Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Killer’s Prosecutors Ask For Psychiatric Care

Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right fanatic, who has admitted to the massacre and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, 2011 arrives in the courtroom in Oslo, Monday May 7, 2012. (Photo/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix, Pool)

Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right fanatic, who has admitted to the massacre and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, 2011 arrives in the courtroom in Oslo, Monday May 7, 2012. (Photo/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix, Pool)

Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Killer’s Prosecutors Ask For Psychiatric Care

OSLO, Norway — Prosecutors on Thursday asked a court to send confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik to a mental institution instead of prison for his massacre of 77 people in a gun and shooting rampage.

If the court comes to the same conclusion when it issues its ruling, expected next month, it would mean that Breivik would avoid criminal responsibility for Norway’s worst peacetime massacre.

The attacks at Norway’s government headquarters and a youth summer camp would then not be considered acts of political terrorism, but the work of a blood-thirsty madman.

“We request that he is transferred to compulsory psychiatric care,” prosecutor Svein Holden told the court in closing arguments.

Though there was inconclusive evidence that Breivik was psychotic during the July 22 attacks, there were enough doubts about his sanity that he cannot be sentenced to prison under Norwegian law, Holden said.

The defense is likely to refute the insanity finding on Friday, the last day of the 10-week trial. Breivik, who styles himself as an anti-Muslim militant, claims he is sane and that his attacks were motivated by his political views.

Just like when the trial stared in mid-April, the 33-year-old Norwegian flashed a clenched-fist salute with his right arm before he was led out of the court on Thursday.

Earlier in the trial, Breivik said the psychiatric dimension of the case was a way for Norwegian authorities to ridicule him and divert attention from his ideology.

Breivik claims Norway and Europe are being colonized by Muslims, who make up about 2 percent of Norway’s population. He has said he selected his targets – a government high-rise and a summer camp for the governing Labor Party’s youth organization – to strike against the political forces he claims betrayed the country with liberal immigration policies.

Some of those who lost family members in the massacre were disappointed by the decision.

“They say they want this to be a correct judgment,” said Mette Yvonne Larsen, a lawyer for the bereaved. “They think that imprisonment would be a more justified outcome of what happened on July 22.”

Two teams of psychiatrists reached opposite conclusions about Breivik’s mental health. The first team diagnosed him with “paranoid schizophrenia,” a serious mental illness which would preclude a prison sentence. The second team found him legally sane, saying he suffers from a dissocial and narcissistic personality disorder, but is not psychotic.

Prosecutors said one of the key challenges to Breivik’s sanity was his insistence of belonging to a militant anti-Muslim modeled after the Knights Templar, a Christian military order during the crusades, even though investigators have found no trace of the network.

Though Breivik tried to tone down the significance of the network during the trial, he maintained that it exists and that there are two other cells in Norway.

After the hearing Thursday, prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh stressed that a commitment to psychiatric care would mean that Breivik would be put away for a long time, maybe for the rest of his life.

“We have murderers who have been sentenced to psychiatric care who will probably never get out again,” Engh said, noting that none of them had killed 77 people.

If the court opts for a prison term instead, prosecutors said their preference would be the maximum sentence of 21 years. A sentence can be extended beyond that if a prisoner is considered a menace to society.

Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Gunman Complains Of Being ‘Subjected To Racism’

Defendant Anders Behring Breivik in court prior to the opening of day 6 of the trial in Oslo, Monday April 23, 2012. Breivik has admitted setting off a car bomb outside the government headquarters, killing eight, before unleashing a shooting massacre at the governing Labor Party's youth camp on Utoya. (AP Photo/Lise Aserud, POOL)Defendant Anders Behring Breivik in court prior to the opening of day 6 of the trial in Oslo, Monday April 23, 2012. Breivik has admitted setting off a car bomb outside the government headquarters, killing eight, before unleashing a shooting massacre at the governing Labor Party’s youth camp on Utoya. (AP Photo/Lise Aserud, POOL)

Breivik’s delusional fantasies continues. The victim card will not work for him.

Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Gunman Complains Of Being ‘Subjected To Racism’

OSLO, Norway — Anxious to prove he’s not insane, confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik told a court Monday that questions about his mental health are part of a racist plot to discredit his extreme anti-Muslim ideology.

Breivik, who has admitted to killing 77 people in a bombing and youth camp massacre, said that no one would have asked for a psychiatric examination had he been a “bearded jihadist.”

“But because I am a militant nationalist, I am being subjected to grave racism,” he said. “They are trying to delegitimize everything I stand for.”

