A Fall-out from Paris: Some Credence to Europe's Far-Right
Three days of terror upon Paris from extremists have handed some credence to European far-right groups intent on popularizing anti Islam and anti-immigration as their central themes to capture political momentum.
In Germany, the weekly far-right anti-islamization and anti-immigration rally at Dresden in the east, which has been gaining popularity from a few hundred folks at inception to peak at 18,000 before the Paris terror attacks, increased to some 25,000 protesters yesterday. Led by the far-right group PEGIDA, the Dresden surge in anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric seeks to curtail what the group deems as the islamization of Europe via immigration.
After the terror attacks upon Paris, another German far-right group, the National Democratic Party(NPD), urged its followers to mobilize with the anti-Islam sentiments of Dresden. Instead of calling for calm, the Associated Press(AP) reported that Holger Szymanski of the NPD declared: "We're calling on our members to take part in all protests taking place against Islamization."
Intent on extracting maximum political benefit from the tragedy of Paris, another nationalist German group, the Alternative for Germany Party, through one of its leaders, Alexander Gauland, proclaimed: "All those who have so far ignored or laughed at the concerns many people have about the looming danger of Islamism have been proved wrong by this bloody deed."
However, in a bid to apply civility and rational thought to the tragic events of Paris, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, acknowledged that those "trying to exploit this attack for their own purposes is disgusting," the AP reported. He reasoned: "We mustn't allow our society to be divided...the overwhelming majority of Muslims condemn the attack as a betrayal against their beliefs."
The rational thoughts of the German Justice Minister face opposition throughout Europe from far-right groups advocating against all Islam - and not just extreme Islam, and against most immigration.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who appears to be emerging as anti-immigration agitator in Europe, has called on immigration to be halted on the continent in light of the Paris tragedy. As reported by Reuters, Orban told his state television after the Paris events that immigration "...only brings trouble and threats to European people...Therefore immigration must be stopped. That's the Hungarian stance."
In Britain, Nigel Farage of the anti-Europe and the anti-immigration UK Independence Party said the Paris tragedy was a result of a "fifth column of people living within Western societies who hate us." And in France itself, leader of the far-right National Font, Marine LePen, has called on France to wake up to the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. "The time of denial, hypocrisy, is no longer possible," the AP reported.
An interesting take on Jihadism and extremism in Europe has been offered by Geert Wilders of the anti-Islam Freedom Party in the Netherlands. He has declared: "People should be allowed to leave" to fight Jihad, "but should not be allowed to return."
Far-right groups have taken some credence as a result of the tragedy in Paris. Yet, France and the rest of Europe need to proceed cautiously in ensuring that while Islamic extremism is weeded out, far-right extremism is not heralded in. If the mongoose eradicates the snake, who eradicates the mongoose?