immigration, given it’s potential to inspire and provoke violent reactions, albeit by someone clearly suffering delusions and psychosis. That is why it’s interesting that somehow the conversation gets turned to talking about the potential threat of the Left. So, what is the motive, purely balance? Stating the obvious, or something that us stupidoes haven’t got yet? 🙂

  40. Hmmm

    “What are the other motives for bringing it up?”

    I wasn’t the one bringing it up but I have stated my point in a previous post. Actually, it’s not that hard to find. A further hint: my motives are not pro-far-right.

    “That is why it’s interesting that somehow the conversation gets turned to talking about the potential threat of the Left.”

    That’s internet conversation for you; different aspects surface and you really can’t say anything but speculate on the motives… unless of course you know Mika from his previous posts.

  41. JusticeDemon

    Mika

    You really do seem to be on first-name terms with Anders Behring Breivik. Is there some personal connection that you would like to share with us?

  42. Hmmm

    “Is it poorly managed immigration of poorly managed integration program?”

    Well, I think a well functioning integration program is included in well managed immigration.

    “Or are you staying that “poorly managed” immigration can be solved by not allowing Muslims and Arabs to immigrate to Europe?”

    Favouring, at least temporarily, immigration of groups that have good integration possibilities is a part of the solution.

    “It is a racial and religious thing, right?”

    No. It’s a question of integration. If sometime in the future it turns out that people from religion/”race”/culture x have favourable integration probabilities, by all means, we should favour that group. You can replace the x with anything.

    • Enrique

      Hmmm, I think we are now getting to the bottom of your arguments. OK, fair enough, people that move to a country should bring skills that the society needs. They should contribute.

      My problem with your view of integration is that you pin the whole blame on a group of immigrants. Let me correct you, a person who moves a thousands of kilometers to begin a new life in a new country wants to make the most of it. Societies aren’t perfect which means that you will always have people who won’t adapt. But I truly believe that it is the majority that do if given the chance. I would see the failure of integration policies (how effective are they anyway?) for many of the problems as well as society’s attitudes towards immigrants. If our politicians are ready to blame immigrants (not the real problem) to hide their failures on this front then it is easy to understand where we’re heading.

      The so-called “Counter-Jihad” as Toby Archer of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs calls it, is the scariest matter. Politicians like Jussi Halla-aho and his followers belong to this group. They are members of the PS party as you know. The question they are not answering is if you want to stop Muslims from moving to Europe and make their lives impossible by excluding them from society, how are you going to get rid of them? I am certain that that was the same question that the Nazis had to ask when they worked on the Final Soution to the Jewish question. They had no idea except deport Jews to concentration camps. Thus that was their solution – what is the solution of the “Counter-Jihad” movement?

      I guess we will find out if they ever come to rule Europe.

  43. Hmmm

    “My problem with your view of integration is that you pin the whole blame on a group of immigrants.”

    I wouldn’t say so. It is the problem of integration and consequently the whole society. The blame is irrelevant; it is just a question of protecting the society from the negative effects at least until we have some answers that give better results in terms of integration. Right now we don’t have those answers and the masses of poorly integrated people are a risk factor.

    And about the possibility of a new “final solution” in Europe… I find this to be highly unlikely. But it is a good thing that the extreme movements are being looked at, hopefully all of them.

  44. Mark

    Hmmm

    You are perpetuating an illusion, the effect of which nevertheless to stigmatise a whole group of people based on their ethnicity.

    There is no situation with any population where you will have no social problems of some kind. Hence, there is no ‘protecting society from the negative effects…’ Likewise, there are far more ‘negative effects’ as a result of social conditions attached to native populations than there are attached to immigrants, and as immigrants form only a very small proportion of the population, the problems they face are dwarfed by those of the native population. And let’s be clear, no amount of problems would still justify stigmatisation and racism. There is no reason to single out immigrant groups as ‘problems’. Immigrant groups face their own specific problems and challenges and require targeted resources like any other group, such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, people with health problems etc. That is an investment, like the majority of public services that maintain the health and workability of the population.

    And talking about groups of people and effects of immigration as ‘risk factors’ is highly offensive, bringing in public health terminology as if for one second you take the wellbeing of these people in account at all. The prejudices and realities of this debate are so often hidden behind misappropriated terminology.

    The point is, the debate has significantly shifted in recent years away from simply talking about the vast numbers of economic migrants placing a strain on ‘reception facilities’ and problems of integration, language acquisition, all of which really fall on the receiving governments, to talking about cultural compatibility. That is ‘racial supremicism via the back door. It is a complete denial of cultural diversity. Anyone who studies any of the social sciences quickly realises that ‘diversity’ is absolutely the watchword of societies, making them extremely difficult to model, but also adding to the rich tapestry of life. Unless you have in mind some kind of society ‘painted all in one colour’.

    • Enrique

      Mark, the problem with the view of Hmmm and others who are against Muslims is that they are only complaining about a situation but offer no solutions. It’s easy and a good way of blaming some group for all of your problems. The question to them should be, however, what are you going to do about Europe’s cultural diversity? How are you going to deal with the matter? For obvious reasons, the debate ends there because it is supposed to remain in a complaint-mode about why group x is bad. That is what anti-immigration groups, far right and right-wing populist groups do.

  45. Mark

    Yes. I don’t see any real serious attempt at problem-solving, unless you call deportation or a closed door to immigration of Muslims a solution. Not that that is a solution, as immigrants who already live here will continue to be targeted and scapegoated. In political terms, parties like PS need immigration to continue, because once that issue is sewn up, they lose one of their biggest rabble rousing tactics on the campaign trail. No wonder PS decided to stay outside of government.

    • Enrique

      Mark, this question, how to you make cultural diversity work, is what the populist parties cannot answer. They are only whining about how bad x and y group is but don’t bring any solutions. When debating we should ask them how they plan to resolve this matter. Only then will you see their real idology and motives.

  46. vincebel

    i didnt read everything but i dont think that many people are against muslims or Islam but mostly against Islamization or demographic subsitution.and the consequences on the host country.

    http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2010/04/brussels-muslim-majority-in-20-years.html

    this is where im from and trust me its not funny or nice anymore to go for a jogging or come back by walking after 10pm and i was scared everytime my girlfriend went shopping even on sunday afternoon.

    im happy now to leave in a small town in Finland.

    whose fault is it? i am myself from a multicultural family so no im not a racist or whatever you want. why almost none of the far right speechs or far right voters in Europe are against asiatic, south-american, boudhist, etc?

