Harun Yahya

Is far-right politics becoming the new face of Europe?

With each passing day, Europe, once referred to as the cradle of freedom and democracy, is rapidly turning into a continent where far-right wing, racist and sometimes openly fascist views are in vogue and are gaining in popularity. Meanwhile, Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments are following a parallel course. More precisely, these have emerged as the elements that fuel the far-right.

In Holland, Geert Wilders went as far as to demand the Qur'an be banned. The Hungarian party Jobbik set up a militia force to patrol Roma neighborhoods, while  Denmark’s Nationalist Party made a proposal to confiscate the possessions of refugees.

As we can see in France in particular, at least 30 million European voters have voted for far-right political parties in the last five years. In the last elections, nationalist parties received 18% of the votes in Finland, 13% in Sweden, 21% in Denmark, 29% in Switzerland, 35% in Austria, 14% in France, 10% in Holland, and 21% in Hungary. Although President Macron has assumed the office in France, Le Pen's racist party is still on a rapid rise.

            In the elections held in Austria on October 15th 2017, the far-rightist Freedom Party of Austria became the second party as the Peoples Party won the elections. Sebastian Kurz who is expected to be the youngest leader of Europe is presumed to form a coalition with the far-rightist Freedom Party of Austria. It seems that the FPÖ, founded by a former SS officer is becoming the kingmaker. This ascent reinforces the introverted tendencies of the EU, which will likely cause harsher debates concerning Turkey’s membership.

 Following the German federal elections held on September 24, 2017, the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) party was elected into the Parliament, bringing the rise of the far-right in Europe to the fore once again.

The AfD, notorious for its enmity towards Islam and foreigners, received 12.6% of the votes, increasing its vote share by 7.9% in this election. The collapse of the German voters' support for the mainstream political parties and the AfD’s entering the Federal Parliament - with 94 members as the third biggest political party - have raised concerns over Germany's gradual slide towards the far-right. In the latest elections, over 100 seats that were lost in the parliament by the mainstream parties have largely gone to the AfD.

The nationalist and racist discourse adopted by the far-right AfD throughout the election campaign such as "Trust Yourself Germany", "Germans should be proud of the German soldiers’ achievement in the two world wars", “Aydan Özoğuz -the German government’s commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration- should be disposed of in Anatolia” have aroused concern and disquiet, especially among the Turks residing in the country. The AfD is also the kind of party that suggests the border police should be empowered to shoot illegal immigrants if necessary.

Experts give the coalition between the CDU, the FDP (Free Democratic Party) and the Greens -which appears to be Merkel’s sole alternative- a maximum of two years before it likely collapses and fresh elections will have to be called. This potential union, which is also called the Jamaica coalition due to the combination of the party colors, is predicted to have a difficult time finding a common ground on issues such as economy, energy and state structure.

Dr. Roy Karadağ, the Head of the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies at the University of Bremenemphasizes that the AfD has brought with it considerable uncertainty and concern, and that this may lead to great changes in Germany.

One of the major advantages the far-right enjoys is that it brings together those who are dissatisfied with the current system, and who are disappointed with the parties and ideologies that have been tried to this day. That is why the far-right and racism is a trend that has been on the rise not only in Europe, but throughout the entire world over the last 30 years: The world has been anxiously following the racist developments in the USA in recent years.

Social democracy and other socialist movements have been on a constant decline. The Scandinavian states, which had been under social-democratic rule for years, have come under the sway of rightist parties. The right's ascent is paving the way for certain pro-violence, racist groups. Here, it would serve us well to remember the horrifying massacre perpetrated by the Norwegian extreme rightist Anders Breivik.

Europe has a deep-rooted criminal record for racism. Racist massacres, genocides, wars, concentration camps, artificial famines and the slave trade that took place in Africa, Southeastern Asia, the Indian Peninsula, Australia, and North and South America are among the more shameful pages of European history. Likewise, policies built upon racism, extreme nationalism and violence pursued by the various fascist movements that rose in the European countries during the World War II cost the lives of millions.

While criticizing the far-right, it is important to prevent misunderstandings; the leftist  ideology is not the alternative to the far-right. Today, as well as in the past, the biggest disasters that befell every society have all been brought about by leftist ideologies. What is meant here is a management system with a good sense that places importance on humans, and the spiritual and moral values.

It seems quite inconsistent for Europe, a trailblazer in art, science, technology, democracy and human rights, to be so quickly overcome by such extremist, deviant trends within its own society.  European society must contemplate hard on this discrepancy. If this dilemma, which is a clear betrayal of its own core values, is not resolved, it will not take very long before Europe enters into an incredibly dangerous and destructive process.

Adnan Oktar's piece in The Jakarta Post:


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