Anders Breivik set out to murder social democrats. He achieved his aim.
Eight five, perhaps more, of Norway’s brightest and most civic minded, some of them leaders, others innovators, comrades all, were slaughtered. The future of the Arbeiderpartiet, and of Norway. Their precious and beautiful lives, destroyed.
Breivik is a man who believed and promulgated the anti Muslim conspiracism that is peddled by the likes of Stop Islamisation of Europe. Indeed, affection for that group and their politics runs through this murderer’s online writing. Take a look at the (now defunct) SIOE UK website, and you will recognise the same themes which structured Breivik’s worldview. Hostility to liberal values. Disdain for diversity and pluralism. Utter loathing and fear of Muslims. And, above all, a belief that those of us who oppose that assault on a liberal pluralist society are the enemy.
This was the ideology which motivated Anders Breivik.
This was an attack on all liberals and social democrats, and our values.
Leviticus 19:17-28 says:
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
This is not simply a personal commandment. A society which gives in to murderous loathing and sectarianism will not survive, and does not deserve to survive.
In the Jewish tradition, it is said that “sinat chinam” – baseless hatred – caused the destruction of the Temple. As more than eighty very young Norwegians lie dead, we must make sure that baseless hatred does not destroy our temple.