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Politics

From Norway to France: Hate at Point-blank Range

Translated Tuesday 16 August 2011, by Nicole Hawkesford and reviewed by Henry Crapo

The killings on Utoya Island (in Norway), carried out by a "Christian fundamentalist", calls into question the rhetoric of hate from the extreme-right parties in Europe, such as the Front National.

"The FN has a pacifying role". This would be simply a sick joke, if it weren’t for the fact that the author of this phrase is Bruno Gollnisch, a former leading member, dismissed from the FN. On Sunday, he flew to the aid of his rival, the president of the extreme right movement in France, Marine Le Pen - just once won’t hurt... One of the political conclusions drawn from the Utoya attacks (see page 13) obviously doesn’t please them: the populist and extreme right European parties, including the FN, are accused, notably by the MRAP (a French anti-racist and peace movement), of carrying a "heavy responsibility in the poisonous climate that weighs on the whole continent."

The association, which equally calls into question "in France, the extreme right which is the Popular Right (DP)", calls for "greater vigour in the fight against the small racist extreme right groups, as well as for more responsibility to combat the politics which we know fuels xenophobia and the rejection of foreign cultures."

Marine Le Pen thought it wise to spell out; "The Front national evidently has nothing to do with the Norway attacks". "The French people know very well that we don’t incite this sort of violent behaviour" pleaded her right hand man, Steeve Briois. They aren’t making the connection between the rhetoric of hatred and the perpetration of the deed. And if they say they are ready to lodge a complaint of slander against "whomsoever" would attempt to make such a connection, it’s doubtless that there’s something worth pursuing.

Indeed, some reactions are at least ambiguous. The Popular Right (DP), an integral part of the UMP, hasn’t intervened except to.... demand the cessation of subsidies to MRAP, "historically born of" of the Communist Party. Jean-Marie Le Pen did the same during his term. An "exaggeration by the Front National" denounced by the French Communist Party (PCF). In the FN, Bruno Gollnisch emphasises "the literal interpretation of the Qu’uran which allows some people to embark on a war against Christians", whereas "the Bible doesn’t allow the reverse." Laurent Ozon, a member of the party’s executive, wrote on Twitter: "Analyse the tragedy in Oslo: explosion of immigration x 6 (by a factor 6) between 1970 and 2009." Pacifiers, really?

The poison of Islamophobia

The ideas conveyed by the populist and nationalist parties in Europe are truly feeding the violence. For the researcher Jean-Yves Camus, specializing in the study of the extreme right, "for ten years (they) have presented Europe as a continent in the process of Islamisation, and all muslims as enemies of the West." Mathieu Guidère works on the subject of global radicalisation. He considers it logical that Anders Breivik chose young Norwegian Labour party members "who spread an ideology of embracing multiculturalism" as his targets. Since "on the Christian side, it’s considered that Christian culture has been corrupted by multiculturalism."


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