EUROPE’S STATE OF DENIAL RINGS HOME, BREIVIK’S MASS MURDER AND THE IDEOLOGICAL VACUUM OF EUROPE
It is denial and willful ignorance that connects the political murders of lone wolf Breivik with the general ideological climate in Europe. The unwillingness to accept internal faults and deal with them is what created an ideological vacuum in Europe where hollow messages about the invented almighty enemy of Islam rule. Breivik is a product of that world. It is Islam that rightwing leaders like Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who Breivik cited extensively in his manifest, keep as a scapegoat pet, against its will and without deserving it.
Although Islam, and the radical interpretation of Islam particularly, are certainly issues to address in a Europe with a sizeable minority of Muslims, Islam and Muslims are not central to Europe’s problems. What is central to Europe and its problems is the majority of its people, the hollow white post-christian mass that makes up the empty heart of the continent. It is the lack of active dealing with ourselves, with what we really are, in what we believe, that leaves the vacuum at our heart.
This active denial of our own responsibility and the problems that we cause ourselves, does not only reign in the economy of Greece, but runs as a red thread through Europe. It is a red thread that started about a decade ago with the murder on Dutch rightwing politician Pim Fortuyn by a leftist animal rights activist, continued with the murder on Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh by a homegrown Islamic terrorist and now thickens in the line of blood that Breivik left.
It is a thread to that whirls around ‘the other’, around Islam, around Muslims. In the sixties we ‘invited’ ‘them muslims’ over. Some did invite them over just to work for us. Some invited them in as interesting exotic guests. Some invited them as ‘victims’ of the world. Some hadn’t invited them at all and saw them as unwelcome guests. Most though saw them as a solution or at least a distraction of our problems at home. As a solution to our laziness to do dirty jobs. As a solution to come clean with our post WorldWar II trauma’s and guilt. As an exotic solution to the bleakness of our monotonous societies.
‘They’ turned out not to be a solution though, and they only served as the vehicle that allowed us to deny our problems for a while. At some point ‘they’ stood up and manifested themselves, often as animals kept in too small a cage for too long: lashing out and using the only weapon they could fall back on, Islam.
It was the Muslim conspiracy with the left that was blamed. The left denied the problems the Muslims caused and the leftist project of molding them to ‘good European citizens’ failed. This was no surprise since there were no the good Europeans to be moulded after. The left merely assumed that the same dogma they whirled themselves in, but was essentially a lie, would also absorb the Muslims. It did not, the multicultural society faulted. The only thing that came in its place was a similarly dogmatic argument of the right to deny the left power and ‘Islam’ access to ‘their’ society altogether. With Dutch politician Geert Wilders as its main propagator, lone wolf Breivik found refuge in this ideology of denial and used it as a justification of his mad murderous actions.
‘They’ could not be routed out, other than by mass murder or deportation, and therefore the call of war against Islam remained a hollow echo at home, whereas internationally the war was never to be won. That is the argument remained hollow untill Breivik stood up in Norway this weekend and filled the reactionary ideology with blood. With Breivik rightist Europe now feels called out on its empty reactionary dogma, as they called out the leftists during the last decade on their dogmatic denial of problems related to the new Muslim communities.
What remains is a hollow heart of Europe. With bloodstains spreading like a dangerous virus all over it. What Breivik has done in such a horrific way is to finally confront us Europeans with the most ugly side of ourselves. Breivik has brought Europe’s state of denial home. Breivik’s action shows us that blaming Muslims and their Islam for our problems only goes so far. And stops here and now. With the murder of 68 civilians Breivik has also killed Islam as a vehicle of denial for ourselves and our own problems. He has killed the scapegoat, his own argument of death. Now it is up to Europe to wake up and face up, not to the external enemy Islam, but to our problems within.