The pictures from the month old tragedy shown on TV and the newspapers are still alive in our memories which will be remembered until eternity. The 32 year old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik set bombing at an office building in Oslo on July 22 where 8 Norwegians died and followed with the massacre of 69 innocent people on an island. Gizem Dogan, a 17 year old Turkish girl who was among the murdered youngsters was laid to Rest in Trodeim , Norway on Monday, August 1, 2011. Her funeral held at a park was attended by the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davuoglu and a member of the Turkish Parliament and many dignitaries and over 2,000 concerned people.
Gizem Dogan, interested in politics, was among the 700 youngsters aged between 15 – 18 who were at the island for a Norwegian Workers Party youth training session. This horror took place just two days before the 11th Youth Olympic Games in Trabzon , Turkey, where more than 4,000 students from 49 European countries including Norway , between the ages of 14 to 18 competed for excellence in sports.
Who was Breivik
Much has been written about this massacre in newspapers in Turkey and other countries and the motives of Breivik who was living in Oslo with his mother. He was a member of a Natzi Forum “Nordisk”, one of 22,000, according to newspaper reports. In his 1,500 page Manifesto that he posted on his Facebook, Breivik spells out his hatred against the Turks and Islam. Antalya was among the many places that he had visited as a tourist in 1998, including Newark , NJ in 2001.
What was Breivik’s Motives
Several newspapers presented brief summaries of the Manifesto which is full of anti-Turkish and anti-muslim declarations and grivances. He mentions the Crusades and aspects of it which has been an inspiration to him (1). Raymond Ibraim in his article in the Middle East Forum (MEF), states that this terrorist attack, like the historic Crusades, was influenced by the doctrine of Islamic Jihad (2). The former head of the MEF, Daniel Pipes, the Muslim-bashing American neoconservative, is mentioned 18 times. He refers heavily to his fellow Norwegian, the blogger Fjordman, and to the writings of Robert Spencer, the American Islamophobic and pseudo-academic, who was a key planner of the anti-mosque rally that took place near Ground Zero last year, were cited in 64 instances in Breivik’s manifesto, according to the New York Times.
The trial of Breivik and his demands
The trial of Brievik has started in Norway who is represented by lawyer Geir Lippestad who told the press that he has accepted the responsibility and submitted a long list of demands, including the resignation of the Norwegian government, and examination by a Japanese psychiatrist, claiming that the Japanese understand the idea and values of honor. Evidently, his demands also include the complete overthrowing of both Norewegian and European societies.
The Kingdom of Norway
Norway is a small country in northern Europe with a population of around 5 million. It is a Kingdom, but more democratic than most countries who claim to be Republics. Around 10 % of the population are immigrants, including many from the Middle East and Turkey . The majority of the people are followers of Protestan religion with committment to laicism and social democracy. However, Norway is not refered to in the media as Christain nation as western media often does when states that Turkey is an Islamic country.
Last year, Norway was the top tourist destination in the world.We had a chance to visit a town called Kristiansen along the shore where one of our daughters was working as an educator. It is a a beatiful country and very rich thanks to the oil fields in North Sea with a per capita income of over $ 54,000.
The company that I used to work for before started my assignment in Istanbul had offices at 2 World Trade Centre. I was in Turkey on September 11, 2001 when the terrorist hit the building and over 3000 innocent people were killed. I visited the site a few days after the tragedy and since than many times, and two weeks ago, watching the new 1776 feet tall tower going up. Last year a few days after Sept. 11, I stood by the site of Ground Zero and watched hundreds of people shouting obscenities against Muslims and the religion of Islam. They were gathered to protest the proposed construction of a nearby Muslim-run interfaith community center, which had earned the inaccurate moniker “Ground Zero Mosque”, which has not been resolved yet. The rally was conducted by a large crowd of Islam haters, probably indoctrinated by the likes of Christian Preacher Michael Medina and his wife and Christian turned ex-moslem Kamal Saleem and others like them, warning the western nations against the supposed creeping Islamization of Western society.
Anti-Turkish propaganda in Western books
Unfortunately, many prominent writers, including Darwin, Victor Hugo, Marx, Engels, Voltaire and others have portrayed Turks as enemies of Europe for centuries and many have openly advocated their expulsion from Europe, as US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau stated in his book, “The Murder of a Nation” (3). Libraries are full of books that either tell half-truths or even lies about Turkey and Islam. Below are examples of this which probably shaped the thinking of Brievik who showed no remorse in killing innocent people.
