"Anti-Muslim racism" -- a cultural hierarchy that instead of using skin color imputes immutable characteristics to cultures (Western civilization at the top, retrograde Islam its nemesis) -- defines these groups' ideology of hate. Muslims are not biologically inferior, it is argued, but rather culturally incompatible. Yet this clash of civilizations perversely functions just as racism does and serves the purposes of those who have long sought to stem immigration, keep Turkey out of the European Union, or secure a white Christian Europe. Unlike overt racism, there is no politically correct taboo against it -- yet. On the contrary, as opposed to the old-school right with its pungent anti-Semitism, this new counter-jihad movement is pro-Israel and ostensibly liberal, and is thus capable of attracting a far broader constituency.
Breivik's writings, Internet postings, and statements -- as well as the dozens of anti-Islamist intellectuals, authors, and bloggers in Europe and North America whom he references -- are shot through with textbook anti-Muslim racism. In a nutshell, this worldview poses the last 2,000 years of history as the battle of Western civilization to stem the advance of a violent, monolithic Islam that strives to destroy traditionally Christian Europe. (One of the Internet sites Breivik regularly quotes is called Gates of Vienna, referring to the Ottomans' unsuccessful siege of the city in 1683, which halted their military advance into Central Europe.) In the name of the Enlightenment, so says Breivik and his ilk, the counter-jihad is defending the achievements of the West from the imposition of sharia law everywhere.
The twin policies of "the left," the European Union, and "cultural Marxists" -- as they're called by the anti-Muslim campaigners -- that gave the jihad a new foothold in the West were immigration and multiculturism. (Breivik's targets, the Norwegian government buildings and the Labor Party-affiliated youth camp, were supposedly representatives of this establishment.) It was state-sponsored multiculturalism that put Islam on a par with Christianity, they say, enabling it to flourish in Europe, or "Eurabia," at the expense of a dwindling white populace. These modern-day crusaders see themselves as the protectors of liberal tolerance, even of women's and gay rights, against a totalitarian Islam. The counter-jihad makes no distinction between long-integrated Muslim migrant communities and al Qaeda.
Moreover, their doctrine is not a mere description of the way things are. It is eminently activist, just as Breivik understood it. In their eyes, only radical forms of action -- violence, war, and a fight to the bitter end -- can remove Islam's threat, explains Matthew Goodwin, a British analyst of the right wing at the University of Nottingham. The movement, he wrote in the Guardian, cultivates the belief that "they are engaged in a battle for racial or cultural survival; that their racial, religious or cultural group is threatened by imminent extinction; that existing political options are incapable of responding to this threat; that urgent and radical action is required to [respond] to these threats in society; and that they must fulfil this duty in order to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren."