By Shane McGinley
Anti-Islam extremist Anders Behring Breivi said he took inspiration from US bloggers
A leading US Muslim advocacy group has urged mosques in the United States to ramp up their security ahead of Ramadan after terror attacks in Norway fuelled by anti-Islamic sentiment claimed the lives of 77 people.
Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to a bombing and shooting massacre in Oslo, said he had taken inspiration from anti-Islamic bloggers based in the US.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it had sent ‘safety kits’ out to mosques and Islamic institutes across the country ahead of the start of Ramadan on August 1.
"Because the Norway terrorist left a manifesto designed to inspire similar attacks, and because he claims there are others who share his beliefs ready to strike, we urge American mosques and Muslim institutions to step up security measures,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR.
A 1,500-page online manifesto left by Breivik cited influence from US anti-Muslim bloggers, including the controversial Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) group.
“As we have stated repeatedly in the past, extremist rhetoric can lead to violence,” Awad said.
The US has seen an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment in the run-up to the 2012 presidential campaign. Earlier this month, US politician Herman Cain used a rally in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to condemn plans to build a mosque in the town and denounce what he claimed were efforts to inject Sharia law into the US legal system.
"I think it is an infringement and abuse of our freedom of religion, and I don't agree with what's happening here because this isn't an innocent mosque” he said.
"This is another way to sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”
Former 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said the adoption of Sharia law in the US would “be the downfall of America”.