28 Jul 2011

Historian quoted by killer says message is anti-violence

12:06 pm on 28 July 2011

An Australian historian quoted by the man who has admitted the mass killings in Norway says it is disturbing to have even the slightest connection to the "disgusting and cowardly" attacks.

Just before he carried out the shootings and bomb attack that killed at least 76 people, Anders Behring Breivik published online a 1500-page manifesto criticising the Islamisation of Western Europe.

He quotes from a paper presented by Keith Windschuttle to a conference in New Zealand in 2006.

Mr Windschuttle says the topics he debates include multi-culturalism, religion, and the benefits of Western society versus other societies, but says the idea that anything he has written would provoke murder is insane.

He notes that Anders Breivik quotes from a range of sources, including English philosopher, Roger Scruton.

"The sort of things that he's quoted us for don't justify violence - in fact they're anti-violence.

"They're saying that Western society is a benevolent, do-gooding society and thank goodness we resolve our problems through rational debate, rather than violence," he said.

Keith Windschuttle says the gunman also quoted former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Australian Catholic Archbishop George Pell.