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Anti-Islam war cry helps Europe far-right fly high

21 September 2010 General No Comment Email This Post Email This Post

BRUSSELS: An internet game targeting minarets and mosques, women in burqas in hot pursuit of an elderly white pensioner; across Europe far-right parties are flying high thanks to anti-immigrant, anti-Islam rants.

The burqa-versus-pensioner TV ad devised by the far-right Sweden Democrats, who scored a maiden entry into parliament this weekend, in the end was modified by law-enforcers, and Austria’s website shootout at Islam was shut down by the authorities.
Yet Sweden and Austria are on a lengthening list of nations where far-right politicians are notching up impressive gains thanks to spin-off from 9/11, and fallout from the global economic crisis.

“Politics is becoming nationalistic and nativist in many parts of Europe,” said cult economistNouriel Roubini, “reflected in an antiimmigrant backlash, raids against the Roma, Islamophobia, and the rise of extreme rightwing parties.”

Far-right parties currently are in government in Italy and sit in the parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, HungaryLatvia, Slovakia, Sweden and The Netherlands. In France, where the farright regularly grabs 10% of the vote, a ban was slapped last week on wearing a burqa in public – a move submitted to Italy’s parliament a couple of days later.

In liberal Netherlands, where the anti-Islam Freedom Party came in third in June elections, leaderGeert Wilders hopes to secure a place in a minority government though he stands trial next month. “Human rights are perceived as a security question, not that people need EU protection, but EU people need to be protected from them.”

Analysts say that some European governments are playing up farright policies to serve national political interests. “It’s the European version of the Tea Party movement , a very reactionary response to the crisis” said Fabrice Pothier, director, Carnegie Europe think tank.

Original post: Anti-Islam war cry helps Europe far-right fly high

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