    Many of my belgian muslim friends voted for the far right during the last election…how is it possible? they just said that they like Belgium the way it is and that they are born here, have jobs, friends, family and keep their religion between their walls. They just want to keep it like that. Their sisters have belgian non-muslim boyfriends, wear skirts in summer, have a life. but one of them has been atacked by the brussels sharia police….sick people

    and no i dont see a solution to that.

    • Enrique

      –i didnt read everything but i dont think that many people are against muslims or Islam but mostly against Islamization or demographic subsitution.and the consequences on the host country.

      Vincebel, this statement doesn’t make sense: you are not against Muslims but against Islamization. What is Islamization? Can you predict the future with a pocket calculator? White supremists in the US have warned us about how the blacks and hispanics will take over the US. Your suggestion assumes that people of the Islam relgiion are robots and won’t change no matter how long they stay here. The pocket-calculator argument is a bunch of baloney. If the future were that easy to predict, why do we need social scientists?

  47. Mark

    Vincebel

    – “i didnt read everything but i dont think that many people are against muslims or Islam but mostly against Islamization or demographic subsitution.and the consequences on the host country.”

    Don’t you think it’s extremely naive to imagine that the religion can be targeted and that somehow the people are unaffected?

    And whatever happened to freedom of religion? There are very many evangelical Christian families throughout Europe that pressure their family members into following very strict moral codes and demand behaviour that is far more conservative than the mainstream, but no-one is talking about a threat to culture of ‘evangelicisation’. Of course not, because we accept it as a part of religious freedom, even if it does cause problems for individuals who are not as religious but who nevertheless have close family members who are.

    This is what is so wrong about this Islamiphobia, it imagines that the cultural norms of Islam are so different and incompatible and yet that entails a huge blindness towards our own culture and its religious behaviours.

    – “i am myself from a multicultural family so no im not a racist.”

    It might be that you are not a racist, but you must understand that the Far Right have replaced their overt racism with a rather more subtle prejudices, the argument that ‘cultures are incompatible’. Are you not at least a little suspicious of this theory, especially given its origins in groups that have been openly anti-semitic, homophobic and racist in the past? But, just because you come from a ‘multicultural family’, do not assume that you are automatically devoid of racist opinions. Prejudice affects us all, and it’s a brave person who claims to have absolutely none.

    • Enrique

      –This is what is so wrong about this Islamiphobia, it imagines that the cultural norms of Islam are so different and incompatible and yet that entails a huge blindness towards our own culture and its religious behaviours.

      Mark, this is one of the top favorite arguments of the far right and right-wing populists: Because this group is so different and because they can never adapt to our society, our hatred towards them is justified. It is the same argument in all the countries in Europe and elsewhere when they want to demonize a group. The Nazis used it in the 1930s etc.

  48. Hmmm

    “There is no situation with any population where you will have no social problems of some kind…”

    Of course, I never said there was. But I’m not going to get into this again. I had this same discussion with someone on this blog awhile back.

    “…as if for one second you take the wellbeing of these people in account at all.”

    I sure would appreciate it if you finally stopped your subjective speculation on people you don’t know.

    “Unless you have in mind some kind of society ‘painted all in one colour’.”

    Good god, here we go again.

    “Mark, the problem with the view of Hmmm and others who are against Muslims is that they are only complaining about a situation but offer no solutions”

    I just explained that I’m not against any religion/culture/”race”. I’m against creating immigration related problems. And there have been solutions proposed. Denmark, Australia and Canada have been modifying their policies and similar have been proposed for Finland.

    “The question to them should be, however, what are you going to do about Europe’s cultural diversity? How are you going to deal with the matter?”

    Well, that’s what we have to figure out. In the mean time there is no point in making the problem more difficult than it already is. Europe is diverse, it is not a question about that, and there is nothing that could be done about that. The question is about future immigration.


    “I don’t see any real serious attempt at problem-solving, unless you call deportation or a closed door to immigration of Muslims a solution.”

    Why do you feel the need to oversimplify and misrepresent things? Look closer into the matter, if you’re really interested.

    “Not that that is a solution, as immigrants who already live here will continue to be targeted and scapegoated.”

    This, of course, should not be accepted.

  49. Hmmm

    “Mark, this question, how to you make cultural diversity work, is what the populist parties cannot answer.”

    Immigration and making cultural diversity work can be seen as somewhat separate issues. Immigration policies can be changed while solutions are sought after. BTW, no one really seems to have any answers how to make cultural diversity work in the scale we have in Europe. If we had, why would we have these current problems?

    • Enrique

      –Immigration and making cultural diversity work can be seen as somewhat separate issues.

      Hmmm, how does a normal society work? There are certain key values: acceptance, respect and opportunities. These are issues that the Europeans must look at. But the problem with far right and right-wing populist parties, and their great mistake in seeing immigration, is that they see it though their perspective. We live here so they have to adapt to us, full stop. Fine. But is that an effective way of integrating people into a society. We have good models in many countries that work. Check Canada, Australia, Argentina, United States and others.

      In Europe it has been a sort half-way approach. We are for integration but we are not doing anything effective to make it work. Instead, some of our politicians are placing the blame on immigrants for their failure. Shameful.

  50. Mark

    Hmmm

    – “I sure would appreciate it if you finally stopped your subjective speculation on people you don’t know.”

    Yeah, right. Don’t be so naive. We all do it. Sure I’ll get things wrong about you, and I’m sorry for that, but trying to get at what you are saying is not always easy. I guess the same applies to my points too. I’m quite happy if you point out something that I have wrong about you.

    From what you have said, it seems to me that think we are just so slavishly dedicated to the idea of multiculturism that we cannot entertain any criticism of it, that we ignore it’s problems and that we are just so naive about the real problems of people from different places getting on. If you are fighting for the right to take a critical stance towards immigration, let me categorically state that I think a critical stance is absolutely necessary – for solving problems.

    However, if the criticism is just political posturing, I’m not going to entertain it without response. And by posturing, I mean, why this topic, why is it that of all the social problems that society faces that so many lay people consider themselves experts on the issue of immigration? If it is merely an issue of conscience rather than prejudice, then why not be advocating on other issues at the same time? Why not contextualise immigration in the real world, where people live, where people have life histories and understanding those histories and experiences is key to helping them become productive members of society?