Breivik rejects criminal guilt for the rampage on July 22, saying the victims had betrayed their country by embracing immigration.

Even the defense admits there is virtually no chance of an acquittal, so the key issue to be determined in the trial is whether Breivik is criminally insane.

Two psychiatric examinations reached opposite conclusions on that point. In a statement to the court, the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine asked for additional information from two pscyhiatrists who found Breivik sane, saying their report was incomplete.

Breivik himself insists he is sane, and accuses the prosecutors of trying to make him look irrational.

“I know I’m at risk of ending up at an insane asylum, and I’m going to do what I can to avoid that,” he told the court.

Breivik became defensive as prosecutors quizzed him about sections of the 1,500-page manifesto he posted online before the attacks. It describes uniforms, medals, greetings and codes of conduct for the “Knights Templar” militant group that he claims to belong to. Prosecutors don’t believe it exists.

In one section, read by prosecutor Svein Holden, Breivik speculated that in his future society, the loyalty of potential knights might be tested by asking them to undergo surgical amputation and castration. Breivik chastised the prosecutor for what he called “low blows” and said the segment was taken out of context.

Breivik, 33, showed no remorse as he continued his shocking testimony about his shooting spree at the annual summer youth camp of the governing Labor Party.

Calling the rampage “necessary,” Breivik compared being shunned by those close to him to the grief of the bereaved.

“The only difference was that for my part it was a choice,” he said.

The self-styled crusader apologized to the family of a pub owner who was among the eight people killed in the blast outside the government offices in Oslo, saying it was not his intention to kill “civilians.”

Holden asked him if he wanted to express a similar apology to the families of the other victims, including the 69 killed on the youth camp on Utoya island.

“No I don’t,” Breivik said. “Utoya is a political indoctrination camp.”

“I see all multicultural political activists as monsters, as evil monsters who wish to eradicate our people, our ethnic group, our culture and our country,” he said.

Jon Hestnes, who heads a support group for victims’ families and survivors, told The Associated Press it was “gruesome” to listen to Breivik’s apology.

“It’s an insult to the 76 other people who actually died because of that man,” Hestnes said.

“He’s not in our world. He isn’t, and he doesn’t have humanity at all. The way I slap little mosquitoes in the summer, that’s how he is about human lives,” Hestnes said.

Speaking calmly, Breivik said he used a handgun to kill victims if the distance was less than 10 meters. Otherwise he used his rifle.

Asked why he spared one man who survived the shooting spree, Breivik said he thought it was because the man’s appearance made him look “right wing-oriented.”

“When I looked at him I saw myself,” Breivik said. “I think that was the reason that I didn’t fire shots at him.”

If found sane Breivik would face 21 years in prison, though he can be held longer if deemed a danger to society. If sentenced to psychiatric care, in theory he would be released once he’s no longer deemed psychotic and dangerous.

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway Mass Killer, Claims ‘Self Defense’ As Trial Begins

Anders Breivik wiped tears away as his video was shown to the court
Anders Breivik wiped tears away as his video was shown to the court

One might think that these are tears of remorse, but rather these tears are from watching his own propaganda video in court.

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway Mass Killer, Claims ‘Self Defense’ As Trial Begins

OSLO, Norway — With a defiant closed-fist salute, a right-wing fanatic admitted Monday to a bomb-and-shooting massacre that killed 77 people in Norway but pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, saying he was acting in self-defense.

On the first day of his long-awaited trial, Anders Behring Breivik rejected the authority of the court as it sought to assign responsibility for the July 22 attacks that shocked Norway and jolted the image of terrorism in Europe.

Dressed in a dark suit and sporting a thin beard, Breivik smiled as a guard removed his handcuffs in the crowded court room. The 33-year-old then flashed his salute before shaking hands with prosecutors and court officials.

“I don’t recognize Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism,” Breivik said in his first comments to the court.

Eight people were killed in Breivik’s bombing of Oslo’s government district and 69 were slain in his shooting massacre at the left-leaning Labor Party’s youth camp on Utoya island outside the capital. Breivik has said the attacks were necessary to protect Norway from being taken over by Muslims.

“I admit to the acts, but not criminal guilt,” he told the court, insisting he had acted in self-defense.

The key issue to be resolved during the 10-week trial is the state of Breivik’s mental health, which will decide whether he is sent to prison or into psychiatric care. Anxious to prove he is not insane, Breivik will call right-wing extremists and radical Islamists to testify during the trial, to show that others also share his view of clashing civilizations.

Norway’s NRK television was broadcasting parts of the trial live but was not allowed to show Breivik’s testimony.

