The Left Distorts Breivik’s Mental World

by Daniel Pipes
July 22, 2012
Cross-posted from National Review Online

Immediately after Anders Behring Breivik committed his terrorist atrocity in Norway a year ago today, killing 77, the Center for American Progress, a $38 million-a-year liberal think tank, rushed out (under its ThinkProgress imprint) a graphic that helpfully pointed out how often Breivik had cited 11 of what it called “right-wing pundits and organizations” in his manifesto, 2083 — A European Declaration of Independence.

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CAP’s research, which was much cited and had vast influence on the reporting of Breivik’s mental formation, would lead one to believe that Breivik’s sources of information came exclusively from those “right-wing pundits and organizations.” Not so. Although I noted a year ago the essential deceit of this characterization, the full picture became apparent only later, thanks to a complete concordance created by Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism of the over 1,600 personal names in 2083.

IPT’s research establishes that, yes, Breivik certainly did mention conservatives, but he also mentioned about as many liberals and leftists, not to speak of Christians and Muslims, historical figures and writers. With IPT’s authorization, I am posting the 84 names mentioned ten or more times in 2083. (The discrepancy between CAP’s and IPT’s numbers results from their differing methodologies.)

IPT’s list of 84 top mentions includes a very wide range of figures.

  • Leftist thinkers: Karl Marx (27 times), Theodor Adorno (26), György Lukács/George Lukacs (26), Herbert Marcuse (24), Antonio Gramsci (23), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (21), Colin Barker (20), and Friedrich Nietzsche (10).
  • Leftist politicians: Tony Blair (20 times), Barack Obama (19), Andrew Neather (15), Javier Solana (12), Romano Prodi (12), and Gordon Brown (11).
  • Muslims: Anwar Shaaban (48 times), Islam’s prophet Muhammad (36), Osama bin Laden (29), Yasir Arafat (19), Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid (15), Abu Talal al-Qasimy (13), Ahmad Abu Laban (12), Ibn Khaldun (12), Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (11), Hasan al-Banna (11), and Sayyid Qutb (11).
  • Christian figures: Jesus Christ (63 times), Pope Urban II (13), Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir (12), Michael the Syrian (11), and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (10).
  • Random historical figures: Charles Martel (53 times), Hitler (50), Winston Churchill (23), Duke Odo of Aquitaine (21), John III Sobieski (19), Thomas Jefferson (18), Napoleon Bonaparte (17), Sitting Bull (14), and Benjamin Disraeli (10).
  • Writers: Aristotle (25 times), Ivo Andri? (20), William Shakespeare (20), Plato (16), Salman Rushdie (16), George Orwell (12), Wilhelm Reich (12), and Sigmund Freud (11).
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(1) I count 13 critics of Islam or Islamism and 11 Muslims among the 84 top names mentioned by Breivik. Pretty much a draw, no?

(2) As for Breivik agreeing with those critics: hardly. As I showed last July, he intentionally sought to damage and delegitimize anyone who rejects his violent ways.

(3) The Center for American Progress distorted Breivik’s mind by listing only conservatives – hardly a shock given CAP’s history of shoddy work.

(4) Concerning all those progressive eminentoes: after Max Blumenthal recently lambasted me in The Nation, a Leftist magazine, for being mentioned by Breivik, I wrote a letter to its editors: “Were the Nation to boycott this posse of Marxists, leftists, and their protégés, its pages would stand quite empty.”

(5) I am the 9th most commonly mentioned person, bizarrely finding myself right after Islam’s prophet Muhammad, tied with Dutch politician Geert Wilders Osama bin Laden, immediately ahead of Karl Marx.

Name Tally
Bat Ye’or 71
Fjordman 63
Jesus Christ 63
Robert Spencer 54
Charles Martel 53
Shaykh Anwar Shaaban 48
Adolf Hitler 50
Mohammed 36
Daniel Pipes 29
Geert Wilders 29
Osama Bin Laden 29
Karl Marx 27
György Lukács (or George Lukacs) 26
Theodor Adorno 26
Aristotle 25
Herbert Marcuse 24
Andrew Bostom 23
Antonio Gramsci 23
Winston Churchill 23
Bruce Bawer 22
Jean-Louis Bruguière 22
Serge Trifkovic 22
Speros Vryonis, Jr. 22
Duke Odo of Aquitaine (Eudes the Great) 21
Thomas Hylland Eriksen 21
Colin Barker 20
Ivo Andric 20
Jean-Francois Ricard 20
Tony Blair 20
William Shakespeare 20
Barack Obama 19
Ibn Warraq 19
John III Sobieski 19
Theo van Gogh 19
Yasser Arafat 19
Hugh Fitzgerald 18
Thomas Jefferson 18
Napoleon Bonaparte 17
A.E. Vacalopoulos 16
Angela Merkel 16
Ayaan Hirsi Ali 16
Plato 16
Salman Rushdie 16
Walid Shoebat 16
Andrew Neather 15
José Manuel Barroso 15
Pim Fortuyn 15
Sultan Abdul Hamid 15
George W. Bush 14
Saga 14
Sitting Bull 14
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing 14
Ali Sina 13
Axel 13
Erich Fromm 13
Mike Tyldesley 13
Nasrallah Sfeir 12
Nicholas Sarkozy 13
Ole Jørgen Anfindsen 13
V.I. Lenin 5
Abu Laban 12
Camille Chamoun 12
George Orwell 12
Javier Solana 12
Pope Urban II 13
Romano Prodi 12
Wilhelm Reich 12
Al-Ghazali 11
Carl I. Hagen 11
Hasan Al-Banna 11
Henryk Broder 11
Ibn Khaldun 12
Jean Monnet 11
Michael the Syrian 11
Sayyid Qutb 11
Sigmund Freud 11
Thomas Madden 11
Abu Talal al-Qasimy 13
Benjamin Disraeli 10
Edward Grant 18
F.A. Hayek 10
Friedrich Nietzsche 10
Gordon Brown 11
Roger Scruton 10
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux 10
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(July 22, 2012)

Source material can be found at this site.

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