Is your Thanksgiving Turkey a Muslim? Anti-Islam Blogger Warns of ‘Stealth Halal Turkeys’

How well do you know your turkey?
How well do you know your turkey?

Is your Thanksgiving turkey a Muslim? Anti-Islam blogger warns of ‘stealth halal turkeys’

by 

Anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller is warning Americans to be on the lookout for “stealth halal turkeys” this Thanksgiving.

It may be dead – and poultry – but that won’t stop your Thanksgiving turkey playing its part in jihad.

At least, that’s what rightwing blogger and anti-Islam paranoiac Pamela Geller thinks.

Geller decided to incite some festive hate with this post on Monday, in which she repeats her accusations that the US meat industry does not separate halal from non-halal meat, and accuses popular turkey supplier Butterball of sneaking birds prepared according to Muslim requirements onto non-Muslim tables.

Geller claims halal slaughter methods are “torturous and painful” for the turkeys, and an assault on everyone else’s freedom to have them killed in whichever way they choose:

“Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. Turkeys that are halal certified — who wants that, especially on a day on which we are giving thanks to G-d [sic] for our freedom? I wouldn’t knowingly buy a halal turkey — would you? Halal turkey, slaughtered according to the rules of Islamic law, is just the opposite of what Thanksgiving represents: freedom and inclusiveness, neither of which are allowed for under that same Islamic law.”

Geller is calling on those who agree with her to boycott Butterball’s “stealth halal turkeys” and write to the company to register their disapproval.

Those who don’t have been responding to Geller’s arguments in the comments section of her website.

Her readers’ ripostes range from the factual – ‘Gothelittle’ points out the similarity of halal slaughter methods to kosher ones, and the arguable benefits of both compared to non-religious mass meat production – to the pragmatic, courtesy of ‘JonathanMurray’:

“If someone was actually concerned about this silliness, they’d need to know *before* it was time to start thawing that frozen bird. Four days in the fridge… today is three days before Thanksgiving. Dumb.”

Meanwhile, Adam Serwer of Mother Jones points out that if all Butterball turkeys are indeed certified halal, it’s presumably because meat sellers are responding to market demand:

You might even be tempted to observe that Muslim Americans marking a secular, American holiday celebrating pluralism and freedom from religious persecution might be a sign of the extent to which American Muslims have assimilated into American culture. What you didn’t know was that when markets respond to the demands of Muslim consumers, freedom dies.

And Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim expresses her surprise that halal turkeys are apparently so freely available, having struggled to find them in previous years – and invites Geller to come and share a kosher turkey with her and her family this Thanksgiving.

Those halal turkeys must be stealthier than even Geller could imagine.

THE 99 Superheroes Vs. The Loons

THE 99 is an animated series featuring superheroes inspired by Islamic culture and society. The series was scheduled to launch in the US last week on the The Hub children’s television network, but producers have since announced the broadcast will be postponed indefinitely. Vicious anti-Muslim bigots everywhere are gleeful, boasting that their small but boisterous outcry may have prompted the delay.

The New York Post published a scathing article by outrage peddler Andrea Peyser criticizing the series and calling on anti-Muslim bigots to protest loudly so they can “cancel THE 99 before it starts.”  Peyser says the series will indoctrinate impressionable young children with Sharia-compliant Muslim superheroes “masquerading as the good guys.”

For Peyser the Hateful, Muslims are always super villains, so characters who represent the 99 virtues of God in the Qur’an will naturally use their powers to wage the ultimate jihad. She conjures up fearsome images of Jabbar the Powerful dishing out a mean stoning, and Darr the Afflicter venting his rage on hapless dhimmis.

The looniest blogger ever, Pamela Geller, told CNN that THE 99 is unacceptable because Islam must be portrayed as misogynistic, violent, and oppressive to non-Muslims, and that there must be an emphasis placed on Islam’s bloody, violent history.  She said anything else is just “dawah proselytizing.”

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, the Kuwaiti-born, U.S.-educated psychologist who created THE 99, said he never expected to face his fiercest opposition to the series in the US, a country that prides itself on diversity and tolerance.  The whole point of  THE 99 was to bridge the gap between Islam and the West by promoting universal values and encouraging tolerance, cooperation, and mutual understanding. Al-Mutawa said he wants to provide positive role models to all children:

“I told the writers of the animation that only when Jewish kids think that THE 99 characters are Jewish, and Christian kids think they’re Christian, and Muslim kids think they are Muslim, and Hindu kids think they’re Hindu, that I will consider my vision as having been fully executed.”

Geller is not appeased, and continues to describe the series as an onslaught of cultural jihad aimed at radicalizing American children. She says the true superheroes are “counter-jihadists” like  Ibn WarraqNonie Darwish, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, all of whom are in fact rabid anti-Muslim loons. She has also launched a crude online parody called THE 19, which features Spencerman and Gellerwoman as superheroes presumably fighting Muslim evildoers.

Last month, Geller and her fellow hate mongers must have been thrilled with the release of a comic series that suits their agenda perfectly.   Frank Miller is a legend in the comic world for writing and drawing  film noir-style comic book stories, including Batman:  The  Dark Night Returns.  Influential in Hollywood, he directed the film version of The Spirit and co-directed  Sin City. Miller also produced  the 2006 American fantasy action film 300, which some critics described as psychological warfare against Iran.

Miller released a post-9/11 propaganda comic series to correspond with the ten year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, and said he hoped it would “really piss people off.”  He was braced for a fatwa and seemed to look forward to a backlash that never came.  Despite the underwhelming response from Muslims, Wired Magazine said:

“Holy Terror is a screed against Islam, completely uninterested in any nuance or empathy.”  Miller has produced, “one of the  most appalling, offensive and vindictive comics of all time. “

Outrage over the 9/11 attacks inspired Miller’s dark comic series steeped in insatiable rage and vengeance, but the same events also inspired Al-Mutawa, who said he wanted to take Islam back from the extremists who had hijacked it.  He conceived of the idea for his series during a London cab ride with his sister in 2003.

Al-Mutawa envisioned THE 99 as a world-class comic book on a par with American classics, so he assembled a team of veteran writers and artists with experience creating comic icons like Spider-man, Power Rangers, and X-Men. In 2006, he launched his new series to audiences in the Middle East.

THE 99 quickly became the most popular comic book in the region, selling over a million copies per year, and prompting Forbes Magazine to declare the series as one of the 20 trends sweeping the globe. An English language version launched in the US in 2007 without opposition.  Industry giant DC Comics gave the series  a promotional boost in 2010 by producing a six-part limited edition crossover that paired THE 99 with classic American superheroes including Batman, Superman, and the Justice League of America.