Evangelist Michael Medina Talk about Islam and Christianity on FM 99.1 July 9, 2011, and books by Kamal Saleem and Prof.
On July 9, a Preacher named Michael Adriana talked for an hour about Islam on FM 99.1, where he spoke about the dangers and threats of Islam in the modern world and especially in America. It was a sermon, although the day was Saturday, sponsored by www.leadingway.org, and supposedly being broadcast in 247 Satellite stations all over the world, to an audience of 3 billion, according to the radio announcer, who must have been Michael’s wife Adriana, the husband and wife team who are afraid that Islam will one day rule the world. After Michael finished his sermon, he issued a plea to the listeners that they should reach to the world with the Gospel of Jesus. The announcer also stated that they would be broadcasting live starting in August 2011 from the Tahir Square in Egypt, where there is a large Christian community, with message mainly to the Moslems.
When I turned on the radio, Michael was warning his listeners that Islam was taking over the world and that the Christians should meet the challenge without a compromise. Then, he read several passages supposedly from a letter that Jesus sent to the bishop of Philadelphia church in Asia Minor, stating that he has opened a door that no one should close. He continued with a reading from Chapter 3 verse 8 from the Bible on the proclamation of the truth of Gospel, and said, “Why wait until we face the crisis? Formula for Christian way of life was given by Jesus 2,000 years ago. History is littered with missed opportunities.. Than he told a story.
“One day, Mohammed wanted to know all about Christianity and invited many Bishops to tell him about Jesus. He already knew about Judaism. But the Bishops fought among themselves, about Christ and the revelations. Mohammed sent them away and wrote his own view on Christianity in the Quran.”
The commentator continued and stated that the Archbishop of Canterbury nowadays wants Shariah Courts to be established in England operating side by side with civil courts, which will try a man on charges of beating his wife and letting him go free. He indicated his concern that Islam was dominating the heart of Europe, achieving what was not possible by sword through religious teachings, and America was next, Islam filling the vacuum left by immortality. His latest plea to the listeners was, “Go to Jerusalem and spread the global vision of Christianity and the Jewish culture of Christian God……”
The Blood of Lambs, a new book by Kamal Saleem, a Jihadist turned Christian
Kamal Saleem, a Palestenian who became an American citizen, was trained in terror at the age of 7 at a Palestan Liberation Organization (PLO) camp where he learned to kill and hate the Christians and Jews. After meeting the likes of Yasser Arafat, Moammar Gaddafi and working as a mercenary, renounced terrorism, adopted a home in America, found Christ and started speaking against terror and radical Islam at universities across America. Then he wrote his personal story that he says every Christian and every American should read: “The Blood of Lambs: A Former Terrorist’s Memoir of Death and Redemption.”
Then there are also those who believe that the Muslim World is following in the footsteps of two Muslim Thinkers, both dead a long time ago. An article published by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Journal in its January-March 2011 issue states that “The Muslim World, the cradle of one of the most splendid civilizations of all time, has for more than a century been discussing why it has remained backward.”
Than there is the other side of the story where Islam and the Quran is presented in a different way in a new book; “Opening the Quran, Introducing Islam’s Holy Book” by Professor Walter Wagner of Moravian College, NJ. During a visit to Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, I went to see Prof. Walter Wagner at the Theological seminary of Moravian College to talk to him about his new book, which I had borrowed from the Hunterdon County Library. Prof. Wagner was not at the Seminary, but I had a chance to speak to two ladies who had just been to a 10 day tour of Turkey. They all said how much they loved being in Turkey.
While there are people like Michael Medina who preach hatred against Islam, many learned men try to enlighten the Americans about all religions and Islam. Prof. Wagner, after reading and examining the Quran for many years, has written the book in which he states that via the holy book, God is speaking to all human beings around the world. Prof. Wagner has also written other books, including “After the Apostles: Christianity in the Second Century.”
There is a flood of new books and sermons, articles on Islam that present other views. In an article “Islamists Project Islam’s Worst Traits onto Christians”, Raymond Ibrahim, the associate editor of the Middle East Forum, writes about the Muslim world’s obsession with gaining converts evinces. Then, there is Kamal Saleem, a Palestenian-American who blasts Islam in a new book. I believe we all need to pay attention to what is taking place around us, especially for the sake of our children and their children.
Washington Township, NJ
20 August 2011