Should we try to understand how Breivik thinks? Most people say no. While all say that this must never happen again. If we will prevent it, it might be necessary to see the world from his head once in a while in this painful process. Only in this way, we can recognize new Breivik´s and combat these ideas.
He killed his own. It´s just as unbelievable as the fathers who kill their daughters in the thousands around the world, in the name of honor. Just as we can not comprehend that a father kills his daughter, it is incomprehensible that a young Norwegian kills own young and innocent citizens.
The anatomi of honor killings
In my search for what motivated Breivik, I have found parallels to the anatomy of honor killings. An honor killing involves the incomprehensible fact that a father executes his own daughter. In fear for the family's social death, as a result of the judgment from the community. The father gives himself a mandate to kill. When he kills his "disobedient" daughter, who he believes is threatening the family's social existence, by taking the honor from his family, he is convinced that he is doing the right thing. Empathy steps aside, even with a father to his children. Unimaginable. And the father appears in court as unmoved as Breivik did, when all the names of his victims were read out loud. Therefore, the numbness in Breivik, which psychiatrists explain as a result of his narcissism, may have an additional and different dimension. The mechanism of honor killing. And the fear of extermination, if we base it on what Breivik himself says about his motives. His people's extermination.
If someone tells you that your ethnic group is subjected to a systematic purge. And that the government and the press is involved in this. If you are convinced that there is a certain religion and a foreign state who is after you. And if you find clear evidence for it in reality, you are on the way to murder rhetoric. Breivik even asked the court: If all this is true, why then are my actions illegal?
Men who commit honor killings follow the laws they believe are superior to society's laws and ethics. Such a person will not recognize the court. The aim is so holy that it justifies all means. In a paranoid head. In this twisted universe, the killing becomes a necessity. Just as Breivik insists. He says that Norwegian women who sleep with Muslims or other non-Europeans deserve to be killed. They are traitors and a stain in Breivik's honorary universe. They insult his imaginary people's honor. Although many are relieved that it was not Islamic militants who were behind 22 July, we are still shocked that it was a Norwegian, one of our own, who shot his young countrymen.
Breivik referred to the "laser man" in Malmo, who shot at immigrants. But what he did on the island Utøya is more similar to what the father of Swedish-Kurdish Fadime Sahindal did in Stockholm. He shot his young daughter in the face. And appeared totally numb in the court room. The democratic society condemns Fadime´s father, but he knows that he has sympathizers. Breivik is convinced that he has sympathizers too.
Shabana Rehman Gaarder comment on the trial of Anders Breivik Behring for NRK.no