The brutal murder of Charlie Hebdo‘s journalists, editors and cartoonists on January 7, the deadliest attack in France since 1961, has infuriated the country and the world alike. The terrorist attack of exceptional barbarity on the French satirical newspaper, however, has failed to achieve its objective.
If the perpetrators of this heinous manslaughter were aiming to coerce other satirists into refusing to face the hideous side of religious extremism, they have failed terribly. The assassins have failed to instigate France’s Muslims to commit similar acts of cruelty. The attackers accomplished nothing if they intended to defend Islam by penalizing cartoonists for violating a religious law (Drawings of Prophet Mohammed, especially cartoons, are considered to be extremely disrespectful to Muslims).
The cowards have in fact made things difficult for many in France and Europe at large. The biggest opponents of equal treatment and respect for Muslims in Europe will now get the much needed booster dose to continue their mission to create a neo-fascist Europe for Europeans — and to purge anyone and everyone they see as hindrance.
Europe’s extreme right is on the rise thanks to the global financial downturn. Disgruntled citizens struggling with high unemployment rates, real estate foreclosures, and an inability to obtain credit, are typically targeted by the fascist movements and right-wing parties in Europe. Therefore, the severe economic crisis of 2008, the great recession, and economically disadvantaged and politically deprived Europeans created an ideal environment for the right-wing terror’s resurgence after being pushed to the fringes of political discourse for nearly a century. In its annual report on extremist activity in Germany, the country’s domestic intelligence agency in 2013 identified some 21,750 far-right extremists in the country, 9,500 of whom were potentially violent right-wing extremists including 5,800 Neo-Nazis.
According to a report by the US Department of Homeland Security, economic alienation increases an individual’s vulnerability to racist ideas like ‘the reason I don’t have a job is because of Muslim immigrants’. Immigrant-heavy Greece and Italy were blamed for causing subdued economic growth for the entire European Union during the Eurozone debt crisis. This further reinforced the thought that immigrants were the sole reason for Europe’s woes and collapse of Euro.
Neo-fascist political parties across Europe have cashed in on the resultant fury and repulsion. The United Kingdom Independence Party, known for its opposition to the European Union, took an anti-immigration stance following the influx of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants to the UK. In October, 2014, UKIP won its first House of Commons seat in what was previously considered the safe Conservative seat of Clacton in Essex. UKIP leader Nigel Farage told LBC Radio after the Paris shooting that a “rather gross policy of multiculturalism” put Britain and other countries at risk of such attacks.
In Greece, the far-right Golden Dawn Party has coupled violent rhetoric against Jews, Roma, gays and other minorities with ‘social action programs’ for the economically disadvantaged — only if they prove Hellenic heritage. In May 2014 elections, GDP captured 9.4% of the popular vote to emerge as the third-largest political party in Greece. After the attack in Paris, GDP posted a message on its website: “The Government opens its arms to more and more Islamists in the country and wants to build them a sanctuary in the heart of Athens where they can teach their children how to slaughter infidels untroubled. The Golden Dawn has warned Greeks about the risks to our country from the massive invasion of illegal immigrants for years.”
Germany’s populist anti-immigration movement called Pegida — a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West — posted on its Facebook page soon after the Paris attack: “The Islamists that Pegida has been warning about for the past 12 weeks, have shown today in France, that they are not just incapable of democracy, but see violence and death as a solution!”
France’s Front National, the nation’s third-largest political party and European fascism’s Great White Hope, is going to benefit the most from the terrorist attack in Paris. In the 2012 presidential election, Pen finished third, winning 17.9% of the vote, Front National’s best performance in history. In 2014’s European parliamentary elections, Front National won 24 of France’s 74 parliamentary seats. Opinion polls from September 2014 suggest that she will be one of the two serious contenders in the 2017 presidential election. In an interview with France 2 in the aftermath of the attack, Marine Le Pen, Front National’s far-right leader said, “It is the Islamists who have declared war on France”.