During Monday’s opening session, he remained stone-faced and motionless as prosecutors read the indictment on the terror and murder charges, with descriptions of how each victim died, and when they explained how he prepared for the attacks.

But Breivik suddenly became emotional when prosecutors showed an anti-Muslim video that he had posted on YouTube before the killing spree, wiping away tears on his cheek with trembling hands.

After a lunch break, Breivik was again expressionless as he watched prosecutors present surveillance footage of the Oslo explosion. The blast ripped through the high-rise building that housed government headquarters, blowing out windows and filling surrounding streets with smoke and debris.

He didn’t flinch as prosecutors played a three-minute recording of a young woman’s frantic phone call to police from Utoya.

“Shots have been fired,” Renate Taarnes, 22, said with panic in her voice. “I’m pretty sure that there are many injured.”

More than a dozen shots in close succession could be heard as Taarnes fell silent.

“Are you still there?” the police officer asked.

“Yes,” she whispered. She fell silent again, breathing into the phone as more shots cracked in the background.

Taarnes escaped the massacre unharmed and is scheduled to testify later in the trial.

Breivik also announced he doesn’t recognize the authority of Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen, because he said she is friends with the sister of former Norwegian Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Gro Harlem Brundtland.

The anti-Muslim militant described himself as a writer, currently working from prison, when asked by the judge for his employment status.

He claims he targeted the government headquarters in Oslo and the youth camp to strike against the left-leaning political forces he blames for allowing immigration in Norway.

If deemed mentally competent, Breivik would face a maximum prison sentence of 21 years or an alternate custody arrangement under which the sentence is prolonged for as long as an inmate is deemed a danger to society.

Breivik wants to be judged as a sane person and will call radical Islamists, and extremists on the right and left to testify to support “his perception that there is a war going on in Europe,” his defense lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told the court. Lippestad said Breivik wants to read a new document he’s written at the start of his testimony on Tuesday.

While Norway has a legal principle of preventive self-defense, that doesn’t apply to Breivik’s case, said Jarl Borgvin Doerre, a legal expert who has written a book on the concept. “It is obvious that it has nothing to do with preventive self-defense,” Doerre told The Associated Press.

Police sealed off the streets around the Oslo court building, where journalists, survivors and relatives of victims watched the proceedings Monday in a 200-seat courtroom built specifically for this trial.

Thick glass partitions were put up to separate the defendant from victims and their families, many of whom are worried that Breivik will use the trial to promote his extremist political ideology. In a manifesto he published online before the attacks, Breivik wrote that “patriotic resistance fighters” should use trials “as a platform to further our cause.”

After he surrendered, Breivik had told investigators he is a resistance fighter in a far-right militant group modeled after the Knights Templar – a Western Christian order that fought during the crusades. Police, however, have found no trace of any organization and say he acted alone.

“In our opinion, such a network does not exist,” prosecutor Svein Holden told the court on Monday.

In his manifesto, Breivik described the supposed group’s initiation rites, oaths and the “clenched fist salute” that he used in court, symbolizing “strength, honor and defiance against the Marxist tyrants of Europe.”

After blowing up parts of the government building and shooting dozens to death on Utoya island, Breivik surrendered to police 1 hour and 20 minutes after he arrived on Utoya. The police response to his terror spree was slowed by a series of mishaps, including the lack of an operating police helicopter and the breakdown of an overloaded boat carrying a commando team to the island.

Breivik called police twice, saying he wanted to turn himself in. In one of the calls, played in court Monday, he identified himself as a commander of “the Norwegian resistance movement” and said he had “just completed an operation on behalf of Knights Templar.”

When the operator asked him to repeat himself, Breivik sounded irritated and hung up.

___

Associated Press writers Bjoern H. Amland and Julia Gronnevet contributed to this report.

Robert Spencer Desperate to tie Brazilian Massacre to Islam

It was particularly gruesome: a gunman in Brazil enters his former elementary school and murders 12 schoolchildren“Police Blotter Bob,” however, is so desperate to link every bad thing in the world to Islam, that he resorts to a desperate attempt to magically make the shooter, Wellington Oliveira, into a Muslim:

His letter contained “the words of a person who no longer believes in anything, full of sentences that made no sense and references to Islamic fundamentalism.”

And even though authorities have indicated that his actions have nothing to do with religion, Spencer dismisses this fact altogether:

Roselane de Oliveira, a sister of the attacker, told Rio de Janeiro radio station Band News that the young man ‘was very strange.’

‘He had no friends, and he spent all his time on the Internet,’ she said.

In recent months, she said, he appeared to have got closer to Islam.