    What I see is rather the opposite – people sitting in judgement about the ‘value’ of foreign cultures, religious behaviours and ‘hysteria’ about our countries being ‘taken over’ etc. Europeans weren’t complaining when it was us roaming the world and taking over 4/5 of the planet, raping and pillaging. Not that that is an accurate description of what happens in immigration. It’s a rather more civilised form of migration into Europe.

    It might be that some of the things I say appear too black and white, for you. But I’m not just directing my comments towards you. Behind those that absolutely refuse to understand why a person like me would try to engage people in debate about immigration is a very large movement of political activists who very distinctly present immigration as a clash of civilisations that will bring down European civilisation; people who talk of the inherant dangers of Islam. And again, it’s about the wider context. If I thought these people were genuinely interested in making society function in a more peaceful and productive way, then I would be more open to their arguments. But they are not. They are Europes most radical and questionable political parties, that historically were on the fringes, but have through modernisation, managed to sanitise their public views while doing nothing to change the fundamental prejudices that always informed their policy thinking.

    If you are not aligned to these groups or their thinking, then perhaps you should say so, and I will be more careful in assuming how your points fit into the broader argument. My guess is that you are making a lot of assumptions about me, too. 🙂

  51. vincebel

    ‘There are very many evangelical Christian families throughout Europe that pressure their family members into following very strict moral codes and demand behaviour that is far more conservative than the mainstream,’

    I dont agree with that neither.

    ‘But, just because you come from a ‘multicultural family’, do not assume that you are automatically devoid of racist opinions.’

    i agree with you. i many times scare myself with my comments and ideas. but still i love meeting different cultures, travelling, try some new food, sharing experiences and ideas with people coming from different parts of the world…

    ‘What is Islamization?’

    Well for me its a process by which Islam imposes its laws and culture in a country that was previously a host-country. that already happened in many areas in Europe, where exhibing or being proud of the country (original) culture became a crime and is punished by sharia laws.

    Basically i dont care if half of Europe is muslim as long as they respect the other non muslim believers, that they respect the woman, the gays, and mostly the laws, culture and people of the host country.

    There is a limit in freedom of religion,, culture and speech, same for those crazy far right people from Hommaforum for example

  52. vincebel

    ‘Europeans weren’t complaining when it was us roaming the world and taking over 4/5 of the planet, raping and pillaging. Not that that is an accurate description of what happens in immigration. It’s a rather more civilised form of migration into Europe.’

    And for that i agree that the catholic church was not an angel neither with their ‘convert or die’ methods in Africa and South America.

    So if i would have lived in South America when the 3 boats full of army and priests arrived on the beach, i guess i would have been against Christianization. I hope im wrong (and again i scare myself for thinking like that) but past agresiive christianisation and nowadays more subtle islamisation are pretty similar concerning the goal.

  53. Mark

    Hmmm

    – “BTW, no one really seems to have any answers how to make cultural diversity work in the scale we have in Europe. If we had, why would we have these current problems?”

    And you say that I generalise into black and white. Cultural diversity works all the time, from exchange of trade, culture, music, literature, students, and immigrants. Not only that, but diversity within a culture is often much less homogenous than people assume.

    You see Hmmm, you insist on seeing cultural diversity as a ‘problem’. Any kind of human activity can bring problems, challenges and tensions. We accept these as part of human living. A clash of cultures, if such a thing actually exists outside the minds of skeptics, would be very little different to a clash of personalities. It’s normal. It doesn’t mean than working together isn’t possible. It doesn’t mean that greater understanding and acceptance cannot be gained through patient communication. A clash of beliefs or values is absolutely normal, in the same way that you and I are now arguing over our views of immigration. How did we get to the point where we assumed that ‘harmony’ means that there would not be any kind of clash of values? It’s ludicrous. People within a culture clash all the time over their values.

    I do not assume you are a lesser human being or that you cannot or should not be allowed to function in ‘my’ society because you have different views to me. Diversity, tensions, and even ‘clashes’ are the norm! Most of this anti-immigration rhetoric, which I recognise as all too familiar in your comments too, is hot air and a very selective memory about what everyday life and culture actually is.

  54. Hmmm

    “–Immigration and making cultural diversity work can be seen as somewhat separate issues.
    Hmmm, how does a normal society work? There are certain key values: acceptance, respect and opportunities.”

    Still, the previous statement stands. IMO the priority should on solving the existing problems with immigration and working out a functioning system before ‘opening the doors’ (don’t get into semantics of these individual words, you know what I mean)

    “We live here so they have to adapt to us, full stop.”

    That is not my idea.

    “We are for integration but we are not doing anything effective to make it work.”

    Yes, we should work on improving the integration, but that does not mean we cannot change immigration policies in the meantime.

    “If you are fighting for the right to take a critical stance towards immigration”

    Actually, in this thread my point was not about immigration. It was about not forgetting in the heat of the moment that there are also other ‘foes of society’ out there…

    “If it is merely an issue of conscience rather than prejudice, then why not be advocating on other issues at the same time?”

    I guess many people see immigration changing society in a way that there is no going back (again no need to go into detailed semantics). That may be one of the reasons why it is so popular. A society can recover fairly unchanged from an economical crisis, but immigration in large quantities changes the society for good.

    “Europeans weren’t complaining when it was us roaming the world and taking over 4/5 of the planet, raping and pillaging.”

    It was different world back then. It would not be accepted today.

    “If you are not aligned to these groups or their thinking, then perhaps you should say so,”

    But I have said so, many times in this thread also.

    “My guess is that you are making a lot of assumptions about me, too.”

    Of course, but I’m not putting them into writing and using against you. IMO I have to give you the benefit of doubt.

    • Enrique

      –MO the priority should on solving the existing problems with immigration and working out a functioning system before ‘opening the doors’ (don’t get into semantics of these individual words, you know what I mean)

      The existing problems are under your nose and in front of a mirror. It’s a two-way process not one-way as far right and right-wing populists want to argue.

  55. Hmmm

    “And you say that I generalise into black and white.”

    Well the problems in Europe have been so substantial, at least locally, in recent years that I thought it would be ok to say we have a problem and no answer.

    “You see Hmmm, you insist on seeing cultural diversity as a ‘problem’.”

