"As Thomas Hegghammer, the Norwegian expert on Islamism, has argued, Breivik is in some respects an occidental mirror of Osama bin Laden—a dangerous monster, perhaps, but not necessarily an irrational one. Breivik’s manifesto, Hegghammer explains, departs from established categories of right-wing extremism such as ultra-nationalism, white supremacism, or Christian fundamentalism, to reveal “a new doctrine of civilizational war that represents the closest thing yet to a Christian version of al-Qaeda.” The concept of “civilizational conflict ” or “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, first articulated by Bernard Lewis, is shared by many on the right and some in Europe’s liberal mainstream.
“Both Breivik and the leaders of al-Qaeda see themselves as engaged in a conflict that extends back to the Crusades, with both of them
using references to medieval chivalry. Both have resorted to catastrophic violence on behalf of transnational entities: the Ummah or “community” of all Muslims in the case of al-Qaeda, and “Europe” in the case of Breivik. Both frame their struggle as wars of survival, with the emphasis placed on defending a religiously-based culture rather than a distinctive nationality or ethnicity. Both hate their respective governments for “collaborating” with the outside enemy. Both use the language of martyrdom. Where Islamists refer to suicide bombings as “martyrdom operations” Breivik refers to an individual “martyr cell” in anticipation of his attack on defenseless youngsters. Both, as Hegghammer notes, lament the erosion of patriarchy and the emancipation of women.”
“Just as al-Qaeda represents an extreme, activist variant of political views held by a much wider constituency of Muslim radicals, most of whom would never consider crossing the boundary between thinking and action, so Breivik (judging from his manifesto) holds a broad range of positions common to what might be called the “counter-jihadist” or “paranoid right.” This is represented—among others—by Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, and Pamela Geller in the US, the controversial Dutch legislator Geert Wilders, and Bat Ye’or and Melanie Phillips in Britain. All these writers—most of whom have denounced the Utoya massacre in the most unequivocal terms—subscribe to variants of the thesis that Europe is sleepwalking into cultural disaster or (in the case of Phillips) enabling Islamist terrorists to gain a foothold.”
“Critics of the counter-jihadists in blogs and published articles have not been slow to point out the affinities between their utterances and the “classical” anti-Semitism of 1930s Europe. Jonathan Haari, writing in the Independent, names Bat Ye’or (the pseudonym of Giselle Littman, an Egyptian-born Jewish writer) as one of the “intellectuals on the British right who are propagating a theory about Muslims that comes close to being a 21st-century ‘Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.’” Bat Ye’or’s best known work, Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, which Breivik cites extensively, castigates a supine European Union for allying itself with Arab states at the expense of Israel and the Atlantic alliance, creating a situation whereby Christians and Jews will be reduced to the status of dhimmis (the protected but subordinate minority communities of classical Islam). They will be second class citizens forced to ‘walk in the gutter.” In a letter of protest to the publishers of the Hebrew translation of Eurabia, Adam Keller, the Israeli peace activist compared it ) to Edouard Drument’s La France Juive (1886), the anti-Semitic tract that provided the ideological underpinnings for the deportation of France’s Jews under the Vichy government half a century later.”