In 2009, Al-Mutawa decided to turn his successful comic book into an animated series.  His company, Teshkeel Media Group, partnered with a Dutch company to co-produce and distribute the new series.  The cartoon version of  THE 99 has also been a smashing success, and it is expected to reach viewers in over 50 countries by the end of next year.

THE 99 was initially banned in Saudi Arabia when critics expressed concern that Al-Mutawa was violating Islamic Law with characters that personified God. Al-Mutawa eventually won approval for the series after he convinced religious authorities that the characters are not manifestations of God, but merely extol the 99 virtues mentioned in the Qur’an.

Saudi Arabia has since signed on for merchandise deals and even plans to build its own Disney-style theme park based on the series.  The 99 Village opened in 2009 in Kuwait, and several more theme parks are planned throughout the region.  Today no Arab country bans THE 99, which is also broadcast in a growing number of Muslim countries outside the Arab world, including Turkey and Indonesia.

Not everyone is happy about the widespread acceptance THE 99 has received in the Muslim world.  Phyllis Chesler, another rabid anti-Muslim bigot and friend of Pamela Geller, has criticized Muslims for what she describes as “disturbing double standards.”  She says they are turning a blind eye to Al-Mutawa while he creates 99 images of  God, but they terrorize Westerners with fatwas and violence for lesser offenses.

Chesler is apparently a fan of far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and she is outraged that the Moooslims want to stop him from “telling the truth about Islam.” Wilders is infamous for spreading vicious lies against Islam and Muslims, and he is still vigorously exercising his right to free speech.

She said Muslims (apparently all of them) have also terrorized American cartoonist Molly Norris for her Everybody Draw Muhammad Day hate fest, and Dutch cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his infamous drawing of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb-studded turban.

It is difficult to see the connection between these provocative events and the introduction of THE 99, but Chesler seems to think they should all inspire a backlash of equal proportions if the Muslims are to apply consistent standards. This is tortured logic, but in any case, shouldn’t it be a good thing that THE 99 didn’t cause a violent backlash?

Chesler and her loony friends certainly didn’t write any articles praising Muslims for their subdued reaction to Frank Miller’s provocative, hateful comic series.  For them, Muslims always deserve only criticism, no matter what they do.

Batina the Hidden

Batina the Hidden

Chesler also expressed concern over what sinister “Muslim values” the series might foist on non-Muslim children.  She asks, “Will children learn about democracy, modernity, tolerance, Enlightenment, women’s and gay rights from these ‘Islamic’ figures?”

Spider-man doesn’t typically lecture children on democracy, modernity, and Enlightenment.  Those seem like heavy topics for a cartoon series written for children.

As for gay rights, how many gay and lesbian characters can you name from the Justice League or any other mainstream comic series?  If Chesler is really an advocate for gay rights, she needs to expand her focus to the entire industry.

THE 99 does promote gender equality, which Al-Mutawa has elaborated on during numerous interviews.   Islamphobes like Chesler and Geller will simply not let facts stand in the way of their propaganda efforts, and continue to spread the lie that the female characters in the series are oppressed and forced to wear Islamic clothing.

On her website Atlas Shrugs, Geller quotes herself telling CNN:

“Because [THE 99] is mainstreaming the institutionalized oppression of women under Sharia, as exemplified by the burqa-wearing superhero. One would think that the male superheroes would have superpowers strong enough to be able to control themselves without the women having to don cloth coffins.”

Batina the Hidden seems to be the loons’ favorite obsession.  The character is from Yemen, and her clothing accurately reflects what some women wear in that country. Al-Mutawa said the burqa is not Islamic, but it is a cultural tradition that is important to some people, adding:

“I believe that forcing someone to wear the burqa is despicable. But I believe that if somebody wants to choose to do it, that’s their right…And so, out of respect for people who choose to wear the burka, I have one character out of 99—one percent—that wears a burqa. “

Although nearly every one of their articles tries to generate hysteria about Batina, the Hidden, Islamophobes have yet to explain how merely seeing a cartoon character wearing a burqa will traumatize American children. Marvel already has two characters who are Muslim women. The character Dust is from Afghanistan, and she wears a black ensemble that covers her from head-to-toe, showing only her eyes.

Dust has been around since 2002, though it seems few of our hyper-vigilant hate bloggers have detected her “stealth jihad.” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Aonso said,

“I don’t view a Muslim superhero as avant garde. Muslims comprise 23 percent of the world’s population, and we like our comics to reflect the world and its diversity.”

Despite all the controversy, Dr. Al-Mutawa remains optimistic.  He has faced many hurdles in the last eight years, and his frustrations have been chronicled in the PBS documentary Wham! Bam! Islam! “One way or the other,” he says, “‘The 99’ will get on air in the U.S.”

Gear Up for Some Good Ole Nashville Islamophobiapalooza: “Yeehaw!”

Tennessee is increasingly making a strong case as the capital of Islamophobia in the USA. From anti-Sharia’ legislation to the Murfreesboro Mosque controversy to organizations such as the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, Islamophobia is alive and well in the “volunteer state.”

So it may not be a big surprise that next month Nashville will be the locus for anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in the form of a conference titled: The Constitution or Sharia: A Freedom Conference.

The King and Queen of the Islamophobesphere, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller will be headlining the event, but they aren’t the only hatemongers that are expected to speak:

Nashville, Tennessee – November 11, 2011

The Constitution or Sharia: Preserving Freedom Conference, the first true national conference on Sharia and the Islamization of America sponsored by major freedom oriented organizations! Not just another educational conference. Speakers, such as Pamela Geller, Wafa Sultan and Mathew Staver are action oriented and you will finish the day with an understanding of how to fight the advance of Sharia Law in the United States.

Speaker and panel topics will include

Sharia and Jihad
The European Experience with Sharia
The Dehumanization and Diminishment of Women in the West Under Sharia
Religious Persecution Under Sharia
The Muslim Brotherhood In America
Sharia and Legal Action
Grassroots Organizing Against Sharia and Rabat (including Mega-Mosques)
Defending Liberty In Legislatures
Fighting Islamist Propaganda in the Media

Plus an action packed evening banquet!