Police stressed, however, that there was no concrete evidence that the attack had either a religious or a political motive.

“Of course”, was Spencer’s sarcastsic response.

In another post, he cites an article from Brazil that claimed that he started going to mosques and reading the Quran:

Wellington makes reference to what could be a group. He reports that he divides time between prayers and reflections about terrorism. “I’m outside of the group but I pray to God every day with my noon prayer, that is the recognition of God, and the other 5 are the dedication to God and four hours every day I spend reading the Koran. Not the book because it stayed with the group but parts that I’ve copied for myself. And the rest of the time I spend meditating about what I read, and sometimes meditating about September 11th.”

Poof! He is therefore a Muslim!

Never mind the fact that the shooter himself made several videos before his diabolical act, andaccording to the Wall Street Journal (no friend of Islam), there is no indication that his actions were “jihad-related”:

In one video distributed by police late Wednesday, the killer, Wellington Oliveira, sits on a couch, and in a monotonous, baritone voice promises to take “radical” actions to avenge those like him, who felt “humiliated, attacked and disrespected, especially in schools, just for being different.” Appearing with a shaved head and stubble growth of beard, he vows that “people will find out who I am in the most radical way.”

The article continued:

The video added to a picture of Mr. Oliveira emerging from interviews with family members and the bizarre suicide note he left at the scene as a friendless man who appeared to go into a free fall after the death of his adoptive mother about a year ago.

[…]

A transcript of his suicide note suggests a ritualistic spiritual longing he somehow expected to be fulfilled upon his death. In it, he asked that his body be cleaned by glove-wearing orderlies, buried next his adoptive mother and visited by a religious person so that his soul would be ready for the second coming of Jesus.

He had developed confused set of religious beliefs that appeared to combine aspects of Islam with evangelical Christianity, and family members said he was glued to his computer, where he obsessed on videos of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and played video games.

Muslim officials in Brazil said he was not a member of any mosque. Rio security officials say writings recovered include confusing mix of references to Islam, the Jehovah’s Witness branch of Christianity terrorist attacks and violent video games.

Clearly, the man was quite disturbed and was not some “Muslim warrior.” In fact, why couldn’t he have been a “Christian terrorist”? He did want his soul to be ready for “the second coming of Jesus,” according to the article. He did make references to Christianity, didn’t he?

But, facts don’t matter to Spencer. For “P0lice Blotter Bob,” his reference to Islam are enough to make him Muslim. In fact, the title of his original post read: “Brazil: Muslim who recently ‘got closer to Islam’ murders 11 at school.”

Wow. Bobby is really getting desperate…and pathetic.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Promote Video by Militant and Genocidal Group

by Inconnu and Danios

A few months ago, Islam “experts” Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller hosted on their respective websites a video of a young Hindu girl who advocated “wiping Pakistan off the map.”  At that time, LoonWatch had quickly responded and exposed the genocidal content expressed in the video.  It has now come to our attention (hat tip: Jack) that in addition to the genocidal content, the makers of the video are of interest.  The video was shot and released by the Vishaw Hindu Parishad (VHP), a militant and genocidal group.

This extremist Hindu nationalist party seeks to “Hinduize” India.  They view India as a Hindu country, and the Muslim and Christian minorities in it as invaders, or at least those descended from invaders.  The Islamophobes like Spencer and Geller sympathize with Hindus who revile Muslims for the Arab conquest of India, but conveniently forget the British colonization of India.  Both occupations resulted in sizable Muslim and Christian minorities respectively.  Many Hindu Indians want their country to be a pluralistic and democratic state, comprised of people of various faiths all equally Indian.  The VHP, on the other hand, doesn’t want this.

Human Rights Watch says that the VHP has “collectively and violently promoted the argument that, because Hindus constitute the majority of Indians, India should be a Hindu state.”  VHP members want to enact a fundamentalist Hindu interpretation of religious law in the country, and want to “cleanse” the country of the influence of the Muslim and Christian “invaders”.  The VHP’s view of Muslim and Christian Indians as “invaders” causes the group to flirt with genocidal ideas.

Those genocidal ideas became more than just ideas in 2002, when VHP members orchestrated the Gujarat riots, which Human Rights Watch refers to as an “anti-Muslim  pogrom” and which Professor Allan D. Cooper calls a “genocide” of Gujarati Muslims.  Prof. Cooper includes the Gujarat massacre in his book The Geography of Genocide, in which he provides a “case series” of historical genocides.  On pp.183-184 of his book, Cooper writes (emphasis is ours):

A Hindu mob stormed the Muslim area of Naroda Patia in Ahmedabad…killing at least 65 people…More attacks on Muslims in Gujarat state followed that killed about 2,500, destroyed thousands of homes, and resulted in the gang rapes of hundreds of Muslim women and girls.

