THE EURABIA CONSPIRACY THEORY
In the early morning of Friday 22 July 2011, Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik published his 1,500-page-long document, titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. If it hadn’t been for his horrible act of massacring seventy-seven of his own countrymen later that same day, the lengthy document - a rather incoherent compendium of other people’s writings he had pasted in from several sites online and then scattered his own thoughts between - would probably have gone largely unnoticed.
In the document, Breivik insisted that the entire European continent was culturally under siege by foreign infiltrators. He went on to accuse mainly feminists and the social democratic elite of having betrayed the European public into the hands of their external enemies, presumably, he argued, in order to implement their malignant ideology of multiculturalism. With his terrorist act, Breivik wanted to prevent a ‘cultural suicide’ of Europe, underway and orchestrated by those he described as cultural Marxists. He also called for the deportation of all Muslims from Europe.
Anders Breivik was a believer in the Eurabia conspiracy theory. More precisely he maintained that the European Union (EU) was a project to culturally turn the continent into Eurabia (Camus, 2011). Core to the theory is the insistence that Muslims, with the support of domestic elites in Europe, are plotting to turn the continent into an Islamic society.
Breivik considered himself a Christian knight, dedicated to stemming the tide of Muslim migration into Europe. In the manifesto, he accused his victims in the Norwegian Labour Party of being responsible for ruining his country’s Nordic heritage through their feminist and multicultural beliefs. It seems that Anders Breivik genuinely believed that, with his actions, he was coming to the defence of European culture, which was under attack from Muslims, who in a systemic way - and with help of domestic traitors - were plotting to conquer Europe and dispose of European culture.
This horrible terrorist attack in Norway was just one example of effects that extreme right-wing conspiracy theorists can have on unstable recipients of their messages (Onnerfors, 2017). A week prior to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom in June 2016, a lone wolf attacker, Tomas Mair, murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox. In 2019, Muslims were targeted by a shooter in Christchurch in New Zealand, and another shooter turned on Latinos in the US border town of El Paso. All of these perpetrators were believers in the extremist-right conspiracy theory which overall is called ‘The Great Replacement’. This is the belief that Muslims or other groups of migrants are actively plotting in secret to conquer the West in a hostile, albeit incremental, takeover. Within the realms of the overall Great Replacement theory are ideas of White Genocide, and the Eurabia conspiracy theory examined in this chapter. During the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, a new fear was building of Asian domination of the West, especially that of Chinese infiltration into Western economies and societies.