Athena Institute

Magyar

After Oslo - The Writing on the Wall

2011-07-26
Early Warning Dispatch #4 - The Norwegian extremist wanted to prevent the "conquer of Europe" by Muslim immigrants. A Hungarian extremist group is campaigning against the "spread of Muslim faith in Europe", planning demonstrative action in September and one of its leaders writes on Athena Institute Facebook page that "if one abuse the right of guests, he has launched a war.” Hungary has got a new chance to face the challenge posed by domestic extremism.

Norway

The Kingdom of Norway with a population of almost 5 million is one of the richest countries of the world (GDP per capita [PPP] is 54 600 USD) that was mostly unaffected by the economic shocks of the past few years (GDP real growth rate: 0.4% (2010), -1.4% (2009), 0.8% (2008)). The Nordic country is known for its tolerant, harmonious atmosphere. Concerning immigration, the Kingdom is ranked 43. in the world with a net migration rate of 1.7 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants.

According to reports by Norwegian Police, during the afternoon of July 22, 2011 Anders Behring Breivik first detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devise in the governmental district of Oslo that killed at least seven people and wounded many dozens. According to primary reports the improvised explosive devise used in the attack was built using information available on the internet and materials that can be obtained through normal commercial channels (e.g. fertilizers). After the bomb attack in the capital, the perpetrator went to the Utoya Island where he attacked participants of a summer camp organized by the Norwegian social democratic party. During the bloodbath, te systematically murdered at least 85 people. According to police reports, the extremist used an automatic rife and a handgun. After his arrest, the perpetrator acknowledged his act that he justified by declaring that his intention was to “stop the conquer of Europe by Islam immigrants”.

The attacked informed not only Norwegian authorities, but also the general public about his views by releasing a 1500 page, English-language document in which he describes his islamophobe, anti-immigration views in a systemic way while using a mix of unscientific methods. According to the perpetrator's own accounts, he spent 3 years with compiling the document. The “political pamphlet” reflects knowledge in a wide variety of different fields – e.g. a brief summary about Görgy Lukács, a 20th century Hungarian philosopher in a context aiming to provide a rationale for the views and future course of action of the perpetrator – and details the “dangers” of European multiculturalism, political correctness, etc. He declares that “Time is the most important factor. We have only a few decades left to consolidate the necessary resistance before our main cities are fully conquered by Muslims demographically. In the pamphlet, he also describes in detail his views as a leader of the “Knights Templar” and other conspiracy theories. In the document, the perpetrator is building a seemingly coherent picture about the “enemy” – Muslims – in contrast to a Christian Europe. But his alleged Christian faith does not stop him in proposing large-scale eugenics projects aiming to further the “dominance” of the blue eyed, blond “Nordic race”. His systematic, meticulous approach is reflected by the fact that he also describes possible methods as well as the importance of circulating his pamphlet.

In his paper, the Norwegian extremist also lists European far-right organizations, declaring them as 'left-wing in reality' as – in his views – these organizations are not fighting against Islam. Concerning Hungary, he mentions the Hungarian Life and Justice Party (MIÉP), the 64 County Youth Movement and the Jobbik Party. The perpetrator mentions that previously he visited Budapest two times.


Hungary

With its ten million inhabitants, Hungary is a country of the developed world (GDP per capita [PPP] is 18 800 USD) that was strongly affected by the economic shocks of the past few years (GDP real growth rate: 1.2% (2010), -6.7% (2009), 0.8% (2008)). The country could be characterized by relative political instability in previous years (2006 riots, the resignation of the government in 2009 followed by an interim government), aggravated ethnic tensions (Roma serial-murder, Gyöngyöspata incident) and the formation of previously unknown organized extremist groups (see the Hate Groups Map of the Institute). Concerning immigration, the country ranks 47. in the world with a net migration rate of 1.39 immigrants per 1000 inhabitants.