There is evidence of state complicity in the genocide against Muslims…The government had ordered the killing of Muslims.

More than 20 Hindus eventually were sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the genocide.

Human Rights Watch issued a report, declaring:

The groups most responsible for the anti-Muslim violence include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal (the militant youth wing of the VHP), and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps, RSS).  Collectively they form the sangh parivar (or “family” of Hindu nationalist groups).

The VHP was founded by RSS and maintains links, so all three groups implicated by Human Rights Watch are related to VHP.  The VHP has a “militant youth wing” that has inflicted violence upon Muslims and Christians throughout the country.  Following the Gujarat riots, the VHP promised similar developments throughout India.  Human Rights Watch writes:

…VHP officials declared that the strategy used in Gujarat would be repeated all over India, thus raising concerns of further communal violence…Members of the VHP in Rajasthan are busy distributing weapons similar to those used in Gujarat, as well as literature depicting Muslims as sexual deviants and terrorists…

The violence in Gujarat underscores the volatile consequences of rising Hindu nationalist sentiment propagated by the sangh parivar…The arming of civilians continues unabated in the state.  Training camps, known as shakhas, continue to multiply, providing weapons such as tridents and swords and extensive physical and ideological training to men as well as young boys targeted in recruitment drives.

So far, there is nothing that would upset Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller too much.  After all, the violence is only against “Moozlems.” But perhaps they ought to read the following line in the same Human Rights Watch’s report:

Christians in the state have also come under renewed legislative and physical attack [by the VHP].

The VHP has been responsible for widespread communal violence not just against Muslims, but against Christians.  HRW’s report holds the VHP responsible not only for “nationwide violence against India’s Muslim community in 1992 and 1993″ but also for “nationwide violence…against Indian’s Christian community since 1998…stemming in large part from violent activities and hate propaganda.”

In 2008, the All India Christian Council issued a fact finding report after anti-Christian attacks. The report states:

The VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) instigated the attacks and carefully targeted Christians throughout Kandhamal District, Orissa.

The report states that 95 churches were burnt and destroyed, and 730 houses were set on fire and completely destroyed (415 of them in one village alone). Not only this, the attackers looted the gold, cash, and jewelry from the homes of villagers.  The Guardian reports that overall thousands of churches and houses have been burned down to the ground.

According to the report by the All India Christian Council, the VHP attackers used several hate-filled slogans, including:

Only Hindus to stay here – no Christians to stay here

Kill Christians

Just to give one example from the report:

There was a small church that was attacked. The pastor, Rev. Kalia Mani Digal, and 12 Christians were forcibly taken to a field and were tonsured (heads shaved) because they refused to deny their Christian faith. Later all of them were told to eat raw rice mixed with goat blood in order to become Hindus.

The report also states that there was a conspiracy to hide the bodies of the dead Christians to conceal the evidence of deaths in the Christian communities.

On their website, the VHP addresses some of the allegations of violence against Christians. Their answers are eye-opening:

There has been violence against Christians in Gujarat. What are the reasons for it?

Much of this violence has been due to the provocation by the Christians…Unless the provocation is removed, the violence will continue.

In fact, a simple glance at their website finds that they dedicate more of their vitriol against Christians than Muslims. The VHP has a particular problem with Christian missionaries who operate in India, whom they accuse of “tricking” Hindus into converting to Christianity…which was the “provocation”.  On its website, the VHP says:

…A convert from Hinduism is not only one Hindu less, but an enemy more.

Not only this, they claim that Christian missionaries undertake social services in order to convert Hindus to Christianity:

The objective of the social service is to get an access to the people who are targeted for conversion. Once the missionaries come close the people, and the latter become obligated to them, the ‘benefits’ of believing in Christ is explained to them. This is done not on the basis that there is any special merit in the new system, but because Christ is supposed to have told them that praying to any other god will make them go to hell.

This social service is of many forms – education, medical facilities, etc. In the past these services were concentrated in urban or rural areas. During the colonial times, these services were financed mostly by the taxes that were levied on the local people. In many cases, land and facilities belonging to Hindu organisations were appropriated and given to the missionary organisations. Also, Hindu organisations were discouraged from starting social service projects.

Hence, the social service was done by utilising the money of the people who are Hindus. Even today,many of the established social service activity is funded by the state. For example, all the colleges, whether run by the missionaries or the Hindus, get state aid. Many of the other projects also receive government support through grants being given to those registered as NGOs. The funds received from outside India are then used for setting up the organisation for conversions.

