Comment: The fallout of Anders Behring Breivik’s outlandish killings in Norway on Friday has been felt by anti-immigration groups across Europe. Some very vociferous anti-Islam parties like the English Defense League and Freedom Party of Austria have condemned and distance themselves from the attacks.
One of the consequence of living in a post-22/7 Europe for far right and right-wing populist parties means closer public and police scrutiny of these groups.
While the Spiegel Online International story states “European right-wing populist parties do not as a rule encourage violence,” their verbal attacks on immigrants and Muslims have an impact on society. Fuelling racism and prejudice by demonizing a group is a form of violence.
Writes the German online newsmagazine: “Europe’s right-wing populists, it has become apparent this week, are not used to being on the defensive. For years, they have seen public support for their causes grow and are in parliament in several countries. Furthermore, as integration and demographics have risen to the top of worry lists in several countries on the Continent, the populists saw little reason to tone down their attacks.”
Do you believe that the tables have been turned for Europe’s far right and right-wing populist parties? How have matters changed for them?
By Charles Hawley
Europe’s right-wing populists are not used to being on the defensive. But the perpetrator of last Friday’s horrific attacks in Norway was steeped in their anti-immigration, Muslim-skeptical ideology. They now find themselves in an uncomfortable position.