Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FP's Toby Archer on Breivik

Toby Archer quickly has set the standard for journalism and reflection on Breivik. This is an informed piece.

Amplify’d from
We hope, and perhaps need, a man who would gun down teenagers in cold blood to be mad.

So when Anders Behring Breivik says that his killing spree on Friday, July 22, was "gruesome but necessary" -- as he reportedly told his lawyer -- we must not just dismiss him as mad, but ask why he thinks so. Having left a 1,500-page manifesto and a YouTube video -- all conveniently in serviceable English for the international audience -- he clearly wants to be understood.

To do so requires an appreciation of a transatlantic movement that often calls itself "the counter-jihad." As his writings indicate, Breivik is clearly a product of this predominantly web-based community of anti-Muslim, anti-government, and anti-immigration bloggers, writers, and activists -- no matter how much the movement's leading lights may deny this and denounce his actions.

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