    No. I insist that the current European diversity presents problems. It may be that we just haven’t found out a way to make it work, but in the meantime, finding just that should be the priority.

    “How did we get to the point where we assumed that ‘harmony’ means that there would not be any kind of clash of values?”

    I didn’t. It’s a question of how much and how the clashes happen. And how we can make too serious clashes less likely to occur.

    • Enrique

      –No. I insist that the current European diversity presents problems.

      Hence, cultural diversity. The “problem” is similar to accepting any type of otherness in our society. When I read the statements of a far right or populist group, their real meaning are hidden deep behind their symbolism. Here are some:

      cultural diversity problem = Muslims
      uncontrolled immigration = too many Muslims getting in
      ghettos = Muslims
      undemocratic societies = Muslims

      OK, fine, but give me the solutions. The table above is an exaggeration. Most Muslims, like most Finns, are law-abiding Europeans.

  56. vincebel

    the problem is (without talking about any religion) is mass immigration – close minded culture and religion – demographic and cultural substitution –

    and this process happened, im sure, in many countries, done by many different cultures for ages.

    i think about europeans in south america, chinese in Tibet, and yes islam in Europe.

    ‘cultural diversity problem = Muslims
    uncontrolled immigration = too many Muslims getting in
    ghettos = Muslims
    undemocratic societies = Muslims

    just change the word Muslims by radical islamists and you get my point

    • Enrique

      –the problem is (without talking about any religion) is mass immigration – close minded culture and religion – demographic and cultural substitution – and this process happened, im sure, in many countries, done by many different cultures for ages.

      If you claim this is the case and it is an overriding problem (over 50% of the immigrant population), how do you difuse it? Do you do it by the growth of far right and populist parties or do you start to look at the matter in a whole different way. Again I will mention those magic words: mutual acceptance, respect and equal opportunities. That would be a good start.

  57. Hmmm

    “The existing problems are under your nose and in front of a mirror. It’s a two-way process not one-way as far right and right-wing populists want to argue.”

    Yes, not one-way. But still a fair amount of priority should be placed on the needs of the native population, IMO.

    “Hence, cultural diversity.”

    That is like saying that rain must be to blame if the grass is wet. At the moment it may hold, but things can change. Someone might turn on the sprinkler. Therefore, I stand by my statement: I don’t see cultural diversity as the problem.

    “OK, fine, but give me the solutions.”

    I do not claim to have the answers to making cultural diversity work. Instead I say that we should change immigration policies (examples have been given) while working out the bugs in increasingly multicultural society.

    • Enrique

      –Yes, not one-way. But still a fair amount of priority should be placed on the needs of the native population, IMO.

      This statement tells me that you don’t want to deal with the problem on equal terms. If people live here LEGALLY they have a right to be treated equally before the law. What you are saying, in effect, is that first we have to resolve the native problems and then the immigrants’. With this kind of logic, nothing will ever be resolved.

      Again, Hmmm, the problem is on your side.

  58. vincebel

    entirely agree with you.

    btw i dont think there is any problem with what i call islamization or mass immigration in Finland and we are far from that. But seriously in some areas of Europe its the sharia laws that are applied and the local police doesnt go there anymore…even after accepting them in integration programs, social benefits etc…

    so you think its normal? u think its normal that some people living in Europe are asking otehr people to kill infidels? where is the mutual acceptance and respect?

    • Enrique

      –so you think its normal? u think its normal that some people living in Europe are asking otehr people to kill infidels? where is the mutual acceptance and respect?

      I think it is totally wrong like some idiot Finns who write on Facebook that they are ready to kill the former immigration minister Astrid Thors.

      The issue is simple: We live in a culturally diverse society that requires accpetance, respect and equal opportunities for it to work. It is that simple. Moreover, in that culturally diverse society we can make choices about our lifestyles. That is our freedom to choose.

  59. vincebel

    ‘I think it is totally wrong like some idiot Finns who write on Facebook that they are ready to kill the former immigration minister Astrid Thors. ‘

    of course its wrong and they should be punished, like all the true finns MP telling racist comments or jokes..
    but you still didnt answer my questions.

  60. Mark

    Hmmm

    – “Well the problems in Europe have been so substantial, at least locally, in recent years that I thought it would be ok to say we have a problem and no answer.”

    It’s not okay with me. It is very important how you define the problem. That is not the time to generalise. I mean, it’s a totally different thing to say – we experience some problems and we have some answers that work and some that don’t than to define all of immigration as a problem.

    And what may I ask are the substantial local problems that would lead us to say, deny entry by immigrants who are Muslims? Are these problems local to you, by the way? If not, then why do you have an interest in them?

    – “No. I insist that the current European diversity presents problems.

    Such as? I’d be interested to know what you are most worried about.

    – “It’s a question of how much and how the clashes happen. And how we can make too serious clashes less likely to occur.”

    In principle I agree with you. You seem to have a noble motivation here. But you still don’t seem to accept my general point that many of the ‘problems’ of immigrants are problems of society more generally, that internal conflicts between different groups of Finns having different attitudes and beliefs itself gives rise to plenty of ‘clashes of values’. Why would we expect foreigners to be different?

    And what values do think that foreigners or Muslims might have that would give rise to an ‘incompatibility’? I mean, we tolerate many different kinds of opinions and values in the West. There are many conservative religious groups who are very pious about what women can wear, for example. It’s okay if it’s a Christian orthodoxy, but not if it’s a Muslim orthodoxy? Are you writing in blogs on a regular basis complaining about Christian orthodoxies?

    My thought is that if we can tolerate Christians, we should have very little difficulty tolerating the vast majority of Muslims.

    And what is the struggle with tolerance? Why is it so difficult? Why is it so difficult to just see Muslims and other foreigners as people, with varying values and experiences; some good people, some not so good people, some very productive, some lazy? I mean, it’s insulting to even start looking for reasons why we should look down on foreigners. There is something fundamentally inhumane about it, even fascist. It’s almost like some people want to bring a kind of apartheid to Europe. It’s fucking nuts.

  61. Hmmm

    “This statement tells me that you don’t want to deal with the problem on equal terms. If people live here LEGALLY they have a right to be treated equally before the law.”

    No, you are trying to make too much out of a simple statement. For example, in an ideally equal world an immigrant might want get rid of Christian traditions in schools. IMO the natives have the right to hold on to them if they so choose. In my eyes that’s reasonable even though it places some priority on the needs of the natives.