Moreover, the VHP even claims that Christians use “inducements and fraud” to convert people:

With conversions by force not being possible, the methods that are applied are inducements and fraud. Inducements are the so-called social service activities, and these have been documented by the Niyogi Committee. In most cases, the social service benefits was provided only to those who agreed to convert. A loan given to a tribal is cancelled if he, along with his family, becomes a Christian. While the commission dealt with Madhya Pradesh only, the practices that have been narrated are the ones that are a common practice all over India, and indeed in the rest of the world.

The fraud that is done is to pretend that a person has become well because of the ‘power’ of Christ. While treating an illness, a missionary gives medicine of no value and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to his present deity. Of course, there is no cure. Next, the missionary gives real medicine and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to Christ. The recovery is attributed to Christ and not to the medicine.

Fraud also takes place when there are programmes of what are called faith healing. ‘Lame’ people are said to be cured, and ‘blind’ recover their sight. These ‘miracles’ are used to establish the superiority of Christ.

In fact, they are so against Hindus converting to Christianity that the VHP has organized mass conversions back to Hinduism (most of them are forced conversions as we shall see later):

More than 200 Christians in the eastern Indian state of Orissa have reconverted to Hinduism on Thursday in the presence of the leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

They were reconverted at a Hindu temple in Jharsuguda in western Orissa where the tribal Christians were first purified by rituals and then re-admitted into Hinduism.

Representatives from the hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) were also present.

The ceremony was part of the VHP’s plan to reconvert 400,000 tribal Christians back to Hinduism.

On their website, the VHP has delineated a set of principles, their “Hindu Agenda.” They call for a ban on conversion from Hinduism to Christianity, declaring:

Strict ban should be imposed on the nationally dangerous process of conversion of Hindus through allurements, mispropaganda and terror by taking disadvantage of the poverty and gullibility of the backward segments of Bharatiya community.

The ban applies to any conversion based on “mispropaganda”, and the VHP classifies missionary teaching as such, thereby effectively prohibiting virtually all conversions.

Why the silence from Spencer, the resident “Islam expert,” on this lack of religious freedom? Why has he not spoken out against the resistance of the VHP to conversions from Hinduism to Christianity?  As we see, it is not only Muslim fundamentalists who kill apostates; Hindu extremists do it too.  Hundreds of Christians have been forcibly converted to Hinduism, whereas we have not heard of any forced mass conversions in the Muslim majority world today.

Islamophobes like Spencer and Geller like to rant about how many extremist Muslims there are in the world.  Well, there are 6.8 million members of the VHP alone, not to speak of the other extremist Hindu nationalist groups.  The Guardian reports:

Convert or we will kill you, Hindu lynch mobs tell fleeing Christians

Hundreds of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa have been forced to renounce their religion and become Hindus after lynch mobs issued them with a stark ultimatum: convert or die.

The wave of forced conversions marks a dramatic escalation in a two-month orgy of sectarian violence which has left at least 59 people dead, 50,000 homeless and thousands of houses and churches burnt to the ground. As neighbour has turned on neighbour, thousands more Christians have sought sanctuary in refugee camps, unable to return to the wreckage of their homes unless they, too, agree to abandon their faith.

Last week, in the worst-affected Kandhamal district, The Observer encountered compelling evidence of the scale of the violence employed in a conversion programme apparently sanctioned by members of one of the most powerful Hindu groups in India, the 6.8-million member Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – the World Hindu Council.

Standing in the ashes of her neighbour’s house in the village of Sarangagada, Jaspina Naik, 32, spoke nervously, glancing towards a group of Hindu men watching her suspiciously. ‘My neighbours said, “If you go on being Christians, we will burn your houses and your children in front of you, so make up your minds quickly”,’ she said. ‘I was scared. Christians have no place in this area now.’

On her forehead, she wore a gash of vermilion denoting a married Hindu woman, placed there by the priest at the conversion ceremony she had been obliged to attend a day earlier, along with her husband and three young children. ‘I’m totally broken,’ she said. ‘I have always been a Christian. Inside I am still praying for Jesus to give me peace and to take me out of this situation.’

She and her neighbour, Kumari Naik, 35, gazed forlornly at the charred remains of the house. The mob that arrived one evening in the first week of the violence, armed with swords and axes, had looted what they wanted before dousing the building with petrol and setting it alight. Kumari had fled into the nearby forest with her husband, Umesh, and 14-year-old son Santosh. A smoke-damaged child’s drawing of Mickey Mouse pinned to one wall was all that remained of their former lives. Shattered roof tiles crunched underfoot as the women moved through the blackened rooms.

