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European far right flirts with Norwegian mass murderer Breivik’s ideas

Photo credit: Oslo politidistrikt

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik may have failed to ignite a race war with Muslims, but he succeeded in stoking anxieties about the stability of Europe’s increasingly diverse societies.

Though his talk of an international underground of killers – latter-day Crusaders he called the Knights Templar – seemed to be mere fantasy, and while his methods place him far beyond the pale of mainstream politics, many of his beliefs are to be found within the fold of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant populists.

“His ideological `manifesto’ is a distilled representation of a cultural crisis that pervades the European continent and finds expression in an increasingly xenophobic populism,” Kirsten Simonsen, a professor at Denmark’s Roskilde University, wrote in “Bloodlands”, a 2012 series of essays about Breivik.

Some notions – that Europe and its indigenous cultures are being weakened by immigration and multiculturalism – have been helping reshape the continent’s right-wing politics for years.

These beliefs occasionally find an echo on the margins of centre-right parties, among politicians seeking support from communities plagued by rising unemployment.

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