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Far-right fishing in troubled waters

July 10, 2014 - 1:13:44 am

It is no longer possible to conceal things easily in light of the new media revolution and its tools that might be elements of creation or destruction.

Footage uploaded on the website of the French far-right National Front was deleted immediately after stirring a widespread controversy and under pressure from human rights organisations.

A question was directed to the father of the current party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, about the outspoken critics of the party, who include Jewish leaderships.

“We will put them in the oven the next time,” he replied in a provocative manner. This was considered an explicit attack on Jews, as he clearly pointed to the Holocaust that was committed during Adolf Hitler’s rule.

Years earlier, his daughter, Marine Le Pen, had likened the sight of Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

Why did the far-right return with a bang, especially in Europe? 

Political Analyst Sylvain Atal pointed out that the far-right took advantage of what he called “the bad performance of European governments and their failure in raising levels of development and reducing unemployment”.

He also pointed out that the weak moderate-right opposition was not attractive enough, considering corruption scandals and favouritism that tarnished the reputation of its most prominent leaders.

This did not only happen in France. After the latest economic crisis, a surge in the following of far-right parties was seen in Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Greece and even the United Kingdom.

German weekly Der Spiegel said far-right parties in Europe got popular support recently because European voters thought that the European Commission is nothing but a bureaucratic institution far removed from European citizens.

Popular parties understood this feeling and are trying to encash it for their interest. This is in addition to their old propaganda against Islam and foreigners.

However, it is pertinent to mention that the migrant religious and ethnic minorities in Europe, including the Islamic ones, have failed in adopting and promoting the principle of coexistence and openness. They failed to bring to light the truth about Islam as a religion of tolerance and acceptance of others. So when crises emerge, they pay the price with extremists finding the way open to show a distorted image of Islam, describing it as a religion of violence and terrorism. 

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