We’re well aware that being quoted with approval here at Gates of Vienna — or even simply being translated, without additional comment — can represent a death knell for the career of a Norwegian academic. This site, from the perspective of Progressive intellectuals in Norway, is a hotbed of “right-wing extremism”, “racism”, and “Islamophobia”. It is not a place with which any self-respecting Nordic scholar would ever wish to be associated. In the past various Norwegian and Swedish writers have been alarmed by the appearance of their translated words on this blog, and some have even insisted that the material be removed.
Dymphna and I discussed this issue recently, wondering whether we should simply refrain from posting any translated Norwegian material that happens to agree with our own point of view, out of consideration for the livelihood and well-being of authors who dare to trespass against the consensus in Norway. In the end, however, we decided that it is the writer of such material who must decide whether or not to publish — if he doesn’t want the approval of the likes of Gates of Vienna, his public utterances should hew to the party line.
The latest victim of the academic smear machine is the Norwegian writer Alexandra Irene Larsen, who published an op-ed in VG entitled “Researchers romanticize Islam” on February 2. Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer translated Ms. Larsen’s piece, and it was posted the following day here at Gates of Vienna.
On February 7, in Klassekampen (“Class Struggle”, a communist newspaper) published a lengthy piece criticizing Ms. Larsen. It included the following sentence/paragraph:
Kronikken, som sto på trykk i VG, er seinere oversatt til engelsk og publisert på det høyreekstreme nettstedet Gates of Vienna.
“The article, which was printed in VG, was later translated into English and published on the extreme right website Gates of Vienna.”
And the next day, Hans Rustad at Document.no reported what Lars Gule, the Norwegian philosopher and noted hard-left admirer of hard-left terrorism, had to say on the same topic:
Men Gule ga seg ikke: kronikken hennes i VG var nå oversatt til engelsk og lagt ut på Gates of Vienna, Breiviks favorittnettsted.
“But Gule persisted: her op-ed in VG had been translated into English and published at Gates of Vienna, Breivik’s favourite website.”
The Observer, feeling partly responsible for the intense heat that has been brought to bear against the unfortunate Ms. Larsen, has written an essay about the vicious tactics employed by those who seek to smear her and other dissident Norwegian writers. He also exposes Lars Gule’s less-than-savory background, which may not be well known to most readers outside of Norway.
Lars Gule: An older version of Anders Behring Breivik?
By The Observer
Anyone with even a slight knowledge of the political climate today in Norway knows that it is literally career suicide for an academic to oppose the established truth in the tiny little fishbowl that is Norwegian academia. The bowl is full of lidless and bloodthirsty piranhas that are tirelessly working to ensure that everything is running according to the script. Those who diverge from the pre-approved plot are dealt with swiftly and in a very brutal manner. They are virtually shredded in public.
The piranhas set a standard that everyone in the bowl has to submit to. Their brutal behaviour and their willingness to attack sends out a very clear warning to those who might harbour any dissident thoughts. In many ways it’s an academic miniature version of the former Soviet Union, a regime which these self appointed piranhas used to glorify in the 1970s and ’80s, when many of them were active members of various communist organizations and called for a bloody revolution.
Despite the brutal and oppressive disciplinary regime that they have managed to create in Norway, every now and again someone in the fishbowl dares to stick their neck forward and accurately diagnose the obvious democratic deficit and the blatant political bias which exists inside the bowl. The latest dissident is Alexandra Irene Larsen, who wrote an op-ed in VG where she confronted the left-wing agenda found in the Norwegian academy, and in particular in human sciences, which she accurately described as being completely hijacked by leftwing ideologues. To the piranhas this was an inexcusable act of treason which they couldn’t let pass unpunished. They knew that they had to act, and do so in such a manner that it would quell any similar future attempts. They had to set an example, and it had to be a powerful one.
It is quite a spectacle to behold so-called researchers and scientists — who by nature should be very open-minded and actively encourage independent thinking — act like little Stalins whenever someone goes against the consensus that they have imposed upon the rest of the flock. Irrefutable facts and logic are of course impossible to dismiss by rational arguments, so the piranhas have adopted tactics that conveniently sidestep these inconvenient obstacles. Their method is to aim below the belt and portray the messenger of traditional scientific principles as evil, despicable, corrupt and dishonest. They use guilt by association, ridicule, intimidation, sabotage and any other vile technique in their repertoire to smear their victims.
In 2011 they were provided a god-sent present in the form of the Utøya massacre, which inserted a gigantic trump card up their sleeve. A trump card that was so potent that it could beat anything anyone could throw at them, hands down. To link someone with Anders Behring Breivik, especially in Norway, is the equivalent of publicly accusing someone of being a paedophile. The mud sticks like glue and will never quite go away, no matter how unsubstantiated and unfair the accusations are.
Lars Gule is one of these pompous self-appointed piranhas who will use any tactic to publicly crucify those who cross his ideological path. On Friday he struck once again when in a very aggressive and mendacious manner he exacted his revenge against Alexandra Irene Larsen for having the temerity to shine a critical light on the academic milieu for which he is one of the prominent ideological suppliers. He did this before an audience which consisted mostly of ideologically indoctrinated students and other leftwing academics. Without an ounce of shame he publicly accused Mrs. Larsen of being ignorant, of not having read the proper books, of being intellectually dishonest, and last but not least of having views that are shared by the readership of the Islam-critical blog Gates of Vienna, which according to Gule was Anders Behring Breivik’s favourite website.