    “…than to define all of immigration as a problem.”

    I did no such thing.

    “And what may I ask are the substantial local problems that would lead us to say, deny entry by immigrants who are Muslims?”

    I did not call for denying muslims entry.

    “Are these problems local to you, by the way? If not, then why do you have an interest in them?”

    They have been, but not very significant problems. The interest, of course, is trying to minimize the possibility of such problems becoming more common.

    “I’d be interested to know what you are most worried about.”

    Well, the extreme ends would be the kind of things we see in Malmö, Paris and so on… you know, riots and such.

    “you still don’t seem to accept my general point that many of the ‘problems’ of immigrants are problems of society more generally,…”

    But I do accept them as society’s problems. I do not expect that there should be no clashes with immigrants but as I said, it is a question of probabilities, quantities and what types of clashes. I think everyone agrees that certain groups are more likely to run into trouble with the law than others. Who is to blame is irrelevant as long as we have no answers for solving the problems.

    “And what values do think that foreigners or Muslims might have that would give rise to an ‘incompatibility’?”

    I’m not going to get into details, and I’m probably not that qualified to do so. It’s the end results that I’m talking, i.e. some groups are more likely to ‘not adapt’.

    “It’s okay if it’s a Christian orthodoxy, but not if it’s a Muslim orthodoxy? Are you writing in blogs on a regular basis complaining about Christian orthodoxies?“

    This is not a question that affects people outside the specific community so I’m not that interested in it. But sure, I’m not fond of such things regardless of the community in question.

    “And what is the struggle with tolerance?”

    I don’t know about others but I tolerate until ‘it’ (whatever it might be) negatively affects me or other people outside the community in question.

    “I mean, it’s insulting to even start looking for reasons why we should look down on foreigners.”

    Agreed, no point in looking down on others. But to look for things that have wider social effects is important. And any useful information should naturally be used, with limitations naturally. However, such information should not be taken lightly or for granted, that is to say things change and such information is not static.

    • Enrique

      –For example, in an ideally equal world an immigrant might want get rid of Christian traditions in schools.

      Here again we are blaming the immigrant, which bring out a lot of questions about our society. If Finland is a secular society certainly religion does not have any role in the classroom, right? This is a hot debate but you shouldn’t blame immigrants for it.

  62. Hmmm

    “Here again we are blaming the immigrant, which bring out a lot of questions about our society. If Finland is a secular society certainly religion does not have any role in the classroom, right?”

    Come on, that was just an example to prove a separate point. Now you’re just so hell bent on finding ways to prove that I’m the problem that you’re completely missing the point. Furthermore you try to extend your speculation to the whole society. Read the context the statement was written in. The example could have been any other example about putting some priority to the needs of natives. The example could have even been a totally hypothetical one. Secularity/religion just happened to be involved in the example; it had nothing to do with the point itself. “Blaming immigrants” had no part in it either…

  63. Mark

    Hmmm

    – “I did not call for denying muslims entry.”

    – Mark said: “…than to define all of immigration as a problem.” I did no such thing.

    I think you are missing my point here. You did not say these things specifically, and I take you at your word that you really don’t have those attitudes, but you must be cognizant of the fact that the very same arguments you put forward are used to justify exactly these attitudes, that Muslims from certain countries should not be allowed to emigrate to Finland. By harping on about the failure of multiculturism while producing no evidence whatsoever for it, you must realise that I cannot accept that, and that for me, that puts you very much in the same camp as those whose ideal is some romantized notion of a homogoneous national culture and identity to which they unambiguously belong.

    – “They have been, but not very significant problems. The interest, of course, is trying to minimize the possibility of such problems becoming more common.”

    You probably understand why I asked this question? Many of the people complaining about the problems of multiculturalism actually have very little experience of those problems first-hand. And then others, who have first-hand negative experience involing an immigrant cannot put that experience into perspective – i.e. they consider the negativity as attaching to the alien culture and not to the person belonging to that alien culture.

    – “I’m not going to get into details, and I’m probably not that qualified to do so. It’s the end results that I’m talking, i.e. some groups are more likely to ‘not adapt’.”

    But I really think you must go into details. If you cannot be specific about those values that create an incompatibility or you cannot be more specific about what it means to ‘adapt’, then how can we have a pragmatic discussion about what solutions there are? I mean, I really get the sense that you have this strong pragmatism for solutions, but I also feel you are too lost in the idea of ‘problems’ without really knowing what those problems are except in a vague sense. And that is one of the problems about people’s attitudes to foreigners which really needs to be challenged, that the default position is always ‘immigration = problems’. That kind of attitude becomes self-affirming. You can see how that is possible no? You associate with problems, so whenever you see one in the news, you think, ah yes, those immigrant problems again, but when something positive happens, it’s just ‘ordinary’ and doesn’t register, as if it doesn’t matter. But it does matter, because in the process of evaluating the benefits or simply success of immigration, it’s important to understand that the everyday stuff that ‘just works’ is exactly what must be put on the other side of the scales when weighing up the effects of immigration.

    – “This is not a question that affects people outside the specific community so I’m not that interested in it. But sure, I’m not fond of such things regardless of the community in question.”

    The same can be said for Sharia, which rarely affects those outside the community where it would be practiced. As a matter of fact, it does affect people outside the community, because if you ever happen to fall in love with someone born into a very religious family, you very much will have to deal with it. Or for that matter, having a good school friend or work friend whose family or themselves are deeply involved. I take your point about not being fond of these things. I can see advantages and disadvantages to religious communities, but the basic thing is, tolerance means sometimes accepting things in other people which we ourselves don’t like.

    – “I don’t know about others but I tolerate until ‘it’ (whatever it might be) negatively affects me or other people outside the community in question.”

    Which further emphasises my point. If you base tolerance only on what you happen to ‘like’ or what affects you or your community negatively, then you have sidestepped one of the prerequisites of tolerance. Actually, you create quite a big net for angst against foreigners with that ‘what…affects…other people outside the community in question’.