See Tentative Schedule

SIGN UP NOW – Please go to event registration page

Confirmed Speakers include
  • Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America ** and Atlas Shrugs
  • Robert Spencer of Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch
  • J. Thomas Smith of U.S. Justice Foundation **
  • William J. Murray of Religious Freedom Coalition **
  • Andrew Miller and Lou Ann Zelenik of  Tennessee Freedom Coalition **
  • Frank Gaffney of Center for Security Policy **
  • Fred Grandy, former congressman and actor
  • David Frenchof  American Center for Law and Justice *
  • Andrea Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition  *
  • Christopher Holton of Center for Security Policy
  • Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel
  • Dr. Mark Durie, Australia and Barrister Paul Diamond, United Kingdom
  • Wafa Sultan, Champion of women’s rights
  • Father Keith Roderick of The Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights
  • James Lafferty of Virginia Anti-Sharia Task force
  • Honorable Rick Womick
  • Kenneth Timmerman, author and journalist
  • Linda Brickman of Arizona Freedom Alliance
  • Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
  • Steve Gill, Syndicated talk show host and Michael DelGiorno, WTN talk show host

SIGN UP NOW – Please go to event registration page

Confirmed Speakers include
FREEDOM BANQUET: Separate evening event at the Hutton Hotel featuring special guest speakers including Hollywood actor and former congressman Fred Grandy and bestselling author Pamela Geller along with internationally known champion for women’s rights Wafa Sultan.

** Conference Sponsors / * Conference co-sponsors

SIGN UP NOW – Please go to event registration page

If there are any loonwatchers in and or around Tennessee they should consider going to this conference and perhaps speak with participants and speakers, much in the same manner Max Blumenthal does.

For more info on some of the characters and organizations that will be there, see:

Robert Spencer: Spencer Watch

Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever

SIOA: Stop the Islamization of America is an anti-Muslim Hate Group

Andrew Miller and Lou Ann Zelenik of  Tennessee Freedom Coalition

Frank Gaffney of Center for Security Policy

Wafa Sultan: Calls For Nuclear Destruction of Muslims

James Lafferty of Virginia Anti-Sharia Task force

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman

Hypocrisy Alert: Jihad Watch Gets Desperate Against LoonWatch Yet Again

Hypocrisy Alert: Jihad Watch Gets Desperate Against LoonWatch Yet Again

JihadWatch just published this:

Incitement to violence against Robert Spencer at “Spencer Watch”

Spencer Watch is a site affiliated with an larger propaganda outfit that had to go and steal the name of a perfectly nice site about birds.

Yes, idiotic comments happen, and here, we delete them as soon as we are aware of them. Ordinarily, we have better things to do than read anything Spencer Watch puts out, but a reader kindly brought this comment to our attention, which has remained for over a year on a rather major page within the site, intended to imitate our “Why Jihad Watch?”

Wow. Way to refute everything about Acts 17, “RefutingActs17.” You totally put St. Paul in his place there, dude.

Robert Spencer always enjoys giving himself an air of mystique by boasting that his life is in mortal danger, which is why his books such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) say that “He lives in a Safe, Undisclosed Location.”  This, even though he quite openly says here that “I live in New England.”  Couldn’t his book have said that, instead of the melodramatic “He lives in a Safe, Undisclosed Location” (all capitalized for some odd reason)? It’s not really “Undisclosed” then, is it?

The reason for this fraud is obvious: nothing boosts ratings more than a fatwa on one’s head.  So, it is no wonder then that Robert Spencer has been desperately trying to accuse LoonWatch (or its affiliate site SpencerWatch) of threatening him.  For the first time, Spencer and the Islamophobes have an organization that is really sticking it to them.  He has to find a way to discredit us. Unfortunately, nothing sticks!

The fact that JihadWatch has absolutely nothing to use against us–that Robert Spencer has no substantive responses to issue whatsoever–is painstakingly clear to see when we look at the frustrated, almost pathetic, attacks on our site.  Awhile ago, he published an article condemning a comment Mosizzle posted [“Like all cancers, this one needs to be cut out before it spreads”] which wasn’t even posted by a LoonWatch or SpencerWatch writer.  Not only that, but Mosizzle explained that his sentence was meant to be understood in a proverbial, not literal, way.

Once again, JihadWatch couldn’t find a single sentence written by a LoonWatch or SpencerWatch writer to take issue with, so it has to once again dig up a comment by some random posterRefutingActs17–who says: “It’s time Robert Spencer got schooled–the hard way.”  Apparently, that’s supposed to constitute “an incitement to violence.”

According to urbandictionary.com, “taking someone to school” means:

Being taken to school means that you have been owned, pwnt, ownt, pwned, beaten, defeated, SHOWN HOW ITS DONE. Nubs usually get taken to school in games such as Counter-Strike.

Oh my God!  Maybe RefutingActs is challenging Robert Spencer to a game of Counter-Strike!  (I’m going to hazard a guess that Spencer will play with the Counter-Terrorists.)

As I pointed out previously in response to Spencer’s spazzing out over Mosizzle’s comment, all of this reeks of profound hypocrisy:

Robert Spencer, on the other hand, physically threatened me (Danios), calling for me to be lashed 100 and 101 times on two different occasions respectively, saying about me (“the slick liar”):

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes

And:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 101 lashes

Calling for someone to get lashed 100 or 101 times cannot really be understood as “proverbially speaking” nor is it a common saying. (Admittedly, I think it was nothing more than him just losing his temper…) So basically on the one hand we have on LoonWatch a comment using a phrase most commonly used in the proverbial sense by a random reader of our site who is not even a part of the LoonWatch team…(Nowhere in the quote by Mosizzle is violent action called for.)  And on the other hand we have a threat that explicitly says I should be lashed, a threat issued not by some random reader of JW, but by the main man himself!

I smell something: it’s the smell of desperation.

All of this desperation coming from JihadWatch just because LoonWatch and SpencerWatch are really getting under their skin.  Most humiliating of all, of course, is that Robert Spencer is scared to debate us here at LoonWatch. But I guess whining about a comment here and there posted by random visitors to our site is just as good as facing me in debate?

Instead of defending the arguments he raised in his book (many of which I have refuted and will continue to refute), Spencer’s site spends time analyzing the name of our website. Oh no, we stole the name of a bird site (even though our site existed beforehand).  To respond using the words of JihadWatch: Wow.  Way to refute everything about LoonWatch.  You totally put Danios in his place there, dude.  You just refuted us, and now we give up.  All our base are belong to you.