The basis of Gule’s extraordinary ‘logical’ deduction was that the op-ed in which Mrs. Larsen criticised the academic climate in Norway had been translated into English and then published at Gates of Vienna. This astonishing nugget of intellectual wisdom comes from a person whose title designates him an associate professor.
The fact that Ms. Larsen had nothing to do with the translation, that she had not given her consent to such an undertaking and was more than likely unaware of the fact that it even existed meant nothing to Lars Gule. The mere fact that the op-ed appeared at Gates of Vienna was more than enough for him, and he accused and condemned her based on something that he himself knew very well that she had no part in. He employed the exact methods he accused Mrs. Larsen of employing, and he did it in such a way that no member of the audience was left in any doubt that they would receive the same treatment should they dare to oppose him or any of his fellow self-appointed salivating watchdogs.
I see Lars Gule as a comic figure, somewhat like the village idiot of earlier times who would shout vile epithets and insults while frothing at the mouth in the town square to the amusement of the spectators that had gathered to behold the behaviour of one who was obviously less mentally gifted than themselves. And it would be fine if the media and academia treated him as the clown he is, but they don’t. The former wannabe terrorist who underwent training at a DFLP terrorist camp in 1977 — the equivalent of a modern day Al Qaeda camp — and who was sentenced to prison for having been caught with explosives which he had planned to use to carry out a terrorist attack inside Israel, gets to set the tone of what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in Norway today.
It’s also completely preposterous that a person such as Gule is allowed to publicly condemn others and link them to ABB when he himself is one of the few living Norwegians who bears a strong ideological resemblance to Breivik. There are no more than a handful of ethnic Norwegian citizens who have been convicted of terrorist acts or planning to commit such acts. Lars Gule and Anders Behring Breivik are two of them.
Lars Gule likes to think that he has confronted his past and atoned for his sins, which he attributes to youthfulness and the volatile political situation in the Middle East at the time. But the fact of the matter is that his pitiful and pathetic explanations are just as believable as UFO sightings and green Martians walking around the desert in Nevada. It’s a complete mystery why no one has systematically challenged him in public on his murky and sinister past.
Gule maintains that he intended to place an explosive device outside a non-populated structure in Israel when he was caught with 750 grams of plastic explosives hidden in his backpack at the airport in Beirut in 1977. He has reassured the Norwegian public on numerous occasions that under no circumstances had he intended to target civilians with his powerful bomb, and the gullible Norwegian authorities and the pro-Palestinian Norwegian MSM have embraced this ‘confession’ and rolled out the red carpet so that he could rejoin the flock. No critical voices among the elites have contested this highly dubious version of events, and those individuals who hint that Gule’s account might not necessarily be accurate are quickly reprimanded for being rude and insulting.
Anyone with a fully working brain understands that a criminal when caught by the police will say anything to lessen the significance of his crime and do anything to try to reduce the time he has to spend in prison. The criminal will vehemently maintain that he didn’t do it, and if that tactic doesn’t work he will swear that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone, that it was an accident, that someone else committed the violent act, that he tried to help the victim and so on and so forth. There is a popular saying that prisons are full of innocent people. I venture that Gule is full of baloney.
Let’s look at it from a slightly different perspective. What if Breivik had been caught before he was able to carry out his hideous deeds in Oslo and Utøya in 2011? What if Anders Behring Breivik had maintained in police interviews that he had only intended to blow up an unpopulated structure far away from downtown Oslo and that he under no circumstances had intended to actively target innocent civilians? Would the authorities and the MSM have believed him? Would they have reprimanded those individuals who found this confession implausible and who maintained that it was more credible that ABB had intended to kill civilians?
How unlikely is it that Lars Gule employed the same tactic upon capture in Lebanon, and that he indeed had meant to kill innocent Israeli civilians? The Palestinian terrorist group he joined and supported in 1977 had three years earlier carried out a very bloody and cowardly terror attack inside Israel that resulted in significant loss of life. The infamous Ma’alot massacre of 1974, when DFLP attacked an Israeli elementary school and killed 27 people, mostly children between the ages of 14 and 16, would surely have been familiar to Gule at the time. And these were the people with whom Lars Gule ideologically identified and was so enthused about when he was caught at the airport in Beirut with 750 grams of plastic explosives hidden in his backpack. For all we know Gule could even have intended to blow up the plane that he was about to board.
It is also very plausible that he had a cover story that he fed to his Lebanese interrogators during the police interviews. It’s not uncommon for terrorists to concoct elaborate cover stories that they rely upon when they are arrested. Why should it be any different with Lars Gule?
To me Lars Gule is a despicable person who should be shunned and ostracized, just as Anders Behring Breivik would have been had he not been incarcerated. The only difference between Gule and ABB is that Gule was caught and ABB succeeded. Breivik had also compiled an incriminating manifesto which irrevocably tied him to his actions, and showed that he had intended all along to let himself be apprehended in order to spread his twisted ideology to the rest of the world. Gule was a little bit brighter than that, and didn’t incriminate himself with such nonsense. It’s also doubtful that he would have hung around for the police to come and arrest him should he have succeeded in carrying out his terrorist attack.
Of course it is highly unlikely that Gule will ever be held accountable for his actions. After all, he lives in a country whose leaders protect those on the left who carry out militant acts and commit high treason, as is the case with those politicians who actively collaborated with the KGB and Stasi. The Norwegian authorities have refused to release the names of these Norwegian traitors. But people should at least be made aware of one particular creep who is allowed to enjoy a perfectly normal career and live a perfectly normal live in a country where the rational people are deemed racists and bigots, and would-be terrorists and traitors are treated with the utmost respect.