“Cela fait des années que j’alerte sur le danger du fondamentalisme islamiste sur notre territoire.” #France2
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 8, 2015
“Ce sont les islamistes qui ont déclaré la guerre à la France.” #France2
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 8, 2015
“Je veux offrir aux Français un référendum sur la peine de mort. A titre personnel, je pense que cette possibilité doit exister.” #France2
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 8, 2015
Far-right terrorism has blossomed in these conditions. After 9/11, the 2004 Madrid train bombings and 2005 London bombings, European governments focused on combating the threat of domestic Islamic extremism rather than home-grown far-right extremists behind numerous hate crimes and terrorist activities against Jews, Muslims, Roma and other minority groups.
Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people. He then killed 69 more people, mostly teenagers, in a mass shooting at a Workers’ Youth League camp on the island of Utøya. Breivik’s manifesto titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, took a jab at leftwing Jews: “Jews that support multi-culturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists”.
Breivik’s attack should have been enough to wake up Europe’s moderate-left majority and move them to tackle the issue of far-right terrorism, but it didn’t happen. Instead, Europe doubled its anti-terror policies targeting Islamist extremists, which made European Muslims more insular and vulnerable to extremism. The massacre of innocent journalists and cartoonists will only make things worse and harm Europe’s Muslims even more than the rise of intolerant political parties already has.
The opportunistic language of Europe’s political leaders on the issue of immigration plays directly into the hands of extremists. A willingness to engage with the Muslims to determine their place in modern Europe will not prevent every terrorist attack. But in France that willingness can return legitimacy to a nation that prides itself on ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity’.
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Has everyone forgotten what happened the last time Europe looked towards Facism and the far right for an answer to economic problems and an answer to immigration? We got Hitler and Mussolini. We got Kristallnacht and Auschwitz. We got the Holocaust and World War 2. We achieved the death of millions and for what? What did that accomplish? This is simply a re-occurrence of Antisemitism, re-branded and directed at another group of people.
Does Europe want another war? Everyone thought that Putin would be the instigator of another war in Europe, but it looks like it wont be. It will be the same countries that were involved in the first two.
Minorities are never the problem. Muslims are not the problem. Jews are not the problem. Members of the LGBT community are not the problem. The problem is this racist, anti ‘everyone not white or Christian’ attitude that they are famous for.
There are better, safer, more humane ways of solving these problems. People need to stop electing good speakers to run countries. Sure, they make you feel good and safe an provide an answer, but look at what they are saying for long enough and hard enough, and you will see the holes and problems in what they are suggesting.
The right side of politics wasn’t the answer before, it wont be again.
Qu’est-ce que sa a acomplie et bah de grande chose je suis désolé la guerre et désolé de le dire mais c’est la meilleure façon de relancer l’économie d’un pays etc ! Voilà ce que sa a acomplie
Some cultures are not compatible with western values. The sooner people like this journalist here see this the sooner we can take the measures necessary to send those who would rather not participate in our government and way of life back to the third world where they came from. I am all for immigration but also a realist.
in other words the predictable backlash…
Nice article. Terrorist brutality may result in a more ‘neo-fascist’ mind set. In the States we find the sway toward reduction of rights — more stringent government intrusion into our privacy. Oddly this also seems ‘neo-fascist.’ A third segment of the backlash might in the future take the form of antagonism toward religion. It may take a few generations, but all these things may come about, and life goes on.
The Left everywhere is dangerous and will end up killing us all with their idiocy and simple mindedness. Unless you enjoy wearing a head burka or praising the Allah and Mohammed skum, then youare part of the IslamoNazism reakING havoc worldwide.
IIhave a feeling about what’s to come for Europe in the near future II have a bad
Political Correctness has gone toofar! And so has this Economic Rationalism and free trade, = No Jobs! + Angry Youth who will turn to extremism!
That’s this mean that other cultures will be egtigmatize too? Like south american ?? Will nobody ever be able to visit Europe again?…. And are they really saying that the government its entrusting the neo Nazis?
Attacking and killing innocent people in retaliation because innocent people were killed. A world gone mad….