Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Post-Breivik Finland

The Finnish blogger Vasarahammer posted the following guest essay at Tundra Tabloids earlier today. His topic is the post-Breivik crackdown on “Islamophobic” dissidents in Finland, which was much the same as in other Scandinavian countries — and indeed the rest of Europe.

See the original article for the accompanying photos.

A Post-Breivik Finland
by Vasarahammer

Breivik’s terror attack occurred in July at the time most of the Finns enjoy their summer holiday. That did not prevent the media storm that followed. It was made worse by the fact that a Finnish MP was quoted in Breivik’s manifesto even though indirectly. Fjordman quoted Jussi Halla-aho in one of his essays, which was copy-pasted to the manifesto created by the mass murderer Breivik.

The most hostile reaction came from the Social Democrats. The party secretary Mikael Jungner (pictured left) demanded that Halla-aho should resign from his position as the chairman of the Administrative committee in the Finnish parliament.

The stated reason was the fact that the mass murderer Breivik mentioned Halla-aho’s name in his manifesto. It did not matter to Jungner or the Finnish MSM that it was not Breivik who quoted Halla-aho but Fjordman. Still, a “second-hand” quote was enough to launch a witch hunt.

The biggest Finnish daily, the Helsingin Sanomat, had previously “revealed” that Halla-aho has connections to the “anti-Islamic” Gates of Vienna blog.


The Helsingin Sanomat article written by Jukka Huusko painted a grim picture of Halla-aho’s ties to the sinister Counterjihad movement. Huusko relied heavily on information provided by Jussi Jalonen, a war historian from the University of Tampere and a long-time critic of Halla-aho.

The article included a picture of Gates of Vienna blog and it said that Halla-aho was listed as a correspondent. This implied that Halla-aho was an active participant of the anti-Islamic subculture and that he drew the ideas from there. The target was to belittle Halla-aho and to present a view that Halla-aho is not an original thinker of his own right but just passively imitating ideas coming from abroad.

The biggest shock for me was, of course, that yours truly was also mentioned by Helsingin Sanomat as a correspondent of the infamous Gates of Vienna blog. My real name was not mentioned but HS published the identity of the man behind the Tundra Tabloids without his consent. The Finnish MSM would never publish the name of a suspected criminal belonging to a minority reserved for special protection, but KGS’s real name was there in the article under the heading “Mass murder in Norway”.

I could not have imagined when I started my blog Vasarahammer five years ago that the name of the blog would one day be mentioned in these circumstances in the pages of Helsingin Sanomat. However, I also realized that it was not me who was the target of witch hunt, but Halla-aho.

I also knew how Halla-aho became a correspondent in the infamous Gates of Vienna, since I translated Halla-aho’s first article at Gates of Vienna, a blog that has always been willing to publish articles concerning Finnish affairs for an international audience.

The fact that Gates of Vienna lists yours truly and Halla-aho as a correspondent is not evidence of some sinister conspiracy but a compliment that proves the common decency of the GoV administrators. They give credit where the credit is due and do not steal other people’s ideas and present them as their own.

Analysis of the Counter jihad movement

Jussi Jalonen has at times found it difficult to hide his contempt of Halla-aho and the so called “immigration-critical movement” as the Finns opposed to mass immigration and often critical of Islam are described. He has previously predicted that the movement will soon fade and be forgotten. He found his chance to hasten the demise of immigration critics when Breivik fired his fatal shots at Utøya island.

The problem with Jalonen is not the lack of contempt but the shallowness in his analysis. Jalonen attempted to paint a picture of a sinister network of counterjihadists who hate Islam and Muslims with a passion. He was given a chance to describe the Counterjihad movement as an expert in the Yle current affairs program, but he only managed to utter a few words about “former Maoist” Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s drinking problem. Even though the Yle journalist browsed sites like Brussels Journal and Gates of Vienna, Jalonen failed to capitalize his moment in the limelight. Jalonen describes Gates of Vienna blog:

The administrator of Gates of Vienna, who uses a pseudonym Baron Bodissey, is a typical example. They practically hate Muslims and oppose Islam in its entirety in a very blatant way.

It is painfully obvious even for an ignorant viewer that Jalonen is out there to smear and not to analyze.

