As the trial of an anti-Islam mass killer in Norway is set to start this week, a new study reveals that far-right groups are forging alliances throughout Europe and the United States to spread their hostile message against Muslims to a wider audience.
"[Anders Behring] Breivik acted alone but it was the 'counter-Jihadist' ideology that inspired him and gave him the reasoning to carry out these atrocious attacks,” Nick Lowles, director of Hope Not Hate anti-racism group, told The Guardian.
“All eyes this week will be on what Breivik did last July, but we ignore those people who inspired him at our peril.”
The report by Hope Not Hate group warns that far-right groups that inspired Breivik to kill scores of people in a deadly massacre in Norway were growing in reach and influence.
Breivik, described by the police as a "right-wing Christian fundamentalist", killed at least 76 people in twin attacks on a government building and a youth training camp in Oslo last year.
The attacker, to appear on trial in Oslo this week, said his assault was a self-styled mission to save European “Christendom” from Islam.
The report says since the killing spree, the counter-jihad movement has continued to grow, gathering a network of foundations, bloggers, political activists and street gangs.
It also features over 300 organizations and key individuals that make up the ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement, including the right wing political parties, who are increasingly using anti-Muslim rhetoric to garner votes.
Replacing the old racial nationalist politics of neo-Nazi and traditional far-right parties, these groups were adopting a new anti-Muslim tone, using the “language of cultural and identity wars”, the study says.