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  • Author: Peter Hervik x
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Abstract

The purpose of this introductory article is to set the stage for the theme issue on the 22 July 2011 terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya by mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik. The article opens up with the historical and literary figure Erostratus to discuss the differences and similarities between this lone wolf character and the acts of terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. It then situates Breivik firmly within an ideological landscape where communities of politicians, pundits and others distance themselves from Breivik’s terrorising acts, yet in the end share his basic criticism of “multiculturalism” appearing synonymous with “cultural Marxism” as well as subscribing to what goes under the term of Eurabia conspiracy. In addition, through centring on other catch-all concept of political correctness, the clusters of different anti-migration, anti-feminism and Islamophobic opposition are united together in news articles in a way not unlike the media coverage (and academic analyses) of the Danish Muhammad cartoon affair.

Abstract

When the two terrorist attacks in Norway took place and the identity of terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik (ABB) was revealed, attention turned to his network relations and shared ideas with Danish radical right wing communities, including the Danish People’s Party. In this article, we focus on ABB’s Danish connections through an analysis of the first 100 days of Danish media coverage. We scrutinised 188 articles in the largest daily newspapers to find out how Danish actors related to ABB’s ideas. The key argument is that the discourses and opinions reflect pre-existing opinions and entrenched positions that have little to do with the event 22/7. Instead, they have everything to do with an attempt to contain domestic adversaries, if not enemies, such as “multiculturalists” and feminists, who were fiercely attacked by rightwingers, while left-wingers saw the radical right wing as the real enemy. At the same time, animosity towards Islam was reproduced leaving the enemy as being a multi-headed monster of Islamists, multiculturalists and feminists