Dear Prime Minister Stoltenberg,
I heard your press conference and I can appreciate that you want to react cautiously to the latest terrorist outrage by Christian fundamentalists. I respect that you do not want to compromise your country’s values and way of life. It is admirable that you want to treat this horrible act as a crime, and try as best as you can to maintain an open, free society. And I understand that you do not want to spread unnecessary alarm among your citizens.
However, my concern is that you do not recognize the supreme danger you – and indeed, the whole world – are now facing. Right-wing Christian fundamentalists have declared war on your society, your entire way of life. Their intentions, and the capability they have shown in this attack, clearly demonstrate that they seriously threaten your very democracy, perhaps even civilization itself. They are probably linked to Christians all around the world in an international network of terror. In other words, there is no doubt that they pose a clear and present danger, a supreme emergency to the state, to which the only reasonable response is a total war on their evil ideology. You must prepare yourself for a long, difficult struggle, a struggle which will not end until every single right wing extremist, all the evildoers who hate your society and its values, have been killed or captured. It will not be easy, and you must be prepared to make real sacrifices in lives and resources to achieve this victory.
I must also warn you, as a terror expert, that there can be no compromise or negotiations with these people; Christian fundamentalists do not want a seat at the table, they just want to shoot everyone at the table. A new crusade against this anti-modern, anti-democratic ideology is necessary, not just because you owe your citizens protection, but because the victims of this atrocity demand justice. I suggest that you not rest until every right wing fundamentalist Christian has been hunted down and brought to justice. You must be prepared to go to war if necessary, against any nation who will not hand over suspects.
I recommend that you begin this War on Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalism (WORCF would be a useful short-hand for this campaign in media communications), this war which you must and can win, if you show enough courage and determination, immediately. You should begin with the following simple measures, which have all been successful in reducing other forms of religious terrorism in countries like America, Britain and Afghanistan.
Your security forces should start by immediately profiling young, white Christian men, especially if they have blonde hair (the Oslo bomber, Anders Behring Breivik, was blond; it could be a factor). Call them in to their local police stations for in-depth questioning, and stop them randomly at airports and train stations. They should be quizzed on how often they go to church, what websites they visit, what books they read, whether they are members of nationalist groups, and what beliefs they hold. They should be carefully monitored for signs of increasing religiosity and any and all political involvement in demonstrations, protests or letter writing. They should also be made to state their religion before boarding an international flight. In some cases, where there is insufficient evidence to prosecute, it may be necessary to indefinitely detain individual Christians who are deemed to pose a threat to national security, until such a time as they can be safely released back into the community. Control orders may then be necessary to keep tabs on their activities.
You should also put churches under surveillance and monitor the sermons preached and the views expressed by parishioners, as well as any nationalist political parties or groups like the so-called Viking swimmers (they clearly have nationalist tendencies and the ice-swimming may be a kind of paramilitary training). Universities should be encouraged to report the expression of any extreme nationalist or Christian viewpoints, and should discourage Christian fundamentalist speakers from visiting their campuses. Right-wing and Christian fundamentalist websites should be blocked, and new laws should be passed which ban glorifying or promoting extreme nationalism and Christian fundamentalism.
It is also clear that you will need to set up a government-funded counter-radicalisation programme with moderate nationalists and liberal Christian leaders to try and deflect young white men in the Christian and nationalist communities from turning to extremism. Preachers should be encouraged to speak out against fundamentalism and nationalism, and to demonstrate their loyalty to Western values. It is clear that nationalism and Christianity are the conveyor belts of violent extremism; non-violent Christian fundamentalism leads directly to violent fundamentalism and terrorism. It now also seems obvious that the policy of Secularism has failed to prevent the rise of violent extremism in your midst. A greater effort to eradicate Christianity from public life must be made; Christians in politics have been tolerated for too long and now you have reaped the terrible consequences. Young people need to be taught about the value of secularism from an early age, and should be encouraged through educational programmes to eschew religious dogma and expressions of nationalism.
It will also be necessary to encourage the public to get involved in this campaign against terrorism. They should report any suspicious behavior to the authorities, such as praying in public, religious t-shirts and badges, or the whistling of religious songs. The presence of religious literature in the mail could also be an important clue of an individual’s hostile intentions. I recommend establishing a telephone hotline and a poster campaign to warn the public about reporting suspicious religious behavior. I also recommend that you relax your gun laws and encourage every citizen, including children, to carry a concealed weapon and be familiar with its usage. They can then shoot any terrorist that dares show their face. Carrying guns has worked well in places like the United States and Brazil, which are rarely attacked by terrorists anymore. The point is simply that it will take a collective effort to root out this evil which has infected your society like a cancer. It is everyone’s responsibility, not just the security services’, to fight right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists.
Finally, it seems clear that you should greatly expand your security measures. The fact that you did not anticipate and prevent the actions of a single man shows that your security infrastructure is inadequate. I would recommend deploying the military in the streets, the construction of Peace Walls, setting up checkpoints around the city, putting concrete barriers around all public buildings (except schools, hospitals, supermarkets, stadiums, and places where civilians gather; protect your officials first), and surveillance cameras on every single street corner of every single town in Norway. You should also seek to immediately double the size of your security budget and target moderate Christians for recruitment into the intelligence services so they can more effectively infiltrate these groups.
Unfortunately, you may be forced to use unsavory methods to ensure the safety of your society. You may have to torture suspects for information, especially if there is any evidence at all of a ticking bomb. Studies show that secular rock music played loudly will make a Christian fundamentalist tell you anything, as they believe that the Devil himself is in the music. It may be unpleasant, but in a time of war, hard decisions sometimes have to be made to keep society safe.
I hope you will take serious note of what I told you in this letter. Your security – and the security of the entire world – greatly depends upon it.
Richard Jackson, Terror Expert