Spiegel Online International: European Right Under Pressure in Wake of Attacks

by , under All categories, Enrique

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.

Read whole story.

  1. Mark

    Almost certainly things have changed. Though the danger is that too much focus will go on Breivik being ‘mad’ and so his anti-Islam ideology will be ignored.

    On the other hand, the situation for European citizens might be one of increased fear, fear about what madness lurks within. Home grown terrorists are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of wreaking civilian massacres, across the extremes.

    Nevertheless, the populist parties have shown that one of their greatest strengths is being able to manipulate and exploit people’s existential fears. Expect them to say something like, we cannot sit on this topic of immigration and multiculturalism any more because people are fed up, and some are going to do ‘stupid’ things as a way of expressing that frustration.

    Also, as PS have traditionally attacked ‘political elites’, it might be that they again say the political elites are ‘not listening’, and that is why these things happen. In other words, I expect they will exploit the situation to call for ‘tougher action’, that action being more immigration controls and restrictions and an erosion of civil rights for immigrants.

    • Enrique

      Mika, I guess we’ll have to see how this plays out. Being anti-immigration for the sake of it isn’t a very good reason.

      I am happy, however, that we can debate this openly.

  2. JusticeDemon


    That’s a very odd interpretation of the judgement in Järvenpää. My view is the precise opposite. It should most certainly not be acceptable for a housing company to exclude a resident on ethnocultural grounds. Are you suggesting otherwise?

  3. Mary Mekko

    I daresay that these immigrant groups will really be getting the scrutiny now. If so many people native to these Scandanavian countries are upset with Muslim immigration, perhaps now the press and the politicians will consider the consequences of their to-heck-with-the-people’s-wishes policies.

    If anything a Finn has to watch, it’s the rise of Russian-style Communist ideas, and that means all left-wing parties are suspect. Their form of dictatorship is a threat to all in the free world, regardless of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fanatics got walls like that built, and they’re still around, getting born and raised by unwitting parents who teach them about ‘entitlements’.

    I’d label this Norwegian a libertarian, since that is what he considered himself. I wouldn’t call him “right-wing” or “left-wing”. That he was anti-immigration is quite an independent movement throughout the spectrum, as real leftwingers in all countries know: you cannot protect the rights of the workers within a nation, build strong unions and so on, if the government allows immigrants to come and lower the wages, pushing the natives out. It’s happening in the US in a very big way. Real leftwingers want to protect their own people first, not the “workers of the world”. Russian Communists, as left as they could go, were extreme nationalists. Chinese Commies are also extreme nationalists, esp. the ruling Han.

    Enrique, you just have it in for “right-wingers” without understanding what all tribal groups do: they protect their own and want outsiders to stay out. Sometimes you’re just too naive. Study history, my dear!! Don’t deny human nature! Yes, condemn the nasty habits of this or that group, such as the male Muslims harassing women on the streets, but recognize that it is what it is. It’s in their culture and their nature, or they wouldn’t break the laws of Finland or Norway so openly. Or is it lack of fear of the law?

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