For the second time in 24 hours, MSNBC featured former Newsweek columnist Christopher Dickey to worry about how the "far-right" will exploit the terrorist shooting in France. The Daily Beast foreign editor assailed, "This is an issue that's going to be used very effectively and cynically by the far-right politicians, not only of France, but especially in the rest of Europe."
Worrying about how the slaughter will impact Muslims, Dickey theorized, "In order to avoid being called racists and xenophobes, what do they [right-wing Europeans] say? They say, 'We don't like Islam. And why do we not like Islam? Because Islam is an intolerant religion and therefore we in Europe cannot tolerate those intolerant Muslims in our midst.'"
On Wednesday, Dickey insisted, "Most of the Muslims who are in France, who are in Europe, came here searching for more freedom. Not less. They don't want to impose Islam on the rest of the world." He worried about the "extreme right's" reaction to the massacre.
A partial transcript of the exchange is below:
CHRISTOPHER DICKEY: The bad news is, there were attacks on at least three mosques and prayer rooms in France over the last day, day and a half in reaction, obvious reaction, to the Charlie Hebdo events. And in the broader context, this is an issue that's going to be used very effectively and cynically by the far-right politicians, not only of France, but especially in the rest of Europe, places like Dresden, places like the Netherlands, where -- what is their message? Their message is, essentially, that they don't like immigrants. They don't like Muslims. They don't like foreigners. Their message, if you want to just take all the coating off of it is essentially racist and xenophobic. But in order to avoid being called racists and xenophobes, what do they say? They say, "We don't like Islam. And why do we not like Islam? Because Islam is an intolerant religion and therefore we in Europe cannot tolerate those intolerant Muslims in our midst." It's a very effective argument. It's one that's been politically very successful in the Netherlands, for instance. And it is going to be fueled to a white hot level by this incident and any further incidents that take place.
SUSAN OCHS: And Christopher, I lived in Paris many years ago, and I remember being surprised at that time at the level of rhetoric of anti-immigrant, which really then was code for, I think, a lot of Algerians in some respects, because there is such a large Algerian population and France. Do you think that the far-right now led, by Marine Le Pen back then, it was her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Do you think they're really gaining ground with everyday French people? Or is this just a really loud, vocal minority, but the same size minority it was before?
DICKEY: Oh, no, no, no. No, they are definitely gaining ground. Marine Le Pen is a whole hell of a lot hell of a lot smarter than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen and her ambition is not to be, sort of, be a gadfly on the far-right flirting, with Naziism or at least fascism the way her father did. No, no, no. Marine Le Pen wants to be president of France. And she's putting in place a political machinery and a political discourse that will probably take her very far toward that goal.