The priest had given them cow dung to eat during the ceremony, they said, telling them it would purify them. ‘We were doing that, but we were crying,’ Jaspina said…

Christian leaders, though, have accused the authorities of dragging their feet, claiming they are reluctant to antagonise the majority Hindu community in the run-up to parliamentary elections next year.

Relations between the Hindu and Christian communities were already at a low ebb when the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on 23 August provided the trigger for the current wave of violence. The VHP blamed Christians and the mobs descended on the homes of neighbours and friends. Those who were too slow to get away were killed. Amid the savagery, two incidents stood out: a young Hindu woman working in a Christian orphanage was burnt alive and a nun was gang-raped.

Yet the VHP is unrepentant and appears to be involved, at least at grassroots level, with the campaign of forced conversions. One priest who converted 18 Christians in the village of Sankarakhole last week told The Observer that he had been approached by local VHP representatives to carry out the ceremony.

‘The VHP people came with letters that said they wanted to be converted, so I converted them,’ said Preti Singh Patra, who is the brother of a senior VHP official…

It is a landscape scarred by the ugly remains of homes and churches which lie shattered between other houses still inhabited and unscathed, those belonging to Kandhamal’s Hindus.

A few miles down the road from Sankarakhole, in the village of Minia, Sujata Digal, 38, stood outside her own burnt-out home. The mob had arrived at 3am, she said. She and her husband Hari hid in the forest and watched the house burn. When they came out of the forest, the mob returned and told them to convert, and it was not a hard decision.

‘They said, ‘If you don’t become Hindu, we’ll burn your houses too and start killing you’,’ said Ashish Digal, the former Christian pastor. ‘I’ve been forced to convert. Everyone is being converted. They beat us in the fields. I went to the temple. We had to say that we belonged to the Hindu state of Orissa, and that from this day we are Hindus.’

Before the violence started, Christians outnumbered Hindus in Minia: now 115 have converted, roughly half of their original number. The rest have fled.

Burn your Bibles, the men told Ashish Digal…

In fact, the VHP offered cash rewards for Hindus who would kill Christians…a pastor’s head is worth $250 a pop. The Times reports:

Hindu extremists’ reward to kill Christians…

Extremist Hindu groups offered money, food and alcohol to mobs to kill Christians and destroy their homes, according to Christian aid workers in the eastern state of Orissa…

The US-based head of a Christian organisation that runs several orphanages in Orissa – one of India’s poorest regions – claims that Christian leaders are being targeted by Hindu militants and carry a price on their heads. “The going price to kill a pastor is $250 (£170),” Faiz Rahman, the chairman of Good News India, said.

A spokesman for the All-India Christian Council said: “People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties. They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are given petrol and kerosene.”…

Orissa has suffered a series of murders and arson attacks in recent months, with at least 67 Christians killed, according to the Roman Catholic Church. Several thousand homes have been razed and hundreds of places of worship destroyed, and crops are now wasting in the fields.

Burning Bibles and giving money to kill apostates?  Imagine how Robert Spencer et al. would smear all of Islam if this were Muslims doing this.  He would make it seem as if Muslims are the only ones who have their share of wackos.  Remember how Spencer always points to Muslim fundamentalists who want to kill those who insult their prophet?  Well, how about this here, straight from the Hindu Agenda:

Insulting any religion and Hindu culture, faith, convictions, traditions and reverential characters through the electronic media and print media would be treated as an offence and it would be enforced strictly.

The penalty?  Death.  In fact, you don’t need to insult the Hindu religion to be killed by these fundamentalists.  Eating a hamburger will do the trick.  The Hindu Agenda declares:

Killing of any animal including cow at any stage within the borders of Bharat should be declared as a stringently punishable crime by passing a strong and competent law for the purpose.

What is that “stringent” punishment?  Death by lynching.  Dhananjay Tripathi of the Indian news agency Meri News reports:

The Hindu fundamentalists always defend themselves and their acts by coining terms like ‘minority appeasement’, ‘Hindu rights’ and claim to be the real sons of the soil. The real sons of the soil have license to burn down churches, bring down mosques and kill Muslims, Dalits and Christians anywhere in the nation. The hooligans and lumpen activists belonging to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) are involved in most of the atrocities perpetrated on the minorities and Dalits. VHP has a history of spreading venom and inciting mass violence.

