COPENHAGEN — Plans by a Danish theatre to stage a play based on the manifesto of Norwegian anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik have sparked a heated debate as offering a stage to extremist views.
"The piece will run from August 23 to September 15," and despite the criticism "will figure on next season's program," Jeanette Kruse, the spokeswoman of the Cafe Teatret theatre, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Thursday, January 19.
Kruse refused to give further details about the play, saying the all details would be given by the theatre’s artistic director Christian Lollike.
The plans for the controversial play adapting Behring Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto were first revealed by Lollike to Denmark's paper Politiken on Thursday.
In his interview published by the paper, Lollike stressed that the twin attacks in neighboring Norway were "a terrible tragedy," and that Behring Breivik "executed people in a very cruel way."
"But the reasoning behind his actions are not unique. They express a political and ideological point of view. This can happen again," he said.
"What I'm afraid of is that Breivik's way of thinking will be left alone and will not be probed and reflected on," he added.
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 said that his assault was a self-styled mission to save European “Christendom” from Islam.
He said that his actions aimed to "change Norwegian society" against a "Muslim invasion" of Europe.
Shortly before beginning his killing spree, Breivik posted a rambling, plagiaristic manifesto.
In his manifesto, Breivik describes himself as the "Marxist Hunter."
The decision to present a monologue based on the extremist manifesto set off an avalanche of angry reactions.
"Lollike's argument is a bad excuse to draw attention to his project," Erik Ulfsby, who heads The Norwegian Theatre, told AFP.
Titled "2083 -- A European Declaration of Independence," the play include Breivik calls for adherents to spawn large families of white European 'jihadists.'
"If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right," he says at one point.
"I will be labeled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2," he acknowledged in the document
He says the Knights Templar, a medieval order of crusading warriors, lent modern renown by Dan Brown's best-sellers, had been re-formed in London in 2002.
The plans by the Danish theatre to present the extremist manifesto followed announcement earlier this week about a planned rally in Denmark by far-right European groups to denounce Muslims and their faith.
Led by the English Defence League, the far-right rally is expected to be attended by representatives from more than 10 far-right groups from across Europe.
Across Europe, far-right politicians have accelerated their rhetoric against Muslim minorities in recent years.
Far-right Dutch lawmaker Wilders has called for banning the Muslim face-veil in the Netherlands and stopping immigration from Muslim countries.
In Sweden, the far-right Sweden Democrats have unveiled plans to impose a moratorium on building new mosques in the Scandinavian country.
Related Links:Excerpts From Oslo Attacker Manifesto
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Norway Attacker Islam Critic
Oslo Mirrors Rising Far-right Militancy
Far-right Takes Muslim Hatred to Denmark