Note: Make sure to read our earlier article on a very similar topic, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch Becomes Desperate Against LoonWatch

Paul Rosenberg: Exposing Religious Fundamentalism in the US

Exposing religious fundamentalism in the US

by Paul Rosenberg

With Representative Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Ames, Iowa straw poll, and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s triumphal entrance into the GOP presidential primary, there’s been a sudden spike of attention drawn to the extremist religious beliefs both candidates have been associated with – up to and including their belief in Christian dominionism. (In the Texas Observer, the New Yorker, and the Daily Beast, for example.) The responses of denial from both the religious right itself and from the centrist Beltway press have been so incongruous as to be laughable – if only the subject matter weren’t so deadly serious. Those responses need to be answered, but more importantly, we need to have the serious discussion they want to prevent.

For example, in an August 18 post, originally entitled, “Beware False Prophets who Fear Evangelicals”, Washington Post religion blogger Lisa Miller cited the three stories I just mentioned, and admitted, “The stories raise real concerns about the world views of two prospective Republican nominees”, then immediately reversed direction: “But their echo-chamber effect reignites old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians. Some on the left seem suspicious that a firm belief in Jesus equals a desire to take over the world.” Of course, she cited no examples to bolster this narrative-flipping claim. More importantly, she wrote not one more word about the real concerns she had just admitted.

Dominionism is not a myth

“What In Heaven’s Name Is A Dominionist?” Pat Robertson asked on his 700 Club TV show, one of several religious right figures to recently pretend there was nothing to the notion. Funny he should ask. In a 1984 speech in Dallas, Texas, he said:

“What do all of us do? We get ready to take dominion! We get ready to take dominion! It is all going to be ours – I’m talking about all of it. Everything that you would say is a good part of the secular world. Every means of communication, the news, the television, the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance – it’s going to be ours! God’s going to give it to His people. We should prepare to reign and rule with Jesus Christ.”

Furthermore, C Peter Wagner, the intellectual godfather of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), actually wrote a book called Dominion! in 2008. Chapter Three was entitled “Dominion Theology”. When pressed, Peter likes to pretend that his ideas are just garden-variety Christianity, based on Genesis 1:26, in which, before the fall, God gives Adam and Eve dominion over the natural world – a far cry from dominion over other people, who did not even exist at the time, as evangelical critics of this dominionist argument have repeatedly pointed out.

Dominionism is not new

Dominionist ideas have circulated throughout the religious right for decades prior to Robertson’s 1984 speech. A primary source was the small but influential sect known as Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R J Rushdoony in the 1960s, which advocates replacing American law with Old Testament codes. Centrists like Miller make the mistake of thinking that the small size of Rushdoony’s core of true believers is the full extent of his influence. But this is utterly mistaken. As Michelle Goldberg wrote in Daily Beast, “Rushdoony pioneered the Christian homeschooling movement, as well as the revisionist history, ubiquitous on the religious right, that paints the US as a Christian nation founded on biblical principles. He consistently defended Southern slavery and contrasted it with the greater evils of socialism.”

A second source traces back to the roots of the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s, long rejected by orthodox evangelicals because they contradicted scripture and denied primary agency to God – which is why they insist that Christians must actively establish church dominance over all of society, because God can’t do it alone.

The Latter Rain was denounced by the Assemblies of God – the largest American Pentecostal church – in 1949, not solely for dominionist ideology, but for a variety of related beliefs and practices. When similar teachings and practices re-emerged in the guise of the New Apostolic Reformation 50 years later, the Assemblies of God denounced them again in 2000.

This time, however, many Assemblies of God congregations have increasingly accepted the NAR influence. Sarah Palin’s long-time church in Wasilla is one such congregation. The most clear-cut example of NAR dominionism is the so-called “Seven Mountains Mandate”, which holds that dominionist Christians should control the whole world by infiltrating and dominating the “Seven Mountains” of culture: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion.

Dominionism is not a left-wing fantasy

A number of authors made charges similar to or derived from Joe Carter, web editor of First Things, who wrote: “The term [“dominionism”] was coined in the 1980s by [sociologist Sara] Diamond and is never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation.”

However, at the same time Diamond was working on her dissertation – published as the book Spiritual Warfare in 1989 – evangelical writer/researcher Albert James Dager was taking similarly critical aim, though from a different direction. In 1986 and ’87, he published a multi-issue essay “Kingdom Theology” in the publication Media Spotlight. In that text he also used the terms “Kingdom Now” or “Dominion” Theology. In 1990, Dager, too, published a book, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion.

While his main focus was doctrinal error and non-Christian practices and influences, Dager’s work traced dominionism back to the 1940s and even earlier. Many more have followed in his footsteps since then. If you Google the words “dominionism” and “heresy”, you’ll get more than half a million hits. It should be obvious to anyone that conventional conservative Christians have big problems with dominionism – if only the United States’ establishment media could figure out how to use Google.

Dominionism is not an imprecise catch-all term

Despite lingering definitional differences that are common with relatively new terminology, those who study dominionism and related phenomenon in a political framework have an increasingly common and precise terminology that most writers and researchers share. Researcher Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates provided a very useful guide, “The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy”, which addresses issues of terminology from several different perspectives – for example, between “generic dominionism” and specific dominion theologies.

Berlet also draws a distinction between “hard” and “soft” dominionists. “Soft Dominionists are Christian nationalists,” he writes. “They believe that Biblically-defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy. They fear that America’s greatness as God’s chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals … Their vision has elements of theocracy, but they stop short of calling for supplanting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Hard Dominionists add something more to the mix: “They want the United States to be a Christian theocracy. For them the Constitution and Bill of Rights are merely addendums to Old Testament Biblical law.”

Rushdoony’s Christian Reconstructionists clearly fall into the hard dominionist camp. But the NAR seems to straddle the soft/hard division. On the one hand, they clearly do claim that conservative Christians are ordained to run the world, not just US society. Thus, the Seven Mountains Mandate. On the other hand, Wagner and others have argued that the Seven Mountains is compatible with democracy. The state of Hawaii shows how: Early in the 2010 election cycle, both the Republican and the Democratic frontrunners for governor were associated with the NAR. That changed when long-time Congressman Neil Abercrombie joined the race on the Democratic side, and eventually won the race handily. But for a while, the NAR came tantalisingly close to realising their dream, at least in one state – not just to win power, but to occupy all the possible paths to power.

