• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Breivik becoming a 'cult figure', lawyer warns

AFP · 19 Apr 2013, 09:03

Published: 19 Apr 2013 09:03 GMT+02:00

Lawyer Geir Lippestad said the best weapon against Breivik's anti-Islamic and anti-multicultural stance was open debate.

"What is most worrying is that I keep receiving messages from around the world that Breivik is increasingly a cult figure in some circles," Lippestad wrote in his memoirs published in Norway on Thursday.

"When you see images from Russia, the United States, Britain, Germany, Greece, Sweden and other countries where he has supporters, Breivik is undoubtedly becoming a model who can influence other people to have thoughts, ideas and plans that could end up transforming young people into terrorists and not into law-abiding citizens," he wrote.

Breivik is serving a 21-year jail sentence for killing 77 people in Norway in twin attacks on July 22, 2011 that he described as "cruel but necessary".

He killed 69 people, mostly teenagers, in a gun rampage at a Labour party youth camp after setting off a massive bomb outside the main government building in Oslo, killing eight.

Breivik had laid out his Islamophobic and anti-multicultural ideology in a rambling 1,500-page online manifesto posted online shortly before the attacks.

"Upon reflection, it's not as inexplicable as it seems," Lippestad said.

"There are a lot of young people out there who are searching (for themselves). There are a lot of people out there who are angry, who feel a sense of hopelessness over their situation and who lack the basic education or the proper tools... that would normally make them sceptical to violence and totalitarian thinking," he wrote.

In his book, Lippestad said the best way to combat extremism was to have an open exchange of ideas.

Lippestad has been broadly hailed in Norway for the way in which he defended Breivik, where he argued in the name of the rule of law while keeping his distance from his client's deeds.

Story continues below…

Breivik, held in isolation in a high security prison near Oslo, has complained several times of censorship in his communication with the outside world since all of his mail must be screened by prison officials.

The fact that Breivik is still allowed to communicate with extremist circles is "unfortunate but, alas, something we must tolerate in the name of freedom of expression," Lippestad said.

"The solution is not to ban, but to cultivate the counter-arguments that are so forceful that the extremist ideas are eroded and reduced to ashes."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Majority: Ban tobacco sales for those born after 2000
Health Minister Bent Høie introduced generic tobacco packaging last year but said he wasn't ready to implement a ban. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Six out of ten Norwegians support a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 2000.

Norway’s wealth fund passed on Facebook investment
Photo: Marianne Løvland / NTB scanpix

The head of the fund declined to speculate on how much it could have earned by getting on board earlier.

Tromsø is ’world’s third-best small town’
Tromsø: one of the three best small towns in the world. Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Norwegian world traveller Gunnar Garfors - aka ‘that dude who visited very country’ – says that Tromsø is among the best destinations on the planet.

Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
2,044
jobs available