    By the way, I’m not suggesting some kind of 100% tolerance here for ‘otherness’. Being critical is important whether we aim it at our own culture or someone else’s – the key thing is not to throw the baby out with the bath water. And that, my friend is what people have a great tendency to do. I guess my key point with you is that it’s important not to get too problem-focused when it comes to looking at immigration. That is not the same as burying your head in the sand, wearing rose-tinted spectacles, being PC to the point of contortion or hear no evil see no evil. It’s about realising that bad news has a habit of sticking more than good news, and then if we are asked to make an appraisal on the basis of ‘news’, then our outlook is likely to be overly pessimistic.

  64. Mark

    Allan

    – “Brendan O’Neill at spiked.com gives an excellent analysis. Anders Breivik was not so far from the multiculturalists http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10923/

    Thanks for the link Allan. A well-written article, but full of holes nonetheless. It’s what you expect from Sp!ked, which is generally regarded as contrary – disagreeing with the consensus for publicities sake. This story does rather serve the right wing agenda even if the magazine positions itself on the left (it used to be called Living Marxism until that rather fateful story they ran about the ‘Picture that fooled the world’, where they accused ITN of faking the photograph of emaciated men behind barbed wire in the Bosnian camps, saying it was the reporter inside the cage!

    Anyhow, to the story. O’Neil basically turns the popular analysis on his head saying that actually Breivik is ironically playing into the hands of multiculturalism by buying into the ‘victimhood’ status of native national identities, similarly they argue to 7/7 and 9/11 terrorists. O’Neil very specifically lets the Right off the hook when it comes to the links between Breivik and the poisonous rhetoric of anti-Islam, but does not let multiculturalism off the hook at all. Nope, his conclusion is that it is in fact multiculturalism that is the devil in this story. “Multiculturalism’s celebration of identity over solidarity, its promotion of the politics of self-pity and victimhood, of a perception that minority identities are continually under threat from the post-colonial and xenophobic attitudes of both society’s rulers and its native masses, found its most fanatical expression in the London bombings.”

    This would be very convenient if true, but nowhere have I ever seen multiculturalism promoting itself with that kind of agenda. It seems O’Neil wants to take all the negatives of identity politics and wrap them up in a bag and calling it ‘multiculturalism’. That’s a hatchet job if ever I saw one. Multiculturalism aims at solidarity between cultures rather than simply within cultures. Multiculturalism is almost definitely more concerned with empowering than it is with encouraging self-pity. Minority identities are not ‘under threat’, they are, as he later points out, vulnerable to negative representation, though he references under ‘needing respect’, as if this were merely an egotistical thing.

    “What ties something like 7/7 to the Norway attacks is today’s specific culture of estrangement. The nurturing of cultural particularism, the promotion of self-obsession over socialisation, of individual identity over collective citizenship, can create a sometimes volatile atmosphere. It can give rise to social envy, identity-based competition, a profound sense of cultural disconnection. Modern terrorism looks like the most extreme expression of these problems.

    Culture of estrangement? I guess by this he means the internet and erosion of face-to-face social relations. Again, there are as many pluses are there are minuses to the role of the internet in social lives. Some people who rarely left their houses can now ‘step out’ and create some kind of engagement with others online. I mean, this point seems to be a rehash of the ‘the loner gone awry’, but with an elevation to some kind of ‘culture’ status, thus making it an easy target alongside ‘multiculture’. There is no ‘culture’ of estrangement, and anyone that has opinions that are not mainstream can be considered to be ‘estranged’ somehow. None of this gets us any closer to seeing exactly what contacts Breivik did cultivate and the effects those contacts had on him. Cultural particularism doesn’t have to be nurtured, it’s probably the default position – identity forming is to a large extent a process of collective affirmation about shared symbols and rules. One cannot live very easily ‘outside’ one’s culture and so all culture tends towards particularism, towards seeing ourselves as ‘similar’ to those around us. On the contrary, I think that Breivik considers himself quite different from the majority, even ‘special’. And again, self-obsession is pretty normal. If the Greeks could come up with a Narcissus, then it’s pretty clear that inward or selfward gazing have been around for time immemorial, even if religions and cultures have often assigned an element of guilt and shame to that natural curiousity. And finally, O’Neils contention that individual identity is emphasised over collective citizenship directly contradicts the normally held view of sociologists that right-wing political identies tend to emphasise collectiveness (nationalism), while left-wing political identities tend to emphasize individualism (diversity).

    In other words, O’Neil succeeds in collecting a nest of cultural nastinesses and somehow presenting them as a coherant cultural disconnect, but actually, I don’t think any of them are particularly relevant to Breivik, and less still do I think that these nastinesses are somehow collectively promoted as a ‘culture’ or as a goal of multiculturism. In other words, a lot of hot air and theoretical bunkum.

    Which brings me to one other point he makes. He suggests those promoting multiculturism are part of the cultural elite!. Oh, this obsession with elites, where have I heard it before? 🙂 It is strange to be considered part of an elite! It’s worth pointing out that there are two approaches to multiculturism, one prescriptive and one descriptive. The prescriptive approach is usually one adopted by governments and agencies seeking to promote social cohesion in communities of mixed ethnicities – multiculturalism is promoted as something empowering and benefiicial to society, reducing tensions, creating a recognition of shared values and generally promoting harmony. That many of these programs are reactions to urban deprivation and the problems it has created generates immediate problems for multiculturalism, because the danger is that while being offered as a ‘cure’ for urban deprivation, it often then comes to be seen as the origin of social problems. A descriptive multiculturalism is more of a genre-based approach, genre in the sense of ‘the everyday’. It seeks simply to describe it as it is, not how we want it to be. How do people of different origins living in the same space get on? It’s approach attempts to be objective, though it remains a fundamentally ethnographic exercise, and so locating oneself in one’s own culture is almost a prerequisite to being able to peek into another culture. The assumption is that ‘multiculturalism’ is just something that happens, when two or more cultural traditions live side by side. The other assumption is that there is no fixed culture positions, that they are negotiated between individuals and also that there is diversity within cultures as much as between cultures. Likewise, individuals rarely present themselves as agents of their culture – that kind of self-consciousness is generally uncomfortable, but rather, people present themselves as individuals existing within a culture, elements of which are drawn from different traditions.

    Anyhow, that would be something of my take on the article, Allan.

  65. Mary Mekko

    What is a troll? Those creatures under the bridges in Norway? Is this an insult or does it mean something interesting?

