[Marxism] "Norway attacks: We can no longer ignore the far-right threat"

John Cox johncox519 at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 24 12:35:46 MDT 2011

from today's Guardian, by Matthew Goodwin, who apparently specializes in the study of the BNP and their ilk:

The tragedy in Norway this weekend may prove to be a watershed moment in terms of how we approach far right followers, groups and their ideology. Until now, European democracies and their security services had focused almost exclusively on the threat from al-Qaida -inspired terrorism. Rightwing extremist groups and their more violent affiliates were dismissed as a disorganised, fragmented and irrelevant movement.

This conventional wisdom, however, ignored wider evidence of a more violent and confrontational mood that was emerging within European far right circles. This shift may have been a response to the arrival of al-Qaida-inspired terrorism, or a sense that far right political parties in Europe (such as the Norwegian Progress party of which the attacker was once a member) were not having enough influence on issues such as immigration.

Two years ago, anti-terrorism officers in Britain warned of a growing threat from rightwing "lone wolves". At the same time, the US department of homeland security warned of the way in which the wider economic climate and election of the first African-American president could result in confrontations between rightwing extremists and government authorities "similar to those in the past"....

... The sources of his ideological influences have started to become clear. He was far from what we might term a traditional rightwing extremist. While he was profoundly concerned about the effects of immigration, multiculturalism, Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities, he was also dismissive of crude racial supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas and parties that espoused these ideas, naming for example the British National Party (BNP).

It was, perhaps, his rejection of the BNP that prompted his interest in the English Defence League (EDL). While Breivik was impressed by the speed of their growth, he also praised "tactical choices" made by their leaders. This included an endorsement of the EDL's rejection of traditional white supremacist discourse and racism, and their decision to oppose Islam on cultural grounds. This distinction between traditional race-based forms of rightwing extremism (such as those of the BNP) and a new anti-Muslim narrative reflects a broader change within the European far right. Rather than oppose immigration and Islam on racial grounds (an argument that would attract little support), the emphasis shifts on to the more socially acceptable issue of culture: Muslims are not biologically inferior, but they are culturally incompatible, so the argument goes. The aim is to open modern far right groups up to a wider audience....

full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/24/norway-bombing-attack-far-right  		 	   		  

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