What’s more, in a recent article at Talk2Action, Rachel Tabachnick draws attention to another hedge on Wagner’s part, quoting from Dominion! In a section entitled “Majority Rules”: “If a majority feels that heterosexual marriage is the best choice for a happy and prosperous society, those in the minority should agree to conform – not because they live in a theocracy, but because they live in a democracy. The most basic principle of democracy is that the majority, not the minority, rules and sets the ultimate norms for society.”

This, of course, is utterly false in a liberal democracy, such as the United States. Liberal democracies combine majority rule as a general governing principle with a framework of rights protecting individuals in political minorities from persecution, political repression, and the like. The fact that Wagner so utterly misunderstands the foundations of American democracy shows just how dangerous such “soft” dominionism can be. This same lesson can be drawn from Uganda as well, where several different strains of dominionist theology have combined to bring that nation to the verge of passing a law that will make homosexuality punishable by death. Such is the nature of illiberal dominionist “democracy”.

Europe’s bloody theocratic wars

This brings us, finally, to the serious discussions that dominionists and their enablers, like Miller, are trying to prevent. The first of those is about the very nature of American democracy. For nearly 200 years, Europe was torn apart by a series of religious wars and their bloody aftermath – the major reason that the United States was founded as a secular republic. We’re potentially on the verge of forgetting all that history and suffering through it again, just as we’re now suffering through forgetting the lessons of the Great Depression. Those centuries of war began with the German Peasants’ War of 1524-26, in which more than 100,000 died; continued through the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War on the European continent; and lasted until the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714). This was the bloody European history of religious intolerance and strife that many, if not most, American colonialists were fleeing from when they came to the New World.

It was also this bloody history that gave rise to the development of classical liberalism, affirming the individual right to religious liberty and replacing the top-down theocratic justification of the state with Locke’s concept of the bottom-up social contract, based on the consent of the governed. The ideas that Locke perfected took generations to develop. Religious tolerance, for example, began as simply a matter of pragmatism: unless people stopped killing each other for differing religious beliefs, war in Europe would never end.

But gradually, the idea took hold that tolerance was a positive good, and key to this new perspective was the recognition that torturing someone to change their beliefs could not produce the desired result of a genuine heartfelt conversion. Thus, the moral rejection of torture – another feature of classical liberalism – had its roots in the evolution of the idea of religious liberty. The idea of utterly forgetting the prolonged bloody history that the United States was born out of is no laughing matter.

The same could be said of the myth that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, with laws based on the Bible. Of course most Americans were Christians at the time, but the leading intellects were decidedly less so, much more influenced by Enlightenment thought. There were many, such as Jefferson, who were better described as Deists, who believed that God had created a rational universe, but did not intervene supernaturally thereafter. They deliberately used terms like “the Creator” and “Nature’s God” to affirm their distinctive, non-Christian view.

Moreover, God was not mentioned at all in the Constitution, and religion was only mentioned to exclude its influence, stating that no religious test should be required for office. Finally, US law was based on British common law, not the Bible. The Supreme Court itself is a common law court, following common law precedents and practices. And British common law traces back to Roman law, which first came to England centuries before Rome adopted the Christian religion.

Of course the intolerant religious right wants us to forget this. How else could they ever gain power, except through massive forgetting of who and what the United States really is? Not to mention who and what they are: the most fundamental enemies of the United States, who would, if they could, return us to the centuries of blood before the US was born, the nightmare out of which the United States awakened.

Theocratic thinking threatens the US today

There are very immediate consequences that flow from the theocratic mindset. You’ll note, for example, that the “Seven Mountains” of culture do not include science. That’s not because dominionists intend to leave science alone, but rather because they see no need to dominate what they can simply cut off, ignore and deny. If science tells them that homosexuality is an inborn trait, why fight that in the realm of science when politics, the media, religion and education offer much, much better places to fight? After all, who says that education has to be based on facts? The same holds true for evolution and global warming as well, not to mention the workings of the economy.

One rightwing denier of dominionist influence, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, even framed his attack as “An unholy war on the Tea Party, while another denier complained that instead of describing the Tea Party as a movement united around concern about big government, many journalists seem to be trying to redefine the colour red by overlaying religious intent and purpose on the movement.

Yet the dominionist connection to the Tea Party goes far beyond just the two candidacies of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Ron Paul, whose extreme anti-government positions helped to fuel the emergence of the Tea Party, has much deeper dominionist connections than either of the two new darlings. During his first term in Congress, one of his aides was Gary North, Rushdoony’s son-in-law, and a leading Reconstructionist in his own right, who has written extensively on so-called “Biblical Capitalism”, an ideology profoundly at odds with traditional Biblical-based teachings on economic justice.

While libertarians once traced their descent from John Locke, and more recently from the deeply anti-Christian Ayn Rand, Reconstructionism represents an increasingly important foundation for their views. A recently released sociology study, “Cultures of the Tea Party”, found that Tea Party supporters are characterised by four dispositions: “authoritarianism, ontological insecurity, libertarianism, and nativism”. Since traditional libertarianism was purportedly the opposite of authoritarianism, this highlights how radically libertarianism has changed – a conclusion that’s echoed by the 2011 Pew Reaserch Political Typology Poll, which found that religious and economic conservatives had completely merged into one single group since 2006 and all previous polling.

What this means in the long run is far from clear. But it strongly suggests a solidfying outlook with deep Reconstructionist sympathies that actually looks at government failure to deal with major issues, such as restoring the economy, as a positive good. If faith in American institutions collapses entirely, then who wouldn’t give Biblical law a shot? The more loudly such people proclaim themselves patriots, the more loudly they cheer for US collapse. It’s not just Obama they want to fail. It’s the very idea of America.

Paul Rosenberg is the Senior Editor of Random Lengths News, a bi-weekly alternative community newsletter.

You can follow Paul on twitter @PaulHRosenberg

Pamela Geller’s Hate Group Releases McCarthy List

Image taken from pavlovianobeisance.com

We don’t really need to give much commentary with this one (it speaks for itself), so here it is (hat tip NassirH):

The AFDI Threats to Freedom Index

by Pamela Geller

My colleague Robert Spencer and I compiled the list from records of Threat to Freedom group statements and activities as they appear in their own publications and websites, as well as from reports from concerned citizens and mainstream media reports.

Threat to Freedom group activities can include misrepresentation of anti-terror and other law enforcement initiatives, attempts to restrict the freedom of speech regarding Islamic jihad or other threats to freedom, defamation of freedom fighters, disinformation campaigns in the mainstream media regarding attempts by the U.S. and Israel to defend themselves, and more.