    I love the ad hominem attacks online. Basic Logic 101 (University course, age 18) teaches that as a method of argumentation, it is the basest and least effective of them all. Not once does Jackie31337 address my actual statement. Is he/she projecting their own emptiness? Oh well, I guess us folks who type comments online are on the fringe, by definition, rather than plunge into the disco-frenetic life of work, work, work and money, social whirl, etc.

    Check out on http://www.youtube.com the following: HARRY AND PAUL PEEK-A-BOO. It’s a comedy about an older American couple on vacation in London meeting a Muslim covered from head to toe. They talk to her in an extremely friendly way and compliment her eyes. She looks frightened and confused at their effusiveness. All of Harry and Paul’s comedies are funny, including JUERGEN THE GERMAN. Ah, wonderful youtube!

  66. Alan Bruce

    I have followed this discussion with increasing interest, and even some elements of alarm. What we have seen since the appalling massacre in Norway is a slipping of the mask of the right and its cheerleaders – the growing reality of European racism and intolerance. This reality has a foundation, a rationale and (more worryingly) a support base. There is a twisted logic in the steamy world of bigotry and other-centred loathing. It is the fear of he little-man, wrapped up in the posturing and pretension of those increasingly aware of their ultimate powerlessness in the face of the shifting tectonic plates of globalized power relations and economic uncertainty.

    From the outside, what is remarkable is that the resurgence of crypto-fascist ideology and racism has been evident in the heartlands of supposed tolerance, progress and advanced social democracy. Thus we see the rise of this poisonous mindset throughout the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, England and Belgium. In Germany its progress has been more uneven (for evident historic reasons) while in France and other countries it has been intermixed with nationalist myth-making and twitches of the phantom limbs of colonialism.

    The crimes of Mr Breivik strip away the verbiage and bring us back to the basics of what racism and neo-fascism are really about. It has been remarkable to see how the right and its apologists have managed to reassemble their arguments within hours of the images of slaughtered children and shattered government buildings filling our screens and laptops. Let us never for a moment confuse our prejudice with the facts!

    Mr Breivik was not a solitary, lone-wolf, unstable psychopath. He is a depressingly typical example of your average steroid-enhanced wanna-be Nazi. His attacks were logical and consistent, in the way of the words and sentimentalized other-hate of the Horst Wessel Lied. He was actually defending the positions of parties like the PS, BNP and VB by attacking government (seen as in the hands of international liberalism), social welfare and immigration policies, youth, ethnic minorities and (most significant) an established party of the Left (Labor) that he blames passionately for its “sell-out” of the Norwegian/White/Christian way of life.

    Mr Breivik did most assuredly not act alone. He is part of a well-connected movement of pathetic but dangerous neo-fascist conspirators who dream of a time when Europe will be composed of folks just like them. God help us all! These types have been active for decades and they pose a serious and immediate challenge to individual, social and human rights. Individuals like him take the poisonous rantings of their cheerleaders to a depressing extreme – but the pedigree is clear. The smug posturings of people like Geert Wilders, Pym Fortuijn, Jorg Haider, Pia Kjaersgaard, Pim Fortuijn, NIck Griffin and Carl Hagen underpin the actions of Breivik.

    And PS and its fellow-travellers? You tell me….

    As usual with these racist cowards, they are squirming and writhing to deny responsibility for their words and inflammatory rhetoric. To make matters even worse (and some of the comments in this thread reflect this) they are actually blaming the victims. So the young dead socialists caused their own deaths? A woman wearing a veil triggered Breivik’s target practice skills? The policies of multiculturalism produce right wing terrorism?

    Let’s cut to the chase. Some months ago, Dr Merkel spoke to state that multiculturalism as a policy had been tried and failed in Germany. It was now over (interestingly she prefaces her remarks by stating that immigrants, as originally expected, had not simply uprooted themselves and “gone home”). Multiculturalism was never tried in Germany – that is the fact. Grudging acceptance of the need for immigrant labor is not the same as pro-active policies of intercultural engagement and mutual benefit with trained and competent staff administering enlightened policies of shared existence. This failure at European and national levels led to the emergence in the swampy undergrowth of creatures like Breivik. And he is not alone….

    While the police and security apparatuses have been trained on burka wearing housewives, unemployed immigrant youth, preventing construction of Swiss minarets, monitoring Roma or “controlling” immigration they have – by their own stated admission – not investigated Breivik and his networks because “there was nothing abnormal to investigate”. Well, now we know my friends. Those who look most disturbingly like us may be the most to fear. They are just normal people protecting their threatened existence. Normal political movements do not hunt down children and blow their brains out at a summer camp. In the chilling words of Breivik, his actions were “gruesome but necessary”. And for many Europeans, he is a hero….

    One last point. I am insulted by the comments that equate right-wing terror and violence with a purported left-wing equivalent. This is a classic cop-out. They are somehow all the same, a plague on both their houses. So can we have evidence of the left-wing atrocities? There aren’t any. The attacks in Europe against immigrants, against the Left, against the State are numerous, chronic and well-documented. Fire-bombing of German hostels for immigrants, OAS bombings in France, the Bologna bomb of 1980.

    There is no point seeking equivalence. What distinguishes the neo-fascist right is its consistent scape-goating of minorities and those who are different. And it does all this in the cause of “defending” what “we” have and “our” culture. This poses serious and immediate challenges to complacency in Finland. It may be an instructive irony to observe that the two countries most enmeshed in economic crisis and indebtedness in Europe (Greece and Ireland) are the two countries with no organized far-right, no anti-immigrant movements and a genuine level of inclusion and welcome for immigration.

    I have just spent the last few weeks in Greece. It was a privilege to be on Syntagma Square and to talk, discuss, debate and interact with some of the thousands of young people, community groups, political groups, rural women, ecology groups, Church bodies, immigrants, bloggers, journalists, teachers, unemployed, men, women, children, artists, musicians, acrobats and even police who are encamped in the center of the Greek capital and have been for months. What some of you may see on TV is the very odd riot, demonstration or hurled tear-gas canister. What I saw was a veritable daily exercise in mass-democracy and dialogue where people ask themselves what it means to be human and if there might be a better way than the obscenity of markets and debt-ratings agencies (something the Murdoch media does not publish).

    I don’t know about you, but that is pretty cool to me. Or is there a nice blond, blue-eyed “normal” young man lurking in the shadows hoping to machine-gun this carnival of alternative thought and democracy in action?

    Or maybe that kind of thing only happens in Scandinavia?

