Muslim weaver tells of horror at realising his customer was Norwegian mass murderer
An Indian weaver who responded to an online order for a bespoke sword and skull badge has described his horror at realising his customer was Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
Mohammed Aslam Ansari, owner of a small company in Benares, northern India, received the email order in March 2010 for a badge showing a blood-red crusader sword vertically piercing a skull marked with the symbols of Islam, communism and Nazism.
Breivik designed the insignia for his Knights Templar group, and paid Ansari £90 for two samples – one in silk, the other in brocade. Ansari dispatched the badges by courier service but although Breivik had said he was interested in ordering 200 badges, he never followed up on the order.
“I feel very uneasy that my name is being associated with his,” Ansari told the Times of India. Ansari, who is Muslim, said he was disturbed by Breivik’s insignia design but made the samples in the hope of getting a bulk order from abroad.
In his rambling 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik voiced approval of Hindu nationalist parties and called for the deportation of all Muslims from India. He also berated the Congress-led government for “appeasing Muslims and, very sadly, proselytising Christian missionaries who illegally convert low cast Hindus with lies and fear”.
Hindu nationalist leaders have denied links with Breivik and some have sought to distance themselves from his actions. Others, however, have expressed sympathy with Breivik’s ideas.
“It is time we sit up and discuss issues like multiculturalism, immigration, [and the] problem of Islam’s assimilation with liberal democracies without any malice,” prominent nationalist Hindu leader Ram Madhav wrote in his blog.
Former Indian MP BP Singhal, of the Bhartiya Janata party, was more forthright. “I was with the shooter in his objective but not in his method,” he told the US-based Christian Science Monitor. Singhal said India and Norway should deny voting rights to “foreign religionists” in order to resolve “the bane of democracy”.