Feature

Norway: A sane killer is scarier than a psycho

It’s more comforting for our society to simply dismiss Anders Behring Breivik as crazy.

Eivind RindalDagsavisen

Anders Behring Breivik is no psycho, said Eivind Rindal. I was there, on Utoya island, when the ultranationalist fanatic gunned down my friends in cold blood in the name of his warped ideology. As one of the lucky few who survived, I couldn’t accept the first psychiatric report, which labeled the killer insane, so I petitioned the court for another assessment. In my view, Breivik is worse than insane—he is a terrorist who knows what he is doing and believes it justified. Sure, it’s more comforting for our society to simply dismiss him as crazy. “For how can a white, Christian boy from Oslo’s prosperous West End become a terrorist, someone who hates his own society?” But we must “look beyond madness.” Breivik has a specific political vision. Just because we don’t agree with it doesn’t make it insane. In fact, the seeds of this murderous xenophobia lie dormant in most European societies and take root whenever times get tough. We have seen extremist serial killers arise in Germany, France, and other countries. To prevent further such massacres, we need to recognize what causes them. “A madman is a fluke, but a calculating, manipulative, and emotionless extremist is dangerous to our entire society.”

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