Toby Archer from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs did not go as far as Jalonen but was equally dismissive in his analysis of Counterjihad in his essay “Learning to love the Jews: the impact of the War on Terror and the counter-jihad blogosphere on European far right parties”.

Archer acknowledges that “the Counter-jihad” movement is a loose network and not a conspiracy. However, he fails to understand the root causes and tries to present the Counterjihad and European far right politicians as Jew-loving Nazis. Archer claims that the ideology of Counterjihad is essentially based on Bat Ye’or’s Eurabia conspiracy theory.

The support of Israel is seen by Archer as a window dressing. He describes the so called far right parties in Europe:

…populist right parties in Europe that have adopted a pro-Israeli position ensure logic of the counterjihad discourse and, in doing so, it has provided them with a number of advantages. Firstly they have constructed a new, non-race based anti-immigrant politics whilst shielding themselves from the most obvious criticism leveled at the far-right in the past — that of antisemitism and being seen as a legacy of Nazism and, hence, connected to the destruction that Nazism wrought on the continent. In disavowing antisemitism, they are reconstructing themselves as more mainstream parties within the European context, whilst gaining electoral advantage by criticising Islam which has become a concern of many in Europe. It has also provided these parties with allies across the Atlantic, and with greater distance from the street level of European politics they have found less critical access to more mainstream conservative media and opinion formers in the United States.

While there may have been some rethinking of positions concerning Israel, Archer tries to question the sincerity of support for Israel by presenting it as naked opportunism. Also the Counterjihad movement is not the product of real concerns, but only a reaction to globalization. As Archer puts it:

the counter-jihad discourse is a reaction to the instability wrought by globalization, that as well as bringing levels of wealth and comfort to the majority of Europeans not seen before, also brings change to societies and economies and means they have much to lose.

Neither Jalonen nor Archer see the actual causes and events that made it happen. Islam is just an imaginary threat created by paranoid internet bloggers. They think that globalization just happens and equate Islamization with globalization. Jalonen has publicly stated that there is no such thing as Islamization.

I would argue that most of those critical of Islam and supportive of Israel realize the nature of the threat faced by Israel. Palestinians are not a nation seeking independence but Muslim Arabs who hate the Jews and aim at the destruction of the Jewish state. It is actually not very hard to see this, but it is much harder to recognize it because it goes against the picture painted by the school system, leading politicians and mass media of Palestinians as innocent victims of Israeli aggression.

When it comes to the threat posed by large scale Islamic immigration, it is not difficult to find examples of failed integration, welfare dependency and open hostility to the infidel nation-state among Muslim immigrants in Europe.

Breivik as a tool for smearing

Anders Breivik has turned out to be a handy tool not only to those wanting to smear the Counterjihad, but also to feminists and far-left academics. Jemima Repo, a young scholar of political science in the University of Helsinki explains in an op-ed published by Helsingin Sanomat, wrote how anti-feminism and misogyny played a large role in Anders Breivik’s thinking.

Repo finds out that Breivik was also inspired by anti-feminists such as Robert Bork and Fjordman. According to Repo, the policies of secularized welfare state have helped to increase indecency of women, feminization of men and decay of marriage. This leads to “the extinction of Nordic race”. Repo concludes her article with a bold statement:

“Racism, in which far-right thinking is based, is strongly connected to other hate ideologies and it cannot be fought against without taking into account far right misogyny and anti-feminism. They are dangerous ideologies that must be denounced in the same way as racism.”

Repo wants to imply that opposition to feminism and its excesses puts you in the same camp as Breivik. There is no mention of Islamic misogyny in Repo’s article, which, of course, is hardly surprising.

Another Finnish academic who featured prominently in the post-Breivik scapegoating was far left academic Mikko S. Lehtonen, Professor of Media Culture in the University of Tampere. Lehtonen’s background is in the pro-Soviet Taistoist movement of the 1970’s, and he also participated in the activities of heavily politicized student organization Teiniliitto (Teen League).

Lehtonen has recently published a book called The meaning of 9/11 (Syyskuun yhdennentoista merkitys). The mass murder in Utøya prompted Lehtonen to rewrite the foreword to his book, and in his new foreword, which can be found on the internet in Finnish, Lehtonen switched the focus from 9/11 to 7/22.

