Norwegian extremists decried the “Islamisation” of their country as they took the stand Tuesday in what Anders Behring Breivik’s defence hopes will help prove he was sane when he killed 77 people in Norway last year.
The 31st day of Breivik’s trial was in large part dedicated to testimony from extremists, as the defence tries to prove the July 22 bloodbath was the result of ideological convictions shared by others, albeit a tiny minority, and not due to mental illness.
Earlier, Arne Tumyr, who heads the organisation Stop the Islamisation of Norway, virulently attacked Islam, which he described as “a religion of violence, a religion of wars”, and the Muslim Prophet Mohamed, who he called “a sexual delinquent, a looter of caravans, an assassin, a war criminal.”
Although the witnesses expressed views similar to Breivik’s, none of them openly supported his attacks.
Following objections from lawyers for survivors and family members of Breivik’s victims, defence lawyer Geir Lippestad insisted the testimony was necessary to show that his client was sane.
Breivik, 33, is intent on proving his sanity to ensure that his ideology — described as a crusade against multiculturalism and a pending “Muslim invasion” of Norway and Europe — not be written off as the rantings of a lunatic.
On July 22, he first bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby Utoeya island, where the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing was hosting a summer camp.
There, he killed 69 people, most of them teens, with the youngest having just celebrated her 14th birthday.
Breivik blames the Labour Party for the increase in Norway’s multiculturalism.