Listing as a Threat to Freedom group does not in itself imply that a listed group calls for or participates in violence or criminal activities, although it does not rule out their doing so.

Here are the first groups listed on our AFDI Threats to Freedom Index. There is more detail in my book Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition retails jihadist propaganda against Israel, distorting the facts of the conflict and attempting to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

Code Pink: Far-Left organization aligned with Communists and Islamic jihadists, masquerading as a “peace” organization dedicated to stopping what it characterizes as unjust wars.

Cordoba Initiative: Stealth jihad organization aligned with anti-Israel jihad organizations and dedicated to building the triumphal Islamic supremacist mosque at Ground Zero.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas-linked organization spreading disinformation about Islam and terror, opposing anti-terror activity, and defaming freedom fighters. CAIR was one of the many Islamic groups that was named an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas jihad funding trial.

Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA): Palestinian Christians aiding the jihad against Israel and retailing jihadist propaganda against the Jewish state.

If Americans Knew (IAK) spreads disinformation about the Palestinian jihad against Israel and Israel’s efforts to defend itself.

International ANSWER: a far-Left organization that opposes U.S. attempts to defend itself from jihad aggression.

International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT): Muslim Brotherhood organization with numerous documented links to Saudi Wahhabi organizations and jihad terror activity.

International Solidarity Movement enlists Leftist Americans to aid the Palestinian jihad against Israel and impede the defensive actions of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

Islamic Circle of North America: Muslim Brotherhood organization preaching a global Caliphate and Islamic law (Sharia) over the U.S. ISNA was another Islamic group that was named an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas jihad funding trial.

Islamic Society of North America: Muslim Brotherhood organization named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas jihad terror funding case.

Muslim American Society: chief arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., which is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.”

Muslim Public Affairs Council: Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization that has spread disinformation about the extent of Muslim cooperation with anti-terror efforts, and has encouraged Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement.

Muslim Students Association: Muslim Brotherhood organization creating an atmosphere of intimidation for Jewish students on campuses nationwide, and bringing in speakers who preach jihad and hatred.

The New Black Panther Party (NBPP): a black militant group that relentlessly promotes violence against white people, and Jews in particular.

North American Islamic Trust (NAIT): Muslim Brotherhood organization and subsidiary of the ISNA, holder of titles of hundreds of Islamic properties in the U.S. It funds mosques and Islamic schools nationwide, and safeguards and pools the assets of the Muslim community in America. In doing so, NAIT promotes the concept of waqf, the eternal Islamic ownership of land—which is certain to cause trouble in the United States in the future. It also is tied to Saudi Wahhabi groups that are aggressively pushing, all over the world, the most virulent, violent form of Islam on the planet.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation: International organization dedicated to destroying free speech about Islam and jihad in America and Europe. The great historian Bat Ye’or explains that the OIC is “close to the Muslim World League of the Muslim Brotherhood,” and that “it shares the Brotherhood’s strategic and cultural vision: that of a universal religious community, the Ummah, based upon the Koran, the Sunna, and the canonical orthodoxy of shari’a.”

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding: Saudi-funded center at Georgetown University spreading disinformation about Islam and jihad. It underwrites material by the deceptive pro-Sharia academic John Esposito, such as the 2011 book Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, a book-length barrage of Muslim victimhood propaganda, designed to deflect attention away from Islamic jihad activity and Islamic supremacism.

George Soros: The only individual to make the “Threats to Freedom” list, Soros is, according to Discover the Networks, “one of the most powerful men on earth,” with personal assets of an estimated $13 billion. Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) donates millions of dollars to far-Left, pro-Sharia, anti-freedom groups.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defames and attempts to marginalize conservative, pro-freedom organizations as “hate groups.” It uses its listing of “hate groups” to try to stigmatize, and ultimately criminalize, love of country and patriotism. It works to systematically destroy voices that are speaking out against oppression and persecution.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) spreads jihadist propaganda and disinformation about Israeli self-defense on U.S. university campuses.

Aside from a couple outliers, all of those listed fall into one of the following groups: human and civil rights groups, anti-war groups (including a feminist group), interfaith groups, hate watch groups, a few Muslim-American organizations, and poor George Soros.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make the list (perhaps next year?), but Geller did accuse us of being funded by George Soros, so maybe that counts somewhat?  What do we need to up our game to make the list?

Robert Spencer Admits “Islam Makes” Most Muslims “Very Moral”

Robert Spencer Admits “Islam Makes” Most Muslims “Very Moral”

It wasn’t long ago that Robert Spencer, a leader in the anti-Muslim movement, was arguing that “the only good Muslim was a bad Muslim.” Now he has suddenly “reversed” his position on Islam during a recent interview with Fox News’ Alan Colmes. Colmes did a pretty good job challenging Spencer on the holes in his anti-Muslim ideology: his double standards vis-à-vis Islam and Christianity, his downplaying the peaceful teachings of the Quran, his support for Pam Geller’s extremist and “meaningless” rhetoric, etc. Spencer spent most of his time on defense, often interrupting Colmes just when he was making a solid point.

Colmes could have done a better job refuting the point Spencer tried to make with the case of would-be terrorist Faisal Shazad. Spencer claimed that Shazad wholly and independently justified his actions by Islam when, in fact, he justified his deeds citing American foreign policy. This is what he really said:

“I want to plead guilty 100 times because unless the United States pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, until they stop drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen and stop attacking Muslim lands, we will attack the United States and be out to get them.”

Shahzad cited the numerous civilian deaths as primary justification for perpetrating retaliatory terrorism, along with vague platitudes about the Quran, justice, and the afterlife; very little to do with normative Islamic teachings and mostly to do with drone strikes and civilian “collateral damage,” as Danios pointed out. Tellingly, Shahzad plainly violated mainstream Islamic teachings about fulfilling pledges and being a good neighbor. The judge rightly told him, “I do hope you spend time in prison thinking about whether the Koran gives you the right to kill innocent people.”

If this is the example Spencer wants to cite, then that’s a debate that I am happy to have. As in this case, Spencer’s own examples often turn out to be proofs against him. The raw data is simply on the side of those people, Muslim and non-Muslim, who wish to live together in a peaceful democratic society. Perhaps Colmes can be forgiven for not pressing him on this point (after all, he does work for Fox News). But it was this exchange at the end of the interview that was truly magical:

Robert Spencer Finally Admits Islam Makes Muslims Good People:

Colmes: Robert, excuse me, is there anything positive about Islam you could say?