In a typical far left fashion Lehtonen turns things around in order to present a view that fits his worldview. He describes the initial reaction to Oslo bombing:

The perpetrators were spontaneously assumed to be radical Islamists, even though the manner of operation pointed to another direction, namely to the 1995 Oklahoma city bomber Timothy McVeigh. He also created his bomb using ammonium nitrate, used Glock 17 pistol and Ruger Mini 14 rifle.

The target of the Oslo bombing was to cause a maximum number of civilian casualties. This pointed to radical Islamists. The choice of bombing material and weapons was not known initially and probably was not considered significant at the time.

Lehtonen moves on to explore the “root causes” of Breivik’s act. The man was not crazy but heavily influenced by “hate speech”:

The immediate context of the Oslo massacre is the far right thinking and activism that has gained ground in Europe during the recent decades.

Several commentators have emphasized that the mass murderer was not a lone nut. As terrorism expert Marc Sageman pointed out, the writings of the counter-jihadists were the necessary prerequisite that created Breivik.

The talk of Oslo killer as a lone nut turns attention away from far-right hate speech, which should be handled with zero tolerance.

Lehtonen is not the first far-left, anti-racist academic to use the term “zero tolerance” in this context, but in the aftermath of Breivik’s attacks it more or less became fashionable to advocate censorship in this way. Lehtonen’s book is intended for Finnish audience so logically he does his best to demonize Jussi Halla-aho and the immigration-critical movement:

Halla-aho’s culturally tuned racism works so that he first divides people into two groups, “us” and “them”. “Us” is the starting point in the comparison, a given norm. It provides the foundations, with which the world is placed in order and with which strong positive or negative feelings are combined.

Lehtonen first states that Halla-aho is not responsible for Breivik’s act in the judicial sense. However, he still thinks that Halla-aho is “ethically responsible”:

…he should ask himself, whether he has participated in the development and spreading of the patterns of thought that resulted in denying dozens of people the fundamental human right- the right to life.

The fact that the postmodern left equates thought with action hardly surprises anyone. Moving further in Lehtonen’s footsteps would lead to censorship and persecution of dissidents very much the same way as in the Soviet Union, formerly the model society of Lehtonen and his ilk.

In the Marxist utopia there were not to be any class differences. In Lehtonen’s multiculturalist utopia people are not divided into “us” and “them”. Supporters of any political utopia do not respond kindly to criticism but rather attempt to silence those who dare to express forbidden ideas. They label the critics as “enemies of the people” or, as today’s multiculturalists do, “racists and xenophobes”. In doing this they are guilty of the same crime that they accuse their opponents of. They divide the world into “us” who think the right kind of thoughts and “them”, who don’t.

One thing that Breivik managed to do in addition to murdering dozens of innocent people was to provide more ammunition to those seeking to shut down the debate about multiculturalism and the influence of Islam in the West.


Ann-Marie said...

Interesting how none of this would even have been an issue 20-30 years ago. It is only because more and more people are waking up and "smelling the coffee" or rater the stink of radical islam and the PC-crowd. For that we are being labelled with all kinds of names we don't care to be labelled with...

I have no problem with people who move to another country, learn the language, do their part and integrate. I've done it a few times myself and know what I'm talking about. But the hordes that are invading the West now, have no intention of doing just that and I have a HUGE problem with it!

B.B. said...

The media narrative about what caused Anders Behring Breivik to go on his shooting spree is completely false. Anyone who had read his manifesto would know that he wasn't radicalized by Counter-Jihad bloggers and intellectuals, but by his personal experiences with Muslim gangs in his youth[1]. This has been completely ignored. For instance, his Wikipedia page mentions absolutely nothing about his run-in with Muslim gangs in his youth, despite it being an integral part of his manifesto.

People have laid blame on the likes of Fjordman for "inspiring" him, but the reality of the situation is that Breivik only became aware of Fjordman's writings some six month after he began writing his manifesto[2]. One cannot only blame these omissions on ignorance, as the media extensively quoted Breivik mentioning Fjordman as the "most talented right wing essay writer in Europe" in the exact same paragraph where he stated that he only became aware of him long after beginning his planned terrorist attack.

[1] 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, p. 1393
[2] 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, p. 1405


B.B. said...

he only became aware of him long after beginning his planned terrorist attack.

CORRECTION: he only became aware of him long after he had began planning his terrorist attack.