  67. JusticeDemon

    Mary Mekko

    When you get to logic 201 you will learn that ad hominem arguments are not necessarily fallacious.

    For example we may quite properly respond to Halla-aho’s efforts to distance himself from Anders Behring Breivik by quoting Mandy Rice-Davies: “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”. That is an entirely valid ad hominem argument illustrating the point that someone in Halla-aho’s position would have an interest in denying any association with Breivik, even if such an association existed.

    I realise that this is a little deeper than the average National Enquirer exposé and contains no obvious reds under your bed, but you did refer to the first year logic module.

  68. Hmmm

    “By harping on about the failure of multiculturism while producing no evidence whatsoever for it”

    But I have. For example the reoccurring riots in France. Well, to be exact, I have not said that ‘multiculturism’ is a failure. I have said that we have not developed a system that makes it work on such a scale (and speed of change) as we see in Europe. But on the other hand, when major moderate politicians like Merkel feel obliged to say something about failing multiculture, there has to be something behind it, right? On a side note, I feel that multiculturalism would have a much better prognosis if the speed of change would not be so drastic. That is one point why I feel immigration policies should be changed.

    “that puts you very much in the same camp as those whose ideal is some romantized notion of a homogoneous national culture and identity to which they unambiguously belong.”

    Now, there is some irony in that. It is often an argument of active supporters of ‘multiculturism’ that things should not be generalized and people not be lumped up in overly simplified categories like the ‘anti-multiculturists’ do.

    “Many of the people complaining about the problems of multiculturalism actually have very little experience of those problems first-hand….”

    Well, many people have very little first-hand experience of problems with nuclear power, for example, yet still they can have valid opinions about it. I.e. you don’t always need first-hand experience to form an educated opinion.

    “If you cannot be specific about those values that create an incompatibility or you cannot be more specific about what it means to ‘adapt’, then how can we have a pragmatic discussion about what solutions there are?”

    That’s just it: I’m not well enough informed to seriously discuss the solutions. I can speculate but I don’t see that very fruitful. On the other hand I don’t need the details to know that the problems exist and there is not that much progress being made solution wise. Yet without knowing the details of the problem, fruitful discussion can take place on other subjects than solutions to integration. To use the nuclear power analogy: the nuclear scientist need to know about the technical details in order to find the solutions to technical problems, the people making the investment decisions don’t need to know those specific details in order to have a fruitful discussion about the subject; they just need to have a sense of the costs, risks, i.e. probabilities, consequences of the risks materializing and so on… And that leads us to what I’ve been saying: we should change immigration policies until we have a satisfactory solution to integration problems.

    “You associate with problems, so whenever you see one in the news, you think, ah yes, those immigrant problems again, but when something positive happens, it’s just ‘ordinary’ and doesn’t register, as if it doesn’t matter.”

    I totally agree with you, that’s how peoples’ minds work. That is why statistics, social studies etc. are much more important than individual pieces of news.

    “I can see advantages and disadvantages to religious communities, but the basic thing is, tolerance means sometimes accepting things in other people which we ourselves don’t like.”

    Yes, but accepting separate judicial systems for different people is a very slippery slope.

    “Which further emphasises my point. If you base tolerance only on what you happen to ‘like’ or what affects you or your community negatively, then you have sidestepped one of the prerequisites of tolerance.”

    You’re right, it can’t work such vague definitions such as ‘what I like’. The things which person x does not tolerate must be based on some form of clearer definitions such as law, official code of conduct in a housing cooperative etc. Then there are also more gray areas (such as things that are simply not acceptable in a culture even though there is no specific law concerning the thing) where diplomacy and discussion must take place before any actions.

    “I guess my key point with you is that it’s important not to get too problem-focused when it comes to looking at immigration.”

    I can’t argue with that.

  69. JusticeDemon

    Hmmm

    “By harping on about the failure of multiculturism while producing no evidence whatsoever for it”

    But I have. For example the reoccurring riots in France.

    Bullshit. France has the longest and most consistent history of denying cultural diversity of any country in Europe. Diversity has been denied even to the extent of repudiating obvious regional variation and asserting that there is no cultural difference between Corsicans and Bretons, with everyone understood to be French in exactly the same way.

    There has been absolutely no policy of multiculturalism in France. Quite the opposite. Sarkozy’s remark on this point is about as silly as saying that Finland has failed in its policy of citrus grove irrigation or Tunisia has failed in its policy of tending ski slopes. France has always been proudly and loudly anti-multicultural.

    Now go back and discuss this with your hommaforum buddies. You need to come up with some other excuse to deflect attention from the obvious role of racism, social exclusion, unemployment and poverty in promoting social unrest.

  70. Hmmm

    “Bullshit. France has the longest and most consistent history of denying cultural diversity of any country in Europe. Diversity has been denied even to the extent of repudiating obvious regional variation and asserting that there is no cultural difference between Corsicans and Bretons, with everyone understood to be French in exactly the same way.”

    So it’s a question of definition of multiculturism.

    “Now go back and discuss this with your hommaforum buddies.”

    Nice. You have to be one of the most arrogant guys I’ve come up with on the net. After a somewhat rough start and both of us toning down a bit I’ve gotten along with Mark pretty decently, but I see no point in continuing discussions with a guy like you with such bitter attitude from the getgo.

  71. JusticeDemon

    Hmmm

    And another one runs away. Why not just admit that you made an awful blunder about France and then move on?

    France clearly has never had any policy of multiculturalism, so neither the rioting nor the 1998 World Cup win can be the outcome of such a policy. That’s a simple, knockdown refutation of your view. Checkmate. You are simply unwilling to admit this so you pretend to be offended instead.

    We have seen this kind of childish behaviour by the hommaforum crowd many, many times here. You come in with a load of swaggering assertions (e.g. describing immigration as “poorly managed” without the faintest idea of how it actually is managed), you get your ass kicked in debate, and then you cry about how offended you are.

    Rambos with wet pants. I can hardly contain my indifference.

  72. JusticeDemon

    Hmmm

    You couldn’t resist. What happened to I see no point in continuing discussions?

    lol

    All you have to do is show us the French policy of multiculturalism that caused the riots in your opinion.

    It’s right up there with the Finnish policy of citrus grove subsidies, the high seas navy of Switzerland and the Gestapo manual of humane interrogation.

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