Spencer: Islam makes a lot of people be very moral and upright and live fine lives.

Colmes: That’s good right? And wouldn’t that be true of most Muslims?

Spencer: I would certainly say so, yeah, I never have denied it.

At some point, Spencer must have had a “change of heart” and decided all his years of attacking Muslims as a whole, the Prophet, and the Quran wasn’t really fair. More likely, however, is that when pressed in public on his anti-Muslim ideology, Spencer retreats to the “political correctness” he regularly derides in liberals, lest the viewers think he is nothing but a hard-nosed bigot. Because I remember specifically when Spencer denied the fact that most American Muslims are normal, ethical people:

“I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.”

And again, who can tell the difference between peaceful Muslims and terrorists? Spencer observes:

“I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment. And the cluelessness and multiculturalism of Western officialdom, which make officials shy away from even asking pointed questions, only compound this problem.”

Spencer had written on numerous occasions and maintained from the beginning that there is no practical difference between the average American Muslim on the street and an indoctrinated, foreign, psychotic jihadist. Did he really forget he said all that? Because Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway shooter, didn’t forget when he justified killing liberal race traitors, echoing Spencer’s talking points about multiculturalism and Islam:

“Tell me one country where Muslims have lived peacefully with non-Muslims without the Jihad

…How many thousands of new Europeans must die, how many one hundred thousand European women should be raped, millions robbed and tractor discarded before you understand that multiculturalism + Islam does not work?”

And again the killer repeats Spencer’s belief in the alleged absence of moderate Muslims:

“And then we have the relationship between conservative Muslims and so-called “moderate Muslims”. There is moderate Nazis, too, that does not support fumigation of rooms and Jews. But they’re still Nazis and will only sit and watch as the conservatives Nazis strike (if it ever happens). If we accept the moderate Nazis as long as they distance themselves from the fumigation of rooms and Jews?…. For me it is very hypocritical to treat Muslims, Nazis and Marxists differ. They are all supporters of hate-ideologies. Not all Muslims, Nazis and Marxists are conservative, most are moderate. But does it matter? A moderate Nazi might, after having experienced fraud, choose to be conservative. A moderate Muslim can, after being refused to enter a club, be conservative, etc.”

And where in the world could he have gotten the idea that Muslims and Nazis are the same?

Is Spencer willing to acknowledge the plethora of errors in his long track record of extremist hate speech, or are his comments to Colmes yet another implementation of Islamic taqiyya on his part? Taking a lesson out of the jihadist playbook, are you Robert? Judging by your latest round of hateful vitriolic spew, in which you railed against the “propaganda line” that “Islam is a religion of peace,” it seems like you are.

In Defense of Demonization: Frontpage’s lame defense of Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

By now you probably have read all the details concerning the terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway. This attack has shined a spotlight on the demonization of Muslims at the hands of anti-Muslim bloggers we have profiled on this site. For example, the NY Times published a devastating expose of the shooter’s ideological ties to Robert Spencer. The evidence is so damning that Spencer is in a panicked state of damage control. So his friends at Frontpage Magazine have jumped to defend his Islamophobic enterprise, an apologia worthy of a detailed response from Loonwatch.

The article begins with some whining about how poor Spencer is the victim of the lamestream media:

No tragedy goes long without exploitation, and the atrocities in Norway are no exception to that rule.

Spencer spends his days exploiting bad news about Muslims, but when the news reflects poorly on him and he is criticized, it suddenly becomes exploitation?

Is silencing researchers who have put years of effort into exposing networks of radicals the right response to a terrorist attack? No reasonable person would think so. But that is exactly what media outlets like the New York Times and the Atlantic are trying to do.

Who is silencing Robert Spencer? Has his website been shut down? Is he prevented from publishing more books? Rest assured that Spencer’s first amendment rights are intact. The problem here is that Frontpage is cynically playing victim; they cannot distinguish between being fairly criticized and actually being denied rights.

Now let’s turn to the voluminous citations from Spencer found in the Shooter’s manifesto:

The “64 times” cited by the Times and its imitators reflects lazy research since the majority of those quotes actually come from a single document, where Spencer is quoted side by side with Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.

See, Spencer was only cited 64 times making the argument (unlike Blair and Rice) that terrorism is an essential aspect of mainstream Islam.

Quite often, Robert Spencer is quoted providing historical background on Islam and quotes from the Koran and the Hadith. So, it’s actually Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Koran. If the media insists that Fjordman is an extremist and Spencer is an extremist — then isn’t the Koran also extremist? And if the Koran isn’t extremist, then how could quoting it be extremist?

Actually, it’s Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Quran (out of context) and explaining that good Muslims are terrorist killers. Why shouldn’t he defend Western civilization from Muslims?

The New York Times would have you believe that secondhand quotes like these from Spencer turned Breivik into a raging madman… The complete absence of quotes in which Robert Spencer calls for anyone to commit acts of terrorism reveals just how empty the media’s case against him is.

See, Spencer is just arguing that good Muslims are terrorists, that Islam is pure evil, and that Muslim immigration, aided by liberals, is destroying Western civilization. He supposedly never* actually calls for outright violence, but he has no problem with people who post violent comments on his website.

If we follow Spencer’s logic, it can be easy to conclude that violence is needed to stem the Hottentot Mongol tide of immigration. This argument ignores the fact that demonization leads to violence:

“When you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence,” said Heidi Beirich, research director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But the shooter didn’t kill Muslims, so Islamophobia cannot be involved, right?

And even this is irrelevant because Breivik did not carry out violence against Muslims… If Breivik was motivated by Islamophobia, then why did he not attempt to kill Muslims? Why did he not open fire inside a mosque?

This point is refuted by Alex Pareene at Salon:

Opposition to Islam was the killer’s stated motivation. He targeted other white Scandinavians because he considered them race traitors. He wrote all of this down, too, so we don’t even have to make guesses about it! He blamed liberals for enabling jihad by supporting “multiculturalism.”

Just because he didn’t directly attack Muslims does not mean Islamophobia had nothing to do with this attack. In fact, it had everything to do with the attack. But there is one last straw for Spencerites to grasp at:

Not only did Breivik not target Muslims, but he considered collaborating with Muslim terrorists… “An alliance with the Jihadists might prove beneficial to both parties,” Breivik wrote. “We both share one common goal.”

