Monday, 12 January 2015

Patriotic Movements on the Rise: The Anti-Islamist Worm Turns as Europe Burns

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Aside from saying he “vomits” on his magazine’s new supporters, Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Holtrop lamented in a recent interview that the January 7 attack on his magazine would help Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party (NF). This is nothing new for Charlie journalists, by the way; while they’ve become a symbol of “free speech,” some 20 years ago they lobbied for the NF to be outlawed. And it’s one of life’s poetic ironies: The NF has been advocating policies — opposition to Muslim immigration — that would have saved the lives of a group trying to destroy it, while that group’s opposition to those policies led to its destruction. But Holtrop is certainly right. The massacre at Charlie’s offices in Paris by three Islamic jihadists is further empowering anti-Islamization forces in France — and beyond.

Once a fringe party started by Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, her media savvy and a burgeoning Islamic threat in France have enabled the NF’s star to rise in recent years. As Business Week wrote last Wednesday:

The French government is trying to damp fears that the growing influence of Islam is eroding social cohesion. Le Pen led [French president Francois] Hollande by as much as 15 percentage points in a September survey of voting intentions by Ifop for Le Figaro newspaper. The Front National topped Hollande’s Socialists and their predecessors, the UMP, in last year’s European elections.

... “Of all political parties, the Front National stands to gain most from this [Charlie] atrocity,” Jim Shields, head of French studies at Aston University in Birmingham, England, said in an interview. “Public agreement with the FN’s ideas has been rising steadily and this event will play into the party’s anti-immigration, anti-Islam agenda.”

When the Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah carried out deadly attacks in Toulouse and Montauban in 2012, Le Pen was the presidential candidate who benefited most, Shields said.

For her part, Le Pen wasted no time speaking out against the Paris atrocity, saying in a video posted to her website just after the attack, “Time’s up for denial and hypocrisy. The absolute rejection of Islamic fundamentalism must be proclaimed loudly and clearly.”

And illustrating how these terrorist acts influence public sentiment, Le Pen has on this point an unlikely ally: HBO's liberal Real Time host, Bill Maher. On last Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian-cum-commentator said when host Kimmel equivocated slightly in implicating Muslims in the Charlie massacre, "It's not a ‘presume’ [presumption] — no, no, it's Muslim terrorists. …This happens way too frequently. It's like Groundhog Day, except if the groundhog kept getting his head cut off."

To understand what kind of leftist denials Le Pen and Maher are talking about, GOP USA writes,

Look no further than former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean, who said the Charlie Hebdo assassins are not Muslim despite their Islamic chants [Allahu Akbar].

“I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists," Dean expressed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about the jihadist murderers of a dozen Parisians. "They're about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else's life — that's not what the Koran says. Europe has an enormous radical problem. I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it's a cult."

Such reasoning reflects the common montage frequently proclaimed by President Barack Obama, who has consistently insisted that ISIS (the Islamic State) "is not Islamic," declaring Islam to be a "religion of peace."

As for the hypocrisy, critics could point out that these leftists make no effort to convince others that the Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for protesting at soldiers' funerals, isn’t Christian. Nor do they claim the Crusades — which they criticize but fail to understand were a response to Muslim aggression — weren’t Christian or that the small percentage of Catholic priests who abused minors weren’t Catholic.

But just as denial crosses borders, so have the effects of the Charlie attack. In Greece, which is poised to have parliamentary elections later this month, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras condemned the leftist Syriza opposition party’s pro-immigration stance, saying “There was a massacre in Paris, and here some people are inviting over illegal immigrants and handing out citizenships.”

In Germany, where a Hamburg newspaper that reprinted Charlie’s Mohammed cartoons was firebombed four days after the Paris attack, the anti-Islamization PEGIDA movement held a rally in Dresden today to show solidarity with the Charlie victims. PEGIDA, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,” has been holding increasingly well-attended demonstrations for months now, with Monday's event drawing a record crowd of 25,000. The protesters “carried signs saying ‘They can’t kill our freedom’ and ‘Je skis Charlie’” (I ski Charlie), and one “carried a picture of Ms Merkel wearing a Muslim facial veil, mocking the chancellor who has urged citizens to stay away from PEGIDA marches,” wrote the Australian. The German leader has also said “Islam belongs to Germany” but perhaps may be out of touch on the issue with her people, 61 percent of whom say Islam has no place in the West, according to a study cited by the Australian. The paper also reports:

Meanwhile PEGIDA has said on its Facebook page that the killings at Charlie Hebdo in Paris confirmed its own views.

“The Islamists, which PEGIDA has been warning about for 12 weeks, showed France that they are not capable of democracy but rather look to violence and death as an answer,” it said.

Then there’s the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Great Britain. While once a fringe movement like the National Front, it became the largest UK party in the European Parliament after the 2014 elections. And its leader, Nigel Farage, had much to say after the Paris massacre. As BBC News wrote:

Mr Farage, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, said mass immigration had "made it frankly impossible for many new communities to integrate."

"We do have, I'm afraid, I'm sad to say, a fifth column that is living within our own countries, that is utterly opposed to our values," he said.

"We're going to have to be a lot braver and a lot more courageous in standing up for our Judeo-Christian culture."

But with “no-go zones” — areas “Islamic immigrants consider ... their territory and [where] whites enter at their own risk,” as CBN News puts it — now peppering Western Europe, the forces of patriotism have a lot of standing up to do. There are 55 such areas in the small nation of Sweden alone, and a shocking 700 in France.

This phenomenon reflects an immigration model that, as a British Labour Party adviser admitted in 2009, was designed “to rub the Right's nose in diversity” but was kept secret for fear of alienating the party’s “core working class vote.” But now the working class and others are waking up and rubbing back — and the result of this planned balkanization may, ultimately, be bloody noses all the way around.

Photo of anti-Islamization PEGIDA rally in Dresden, Germany, Jan. 12, 2015: AP Images

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