Monday, January 19, 2015

Europe's Anti-Immigration Parties Stand to Gain Over the Rise in Radical Islamic Terrorism

Supporters of Germany’s Pegida, the Patriotic Europeans 
Against the Islamization of the West, marched in Dresden
 on Monday. Getty Images
Europe’s fragile political equilibrium was shaken by the attacks perpetrated last week by France’s homegrown Islamic terrorists, which exposed a gaping divide between the continent’s native populations and immigrant communities.
Europe’s establishment politicians, after years of playing down concerns about the growing influence of Islam in their communities, are rushing to reassure constituents worried about further violence. And anti-immigrant parties, which stand to gain ground, face the dilemma of how to capitalize on public fears without appearing insensitive to the victims.
France's National Front Party Rally
Even before the Paris attacks, rising public disquiet over what many Europeans regard as the establishment’s failure to integrate Muslims was fueling anti-immigrant movements across the region.
“Our political class has failed,” says Joerg Forbrig, a political scientist at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin. The ascendancies of the anti-immigrant parties, he predicts, likely will push the political center to the right, further isolating Europe’s Muslim communities.
Such concerns aren’t new. Europe’s chronic economic malaise and resentment over the growing influence of the Brussels-based European Union have fueled a surge of support for antiestablishment parties. But the brutal attacks in Paris and the slaying of a British soldier in 2013 in London have brought the discussion of immigration, religious tolerance and national identity to a boil.
Anti-immigrant parties such as France’s far-right National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, are trying to frame the debate as a choice between their nationalist agendas and the multicultural worldview long espoused by much of Europe’s political mainstream—and they appear to be gaining traction.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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