As the the trial of Anders Breivik begins in Norway, Chris Bambery argues that Europe’s political establishment is responsible for the rise of the far-right, institutional racism and Islamophobia.

What would the reaction have been in 1945 if Adolf Hitler had been captured alive to face the Nuremberg war crime tribunal and the judges had ruled he could not stand trial because he was criminally insane?

Hitler was not insane. He was a racist who advocated genocide on a mass scale and the simple truth was that that represented a vile but very real current which gained popularity in the inter-war period. The Nazis who ran the death camps were family men who had been dentists, architects and lawyers who went home for dinner in the evening, played with their kids and listened to Mozart.

Anders Behring Breivik is a mass murderer. If he had been a Muslim, and we should remember after his bomb in Oslo went off the finger was pointed at Muslims, he’d be en route to Guantanamo Bay or some other hell hole.

Breivik openly and proudly asserts an Islamophobic, anti immigrant agenda which is common currency on the far right and the not so far right. He is an unrepentant Nazi as demonstrated by his Nazi salute given at the first opportunity.

He is not a ‘lone wolf’ because he openly said he was in contact with other Nazis and far right groups such as the EDL.

The reason why the ‘lone wolf’ line is being spun is to obscure the fact that the Islamophobic and anti-migrant policies and statements of conventional politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy encourage and feed the Nazis and racists. Of course Sarkozy is not going to gun down kids at a summer camp but his demonization of Islam encourages genocidal racists like Breivik and his comrades.

Bans on the Burqa or on minarets in a country like Switzerland where there are none are statements that Islam has no place in Europe (ignoring its contribution to European civilization – if such a thing exists). It encourages the idea that Muslims should be removed from Europe just as attacks on Roma and migrant camps in Hungary, Italy and elsewhere evoke memories of what took place in Europe in the 1930s.

Breivik should face trial and his punishment. His disgusting pride in his murders reminds us of why we need to mobilize to isolate and defeat the Nazis and the racists and why we should deny the oxygen of publicity to his comrades on the genocidal far right.


Demonstrate against the EDL in Luton

EDL thugsOn the 5th May 2012 the EDL will be holding their national demo in Luton. Unite Against Fascism (UAF) are calling on all anti-racists and anti-fascists to assemble in Wardown Park, New Bedford Road, Luton, LU3 1LP at 11am and march to St George’s Square, in the town centre, in solidarity against the EDL.

Chris Bambery

Chris Bambery is an author, political activist and commentator, and a supporter of Rise, the radical left wing coalition in Scotland. His books include A People's History of Scotland and The Second World War: A Marxist Analysis.