In a report appearing earlier today, Karl Ritter at the Associated Press wanted U.S. readers to know that the "radical right" in Europe is turning into a really big problem. Why, these people have the nerve to object to the fact that "Muslim immigrants are colonizing Europe with the tacit approval of left-wing political elites." "Colonization" seems to be an inaccurate word; substitute "taking control of portions of" and you've got it about right.
Ritter engages in the usual guilt by association as he tries to tie protest groups to Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed no Muslims and was from all accounts I could find a loner. "Somehow," Ritter forgot to mention three specific items (there are probably more, but anyone following European news since the 2005 French riots should at least know about these) which represent clear evidence of attempts at de facto Muslim control: no-go zones, "honor killings," and the seemingly incurable wave of car burnings occurring continually throughout Europe. First, a few paragraphs from Ritter's report, with scare words bolded:
Europe's radical right focuses on fighting Islam
As daylight broke on June 4, worshippers found a mosque in southern Denmark defaced with drawings of the Prophet Muhammad and slogans urging Muslims to "go home."
In late October, a dismembered pig was buried on the planned construction site of a planned mosque on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
Both acts were the work of the Danish Defence League, a year-old far-right group that claims it's not opposed to foreigners in general, just Muslims.The group and its larger English forebear represent a new crop of right-wing radicals who don't fit the mold of the boot-stomping, Jew-hating neo-Nazis. This movement claims its fight is against Islam, and uses crusader symbols instead of swastikas. It frames its mission as a cultural struggle, although opponents say it is little more than old-fashioned xenophobia hiding beneath anti-Islamic rhetoric.
European authorities were just starting to consider the far-right, anti-Muslim movement's potential for violence when Norwegian militant Anders Behring Breivik took it to unimaginable extremes on July 22, massacring 77 people in the name of an anti-Islamic revolution.
... "There seems to be many people who share Breivik's general views, even though they of course condemn his actions," Fitje told The Associated Press. "But we don't know much about this. And we don't know how much we should know about it," because PST is not allowed to register people based on their political views.
Anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe is nothing new. Since the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S. it has boosted anti-immigration political parties from Scandinavia to France. However, it started taking a more radical form in recent years, mostly online, but also with small groups organizing street protests against a perceived Islamization of Europe.
In France, the anti-Muslim Bloc Identitaire has emerged as one of the loudest voices on the extreme right fringes.
Ritter almost seems like he wishes that the PST had such police-state powers "to register people based on their political views." And the nerve of these people, "organizing street protests"!
Looking at the three key items Ritter ignored, each of which should alarm anyone interested in living in a pluralistic, tolerant society (i.e., you don't have to be "far-right" to be concerned, and you shouldn't have to risk being tagged as an extremist if you express such concerns):
- No-go zones -- In just one country, France, "... large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered 'no-go'zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control." The UK Daily Mail reported this summer that "Islamic extremists have launched a poster campaign across the UK proclaiming areas where Sharia law enforcement zones have been set up." A short Danish video found here portrays a policeman who among other things says that "I must not get out of the car and I should not run after (criminal suspects) in a (Muslim) area ..."
- Muslim-committed murders and honor killings -- Remember Theo Van Gogh, Karl? As to honor killings, which are predominantly committed by members of Muslim families against another family member who has supposedly "disgraced" the family by having a relationship with a person of another religion or is a homosexual, in the UK alone according to a 2008 BBC report, "Police believe there may be as many as 12 honour killings in the UK every year." Wikipedia writers are currently debating whether "Honor Killings In Europe" needs its own dedicated entry.
- Car burnings -- These briefly came to the world's attention during the French riots in 2005 which occurred in the largely Muslim suburbs of Paris and other cities. Near the end of those riots, "only" 40-60 car-burnings were occurring, while the French press brazenly censored it news coverage, because, as one media person said, "Politics in France is heading to the right and I don’t want right-wing politicians back in second, [let alone] first, place because we showed burning cars on television." Incredibly, the pace has since picked up (at least through 2009; more recent news seems hard to come by) to over 40,000 per year, or an average of over 100 per day, with the New Year's Eve total typically over 1,000 by itself. France has apparently recently taken to burying the car-burning stats in a broader "vandalism" category.
But in the world of Karl Ritter and the AP, these indicators that exactly what the supposed "far-right radicals" fear, namely that "Muslim immigrants are colonizing Europe with the tacit approval of left-wing political elites," aren't worthy of the expenditure of journalistic resources. "Defaced Muslim drawings" are far more important to the Essential Global News Network than the dead bodies of slain honor-killing victims or the charred remains of thousands of torched cars.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.