Yesterday’s attacks in France have tested the patience of Europe and large demonstrations immediately followed. In Germany, large demonstrations have already happened without any attacks, expressing solidarity against the islamification of German society. Throughout time, it’s been mentioned here often that all it will take is a major Islamist attack in Europe and the entire continent will take an extreme right swing. Should radical Islamists keep pushing, the threshold will eventually be found.
With its proximity to the Middle East, Europe is the locus of efforts to target terrorism at the West. Now is not the time, to borrow a phrase from Margaret Thatcher, to go wobbly.
The hideous attack on Charlie Hebdo, the Parisian satirical weekly, was not just an assault on France, which has gone into lockdown mode as it searches for the gunmen who murdered twelve journalists. It was also a warning to the rest of Europe, which has been grappling with its growing Muslim population. The latest issue of Hebdo itself featured an illustration about the new novel called Submission by the professional provocateur Michel Houellebecq that is set in 2022 and that depicts a France governed by an Islamic president who bans women from working.
The blunt fact is that Europe has a Muslim problem because radical Muslims have a problem with it. They are following a Leninist strategy of attempting to heighten the contradictions between Western values and Islamic ones. They also happen, more often than not, to be anti-Semitic. Writing in the Independent, Jonathan Fenby says:
As Yonathan Arfi, Vice-President of the main Jewish organisation, CRIF, noted, anti-Semitism had become “a portmanteau for a lot of angry people; radical Muslims, alienated youths from immigrant families, the far right, the far left” amid a “a process of normalisation by which anti-Semitism is being made somehow acceptable.” The French office of the Jewish Agency for Israel reported that the “climate of anti-Semitism” had led more immigrants to Israel in the first eight months of 2014 than from any other country.
In Germany, France and Great Britain, the attacks are likely to strengthen anti-immigrant parties. The question facing European leaders—German chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting British prime minister David Cameron today—is whether they can move to co-opt and defuse nationalist passions. Until now, they have often taken refuge in banalities and homilies.
For now, however, the most immediate political beneficiary is Marine Le Pen, the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and the leader of the Front National party, which has long agitated against foreigners. France has experienced a rash of terrorist violence, including the use of cars to attack festive celebrations. French president Francois Hollande will come under increasing pressure to show that he can effectively combat terrorism. He has vowed to capture the gunmen; it needs to happen quickly. But the broader problem Hollande will confront is the mounting tension between Muslim radicalism and French society. Add in an economy in the doldrums and you have a recipe for further trouble.
In Germany, the nationalist Alternative Party, which is to the right of the Christian Democrats led by chancellor Angela Merkel, may see an uptick in support. Already, weekly demonstrations called by Pegida against Muslim immigration are taking place in Dresden—the center of the uprising against the former communist regime—and 18,000 people showed up this past Monday. Chancellor Merkel has condemned the rallies. Her condemnation has been ignored.
Full article: The Attack on Charlie Hebdo: A Warning to Europe Written in Blood (The National Interest)