In 2002, the VHP lynched five Dalits in Haryana for following their traditional trade of leather-tanning, as revealed by a dead cow in their possession. Over a carcass, the VHP killed innocent Dalit youths in Jhajhhar. VHP shamelessly defended this heinous crime when their leaders, Griraj Kishore said, “according to our shastras, the life of a cow is very precious (shastron ke hisab se gau ka jeevan bahut moolya hai)”. This statement makes it clear that for VHP, human life has no meaning.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller lose their minds when a Muslim man serves halal food in his own diner, yet don’t blink twice when the VHP (a group whose video they promote on their websites) calls for all citizens–regardless of religion–to follow Hindu dietary restrictions, demanding everyone to become vegetarian or be killed.

Spencer is constantly clamoring about how Islam itself does not allow conversion out of the faith (a very dubious claim at best). Yet, when there is clear evidence that the VHP’s interpretation of Hinduism is actively killing Hindus who don’t “convert back”, Spencer doesn’t seem to care. Are these Indian Christians not “Christian enough” for Spencer?  Or are they simply expendable in his polemical war against Islam?

What does Spencer have to say about this? Nothing. In fact, his silence is deafening. That’s because the people who are terrorizing Christians are not Muslims. So, he could care less. Not only that, he is cheering on this young Hindu girl associated with the VHP because she threatened to wipe Pakistan off the map. It doesn’t matter to him that in the same breath she threatens Christians as well.  Or that she belongs to a genocidal group that wants to efface Christianity from India.

The VHP not only preaches hatred against Muslims and Christians, but wants to institutionalize it.  Human Rights Watch writes:

Their revivalist campaign includes the “Hinduization” of education, including the revision of history books to include hate propaganda against Islamic and Christian communities.

Hate propaganda?  Maybe they can use Spencer’s Jihad Watch website and Geller’s Atlas Shrugs site to find inspiration for half of that equation.

The hate propaganda promoted by the VHP resulted in pogroms against both Muslims and Christians.  Spencer and Geller reproduced it on their sites, and the video blended in completely with the rest of the rhetoric on their sites.  This is why we here at LoonWatch stress the dangerous nature of their hate-filled discourse.  It results in ethnic violence, death and destruction.  The only difference between the VHP’s hate propaganda and Spencer et al.’s is the fact that the former targets Muslims and Christians whereas the latter only targets Muslims.  That’s it.

Spencer and Geller are using the same language as that of a genocidal group.  They might try to deny it now and argue that they didn’t know what group the video they posted belonged to.  That’s not a viable excuse for them, however, since the video itself explicitly mentions genocidal ideas in it.  The brainwashed girl in the VHP video declares:

…Soon our whole nation [of Hindustan] will rise.  When our people rise up, it will be very difficult for you [Pakistanis].  It will be disastrous for every inch of your land…Kashmir will continue to exist, but not Pakistan.  Who [amongst you] will voice such concerns?  Who will show the braveness to use the atom bombs we have [against Pakistan]?  Ask them [the Indian government] who is going to use the [atomic] weapons we have?  Whom are they waiting for?  Don’t worry what is happening now.  History is where it is. We have the capacity to change the geography of the world [by wiping out Pakistan]…everything between [the Pakistani cities of] Karachi to Rawalpindi will become worthless…There won’t be any Pakistan!  If you continue to believe this, I assure you that Pakistan won’t be present in the world for long.

To this genocidal talk, Robert Spencer remarked: “The girl is right.” Pamela Geller exclaimed in glee: “Perhaps with an online Colb. (collaboration) we can run her for president in ‘16. She gets it.”

So Spencer and Geller explicitly supported genocidal remarks.  Their only “mistake” was inadvertently promoting a video that belonged to a group that also had such ideas about Christians, not just Muslims.

This is of course not the first time that Spencer and Geller have flirted with genocide.  In fact, Spencer had joined a genocidal Facebook group, one which advocated the complete eradication of 150 million Muslims in Turkey.  Geller, meanwhile, explicitly supports the genocidal ideas of the Hindu extremist girl, and argues that Israel should nuke Mecca, Medina, and Tehran.

To conclude:

1. Muslims are not the only ones with zealots  There are Hindu extremists such as the ones we discussed above, Christian extremists who kill hundreds of children suspected of being witches, Jewish extremists who burn mosques and call for the killing of Gentiles and their babies, and of course Islamic extremists.  They exist in every religion, and it’s wrong to demonize any one of them.  (For the record, this article is not meant to denigrate Hinduism or Indians; the Hindu extremists above do not represent the entire faith or country.  In fact, many Hindu Indians want to live in a pluralistic and democratic state.)

2. Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are completely discredited and vitriolic hate-mongers, who flirt with genocidal ideas. (Yes, I’m being Captain Obvious here.)