Interesting, Breivik and the Islamophobic ideology he shares with Spencer do indeed share one common goal with jihadists. They both want a homogenous society that doesn’t tolerate the Other. They both want to incite religious/nationalist war. They both want to increase Islamophobia; Spencer because it is his source of income, and jihadists because it is good recruiting propaganda. So, it is not a surprise to us that extremists share common goals but for vastly different reasons. We’ve known for some time that Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists reinforce one another.

In sum, Spencer and Frontpage want free reign to demonize Muslims and peddle baseless sharia conspiracy theories, but they cry foul when they get criticized in public. They suddenly demand the nuance that they have so far happily denied to Muslims as a whole.

*Admin Note: Spencer has subtly and overtly endorsed violence or a violent posture against Muslim citizens and their “liberal enablers” in the West. Just in January, in a piece titled “Digging Graves for the Next World War,” Roland Shirk a contributor at JW wrote,

The strings that knit together peaceful coexistence among communities are straining under the pressure of millions of resident aliens who should never have been admitted, who can only be tolerated when they are as sure as we that compared to us they are helpless. Islam is a religion of fear and force, and its adherents can only be at your feet or at your throat. We had better decide which posture we prefer. The time is short.

Those words are essentially the theme of Breivik’s manifesto, and Spencer approved it. This is on top of the knowledge that Spencer joined a Facebook group that sought as its objective a Reconquista of Anatolia, a holocaust of Turks and a forced conversion of any and all remaining Muslims. Spencer never denied joining the group, only claiming that he was the victim of a “trick.”

Norway attacks suspect admits responsibility

Oslo Terrorism BombingOslo Terrorism Bombing

via Loonwatch:

Norway attacks suspect admits responsibility

(AlJazeeraEnglish)

The man suspected of a gun and bomb attack in Norway has called his deeds atrocious yet necessary, his defence lawyer said.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” defence lawyer Geir Lippestad told TV2 news on Saturday.

Lippestad said his client had said he was willing to explain himself in a court hearing on Monday. The court will decide at the hearing whether to keep the suspect in detention pending trial.

Earlier on Saturday, officials in Norway had charged a 32-year-old Norwegian man with killing at least 92 people in a gun and bomb attack described as the worst act of violence in the country since World War II.

Police confirmed to Al Jazeera on Saturday that the suspect had been named as Anders Behring Breivik.

Breivik, who confessed to firing weapons during questioning on Saturday, belonged to right-wing political groups. But officials said they are not jumping to conclusions about his motives.

Reports suggest he belonged to an anti-immigration party, wrote blogs attacking multi-culturalism and was a member of a neo-Nazi online forum.

But Norwegian authorities said Breivik, detained by police after 85 people were gunned down at a youth camp and another 7 killed in an Oslo bomb attack on Friday, was previously unknown to them and his internet activity traced so far included no calls to violence.

‘Beyond comprehension’

Breivik bought six tonnes of fertiliser before the massacre, a supplier said on Saturday, as police investigated witness accounts of a second shooter in the attack on Utoya.

If convicted on terrorism charges, Breivik would face a maximum of 21 years in jail, police said

If convicted on terrorism charges, he would face a maximum of 21 years in jail, police have said.

Norway’s royal family and prime minister led the nation in mourning, visiting grieving relatives of the scores of youth gunned down at an island retreat, as the shell-shocked Nordic nation was gripped by reports that the gunman may not have acted alone.

The shooting spree began just hours after a massive explosion that ripped through an Oslo high-rise building housing the prime minister’s office.

“This is beyond comprehension. It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Saturday.

Though the prime minister cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the gunman’s motives, both attacks were in areas connected to the left-leaning Labour Party, which leads a coalition government.

The youth camp, about 35km northwest of Oslo, is organised by the party’s youth wing, and the prime minister had been scheduled to speak there on Saturday.

‘Christian fundamentalist’ views

The blond-haired Behring Breivik described himself on his Facebook page as “conservative”, “Christian”, and interested in hunting and computer games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, reports say.

On his Twitter account, he posted only one message, dated July 17, in English based on a quote from British philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to a force of 100,000 who have only interests”.

The suspect was reportedly also a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi internet forum, a group monitoring far-right activity said on Saturday.

Nordisk, a 22,000-member web forum founded in 2007, describes itself as a portal on the theme of “the Nordic identity, culture and traditions.”

In comments from 2009-2010 to other people’s articles on another website, Document, which calls itself critical of Islam, Breivik criticised European policies of trying to accommodate the cultures of different ethnic groups.

“When did multi-culturalism cease to be an ideology designed to deconstruct European culture, traditions, identity and nation-states?” said one his entries, posted on February 2, 2010.

Breivik wrote he was a backer of the “Vienna School of Thought”, which was against multi-culturalism and the spread of Islam.

He also wrote he admired Geert Wilders, the populist anti-Islam Dutch politician, for following that school. Wilders said in a statement on Saturday: “I despise everything he stands for and everything he did”.

Nina Hjerpset-Ostlie, a contributing journalist to the right-wing website, said she had met Breivik at a meeting in late 2009.

“The only thing we noticed about him is that he seemed like anyone else and that he had some very high-flying, unrealistic, ideas about marketing of our website,” she said.

Police searched an apartment in an Oslo suburb on Friday, which neighbours said belonged to Breivik’s mother.

“It is the mother who lives there. She is a very polite lady, pleasant and very friendly,” said Hemet Noaman, 27, an accounting consultant who lives in the same building in a wealthy part of town. “He often came to visit his mother but did not live here.”

Oslo Deputy Police Chief Roger Andresen would not speculate on the motives for what was believed to be the deadliest attack by a lone gunman anywhere in modern times.

“He has never been under surveillance and he has never been arrested,” Andresen told a news conference on Saturday.

Populist party member

Breivik, who attended a middle class high school called Handelsgym in central Oslo, had also been a member of the Progress Party, the second-largest in parliament, the party’s head of communications Fredrik Farber said.

He was a member from 2004 to 2006 and in its youth party from 1997 to 2007.

The Progress Party – conservative but within the political mainstream – wants far tighter restrictions on immigration, whereas the centre-left government backs multi-culturalism. The party leads some public opinion polls.

A politician who met Breivik in 2002-2003, when he was apparently interested in local Oslo politics, said he did not attract attention.

“I got the impression that he was a modest person … he was well dressed, it seemed like he was well educated,” Joeran Kallmyr, 33, an Oslo municipality politician representing the Progress Party, told the Reuters news agency.

Progress leader Siv Jensen stressed he had left the party.

Breivik was also a freemason, said a spokesman for the organisation.