Posts Tagged ‘islamophobia’

Politics of hate create strange bedfellows

July 31, 2011

The massacre in Norway by Anders Behring Brevik has created a dilemma for many of the extremist parties in Europe whose “ideology” he had adopted. They must now – at least publicly – distance themselves from his actions but without abandoning their politics which he ardently supported and which led to his actions. Many of the islamophobic, anti-immigration, nationalistic parties in Europe today have their roots in fascism or neo-nazism or racial hatred. Upto about 10 years ago their objects of hate were usually blacks, Jews, Asians, Turks, socialists, “big government” and communists. In the last decade or so all of these “hates” have been maintained but have manifested themselves increasingly under the convenient and opportunistic umbrella of islamophobism.

But for these so-called “right-wing, nationalist” parties, I think it is wrong to attribute anything other than “hate” as their ideology. As times change the object of their hate evolves and changes to whatever they consider is currently popular to fear and to hate. Their political strategy seems to be fundamentally based on the marshalling of the fears of the “common man” – by providing the objects of hate which can feed those fears.

Almost every country in Europe now has its version of a “hate” party: the Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Austria, the Vlaams Blok (VB) in Belgium, the Danish Peoples Party (DPP) in Denmark, True Finns (PS) in Finland, the National Front (FN) in France, the Republican party (REP), German People’s Union (DVU) and National Democratic party (NPD) all in Germany, the Hellenic Front (HF) in Greece, Liga Nord (LN) and the Futuro e Libertà (FLI) in Italy, Pim Fortuyn’s List (LPF) in the Netherlands, the Fremskrittspartiet (FrP) in Norway, Partido Popular (CDS-PP) in Portugal, Sweden Democrats (SD) in Sweden, Swiss Peoples Party (SVP) in Switzerland and the British National party (BNP) in the UK.

They are now finding common cause with some strange partners in Israel and India and the US. They include Likud and the settlers in Israel, the fanatics of the RSS and Hindutva nationalists and even the extreme right wing of the Tea Party movement in the US. It is only a short step to move onto the hate parties of Japan (the Uyoku dantai groups), in Australia (United Australia Party) and those that are forming in the Balkans and in eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia). The juxtaposition of ideologies can – on the surface – seem strange (neo-nazis together with Jewish settlers or anti-Asian together with Hindu nationalism) but the common factor is always that there is somebody in common to hate.

Der Spiegel:

The Likud Connection:

Islamophobic parties in Europe have established a tight network, stretching from Italy to Finland. But recently, they have extended their feelers to Israeli conservatives, enjoying a warm reception from members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. Some in Israel believe that the populists are Europe’s future.

Anders Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto is nothing if not thorough. Pages and pages of text outline in excruciating detail the ideological underpinnings of his worldview — one which led him to kill 76 people in two terrible attacks in Norway last week. 

It is a document which has led many to question Breivik’s sanity. But it has also, due to its myriad citations and significant borrowing from several anti-immigration, Islamophobic blogs, highlighted the deeply entwined network of right-wing populist groups and parties across Europe — from the Front National in France to Vlaams Belang in Belgium to the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

But recently it has become clear that Europe’s populist parties aren’t merely content to establish a network on the Continent. They are also looking further east. And have begun establishing tight relations with several conservative politicians in Israel — first and foremost with Ayoob Kara, a parliamentarian with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party who is also deputy minister for development of the Negev and Galilee districts.

The reason for the growing focus on Israel is not difficult to divine. “On the one hand,” Strache told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a recent interview, “we are seeing great revolutions taking place in the Middle East. But one can’t be totally sure that other interests aren’t behind them and that, in the end, we might see Islamist theocracies surrounding Israel and in Europe’s backyard.”

In other words, in the battle against what right-wing populists see as the creeping Islamization of Europe, Israel is on the front line. ….. 

At first glance, the European populists’ relationship with Israel would hardly appear to be a marriage built on love. Many see the FPÖ as being just one tiny step away from classic neo-Nazi groups and the same holds true for their partners throughout Europe.  …… And Kara was blasted in the Israeli press for a recent meeting in Berlin he held with Patrick Brinkmann, a German right-wing populist. “Deputy Minister Meets Neo-Nazi Millionaire,” read a headline in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth earlier this month, noting that Brinkmann, while now insistent that he is not anti-Semitic, once had close ties with the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). ….

Read article:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,777175,00.html

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