The Athena Institute reported on July 12, 2011 that

“The Pax Hungarica extremist group has launched a xenophobic, racist campaign against Muslim immigrants ("the Islam expansion into Europe"). By spreading propaganda films in several languages (Polish, French, Slovak, Romanian and English) and referring to the anniversary of the liberation of Buda from Turkish rule in 1686, the hate group called for international cooperation against the “still existing threat”. 

In its propaganda video, the extremist group declares:

“The crescent shadowed our homeland for 145 years! The peril of Islam also threatened Europe as a whole. But on September 2, 1686 Buda has been liberated by a Christian and European unity. We shall remember the glorious acts of the Heroes. But we shall also warn that today Europe is again threatened! We shall create a tradition and send a message that we will defend Hungary and Europe once again! September 3, 2011. Details are to come!”

Subsequently, a leader of the extremist group left the following comments on the dedicated Facebook page of the Athena Institute:

  • July 13: “Dear Institute! This is what "ius gentium", the right of the people in Roman law, is for. But there is an order for love, the ordo dilectionis. E.g. somebody wants to oust me from my homeland, then I have the right to wage war.”
  • July 14: “If we have two contradicting world views or civilizations, then one of them must be false and they will clash until victory.”
  • July 14: “The question is not confrontation, but whether it is justifiable.
  • July 14: “Concerning grammar.... The name of the organization is "Pax Hungarica Movement" and not "Pax Hungarica" in itself. Its abbreviation is PHM, not PH. The former form stands on the insignias of the full members, too.”
  • July 15: “A part of Europe is already a huge "Beirut".”
  • July 15: “[...] if one writes on his flag that he is occupying your home (Islam conquer Rome) then there is a right for self-defense. Not 5 Muslims used to take part in this. You would neither be happy if a guest would misuse his rights as a guest and occupy your home. Even according to Islam, if one abuse the right of guests, he has launched a war.”
  • July 17: “[...] For us, the primary thing is religion. It is a mistake of the general Hungarian and European far-right that it is not building on a spiritual basis. […] we are declaring a spiritual renaissance, not just on a Hungarian, but also on a European and world-level. Hungarian supremacism, just as PHM cannot be considered a general "neo-Nazi" ideology.”


Threat perception

Norwegian far-right extremism is generally considered weak and disorganized that is why available, verified data describing it is quite scarce. Norwegian authorities have concentrated most of their efforts on Islamic radicalism – justified by the country's participation in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan –, a fact also criticized with inhumane cynicism by the perpetrator of the twin attacks, himself. Thus, necessary steps to mitigate the threat posed by domestic extremism were not taken irrespective of the growing anti-immigration, anti-Muslim sentiments that surfaced in the country that “worried for” Norwegian or European identity, leaned towards creating an enemy out of the presence of immigrants with Muslim faith or openly implied that Muslim immigration is an “organized, covert effort” aiming to conquer Europe by disrupting its cultural or religious identity.

In Hungary, the existence or activities of organized extremist groups is often played down despite of the incidents that occurred in the past few years (Roma serial-murder, Gyöngyöspata). The Athena Institute only in the past two months received and published information about demonstrative campaigns intimidating the Roma community, organized extremist campaigns against the Gay Pride rally, nationwide recruitment and propaganda campaigns, extremists posing with handguns to foreign media, Holocaust-denial carried out in an organized fashion for years, openly promoted “tactical warfare simulation” camps, “close combat education” and “closed” paramilitary training camps held every year since at least for half a decade.


After Oslo

The necessary shift in threat perception and in our approach towards domestic extremism did not take place after the Roma serial murder. Although perpetrators who carried out the attacks were not members of any other domestic extremist group, but they themselves told the authorities that they attended on one “inauguration ceremony” of the later banned Hungarian Guard as well as that in selecting their targets, they took into consideration previous demonstrative campaigns carried out by the Guard. Likewise, the perpetrator of the Norwegian twin attacks did not have direct contact with organized extremist groups – but according to his testimony, he was maximally influenced by Western-European extremist propaganda.

After Norway's tragedy, just as Europe, Hungary has also got a new chance to face the challenge posed by domestic extremism.

 

The report was published on July 24, 2011.