Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Breivik: Interpreting “legitimate defense” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

We – as Arabs and Muslims – must pay attention to the court hearing is current taking place in Norway against Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted to killing 76 people.

Norway was shocked and horrified by the actions of this right-wing Norwegian citizen who carried out a killing spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya. This youth camp aimed to spread the idea of dialogue and multiculturalism.

Therefore what we are seeing is violence carried out by a member of the European far-right – which is in the ascendency these days – against a civilian group who are calling for dialogue, multiculturalism and coexistence between all members of the human race.

What is astounding is that Breivik’s defense team, during the opening comments of the trial, argued that he is not guilty for he was acting in “legitimate defense!”

Breivik’s defense team has called on historical and legal experts to support the legitimacy of this “not guilty” plea.

Norwegian civil groups who oppose extremist right-wing movements that share the same views as the defendant claim that Breivik is trying to use the court-room – and the subsequent media coverage of the trial – to promote his sick extremist views.

Breivik’s defense team are attempting to portray him as a Norwegian patriot who believes that forces alien to his country’s national culture are attempting to exploit the openness and welcoming nature of Norwegian society in an attempt to impose their ideas and views on the country.

The defense team will try to prove that Breivik’s violent actions fall under the right to “legitimate defense”, as he – and others in Norway and Europe – feel that non-European immigrants have come to “impose their lifestyle upon us!”

Therefore I think this court case is very important, and it will issue a historic judgment. This is because this court case will issue a decisive judicial vision which answers the question, “should European citizens be allowed to express their fears regarding the loss – or threat of loss – of their national identity by using violence?”

This is a very dangerous question, and we are awaiting its answer.