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Friday, January 15 2016
Revolution Against Immigration
Europe as we knew it may be over.
Six years ago, the American journalist Christopher Caldwell famously characterized the changes that a massive non-European, non-Judeo-Christian, immigration was forcing upon Europe as a « revolution ». We may be now on the brink of a counter-revolution : something that is usually as « revolutionary », as violent and far-reaching, as revolution itself.
Last year massacres in Paris (the assassination of satirical cartoonists and of a kosher supermaket’s customers in January, 2015, and then the November 13 killing spree) were a tipping point : the French – and by extension, most Europeans - realized that growing numbers of second generation immigrants from North Africa were ready to wage a genocidal civil war against them. But things did not stand there. More crises have been erupting at a rapid pace ; and European hostility towards Muslim immigration is spiraling accordingly.
First, there was the Christmas crisis in Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean. On December 24, a fire was activated at Les Jardins de l’Empereur (The Emperor’s Gardens), an immigrant-populated neighborhood in Ajaccio, the capital of Southern Corsica. As soon as the firemen arrived, they were attacked by local youths, Muslims of North African descent.
Such ambushes have been part of French life for years : for immigrant youth gangs, it is both an amusing pastime and a way to tell the outside world that their neighborhoods are « no go zones » upon which they alone have authority. However, Corsica is a very special place, with a strong ethnic culture of its own and some propensity for violence. Moreover, the local nationalists, who want the island to accede to autonomy if not independence, have just won the regional elections. Clearly, the Christmas eve provocations would not go unanswered. And they did not. For four days, hundreds of ethnic Corsicans rampaged through the Muslim neighborhoods, shouting Arabi Fora ! (Get the Arabs out, in Corsican). One of Ajaccio’s five mosques was vandalized.
The French socialist government and many leaders of the conservative opposition attempted at first to put the blame both on the « delinquent youth » and the « racist rioters ». The local population sided however with the latter. Eventually, it is only through the mediation of the Corsican elected officials that order and law was restored in the island.
Then, there was the New Year crisis in Germany and other Northern European countries. On December 31, one to two thousands of male Muslim immigrants or refugees converged to the Banhofvorplatz in Cologne, a piazza located between the Railways Central Station and the medieval cathedral. As it turned out during later in the evening and the night, they intended to « have fun » : that is to say to hunt, harass or molest the « immodest » and presumably « easy » German women and girls who celebrated the New Year’s Eve at the restaurants and bars nearby, or to steal their money. 561 complaints were lodged, many of them of a sexual character. Similar incidents took place in other German cities, like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, as well as in Stockholm and Kalmar in Sweden, and Helsinki in Finland.
Here again, there was nothing intrisically new about such violence : cases of immigrants-related sexual harassment and rapes are getting so common in some European countries that mayors or police authorities « advise » women to stay home by night or « to keep foreigners at arms length » (This was the case, incidentally, of Cologne independent and pro-immigration mayor, Henriette Reker). What was new, as in Corsica, was the swift citizens reaction. The social networks and the mainstream media media were flooded by graphic eyewitness testimonies about the New Year’s Eve incidents ; support for asylum seekers from the Middle East plummeted : 37 % of the Germans now say that « their view of them has worsened », and 62 % that « there is too many of them ».
The larger implications are that Europe as we knew it since 1945 may be over. Post-WW2 Europe was built upon the rejection of Hitler’s mad regime and everything it stood for. The more prominent some views or behaviors had been under Hitler, the more utterly rejected they were – at least in the public sphere – and the more hallowed were their very opposites. Nationalism, militarism, authoritarianism, racism, were out. Multinationalism, pacifism, hyperdemocracy, multiculturalism, were in.
This simple, almost Manichean, logic is collapsing now. Or rather Europeans now understand that it was flawed in many ways from the very beginning. Especially when it came to multiculturalism, the alleged antidote to racism.
What Europeans had in mind when they rejected racism in 1945 was essentially antisemitism. But they, or rather their political, cultural and religious leadership, got more and more confused about the issue over the years.
First, it was held that all forms of racism, well beyond antisemitism, should be dismissed - a noble attitude. Then, that contemporary European racism against non-Caucasians and non-Judeo-Christians was as widespread and ferocious as Nazi antisemitism in the 1930’s and early 1940’s - a silly exaggeration. Finally, that the correct antiracist attitude was to welcome non-European immigrants en masse and to allow them to keep their culture and their way of life, even it that would contradict basic European values – a completely irresponsible move.
The confusion about racism culminated in last summer’s « migrants frenzy », when the EU leadership in Brussels and major EU countries, including Angela Merkel’s Germany, decided to take in several millions of Middle East refugees overnight.
Under the pressure of hard facts, the European public opinion is now awaking to a very different view. And the political class realizes that it must adjust – or be swept away. The French socialist president François Hollande is now taking a fierce anti-jihadist line that includes stripping disloyal immigrants or dual citizens from their French citizenship. Merkel now says that immigrants or refugees who do not abide by the law will be deported. Even Sweden, currently ruled by one of Europe’s most leftwing cabinets, has been tightening since November its very liberal laws on immigration and asylum.
Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
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