Charlie Hebdo fallout: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism

January 13, 2015

Members of DUEGIDA, Duesseldorf's section of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) demonstrate in Duesseldorf

When up to a dozen world leaders and roughly 1.5 million people gathered in Paris on Sunday to mourn the murder of 10 editors and cartoonists of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and seven other people by three French-born Islamic radicals, they wanted to demonstrate that Europe will always embrace liberal and tolerant values.

But the more telling event may turn out to be a counter-rally that took place at a 17th-century town hall in Beaucaire, France, that was led by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front. In Beaucaire, the crowd ended Le Pen’s rally by singing the French national anthem and chanting, “This is our home.”

Le Pen is at the forefront of a European-wide nationalist resurgence — one that wants to evict from their homelands people they view as Muslim subversives. She and other far-right nationalists are seizing on some legitimate worries about Islamic militancy — 10,000 soldiers are now deployed in France as a safety measure — in order to label all Muslims as hostile to traditional European cultural and religious values. Le Pen herself has likened their presence to the Nazi occupation of France.

Journalists surround Marine Le Pen, France's National Front political party head, who reacts to results after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections at the party's headquarters in Nanterre

Le Pen herself espouses an authoritarian program that calls for a moratorium on immigration, a restoration of the death penalty and a “French first” policy on welfare benefits and employment.

Long after World War Two, fascism is a specter that still haunts the continent. But whether Le Pen’s stances — and those of other nationalist leaders in Europe — qualify as fascist is questionable. The borderline between the kind of populism they espouse and the outright fascism of the 1920s and 1930s, when Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini espoused doctrines of racial superiority, is a slippery one. Scholars continue to debate whether Mussolini was even fascist — or simply an opportunistic nationalist.

The real aim of today’s would-be authoritarians — politicians who appeal to the public’s desire for an iron hand — is to present themselves as legitimate leaders who are saying what the public really thinks but is afraid to say. And these far-right leaders are indeed increasingly popular.

The card they are playing is populism presented as an aggrieved nationalism. They depict Europeans as victims of rapacious Muslim immigrants. Le Pen, Britain’s Nigel Farage of the U.K. Independence Party and others aim to come across as reasonable and socially acceptable, while sounding dog whistles to their followers about immigrant social parasites who are either stealing jobs from “real” Europeans or living off welfare.

Unlike in the 1930s, Le Pen and her compatriots do not deliver spittle-beflecked speeches calling for the extermination of other races. Le Pen avoids the kind of demagogic language used by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, a former intelligence officer in France’s vicious war in Algeria, who called the Holocaust a mere “detail.”

Indeed, Le Pen is now wooing some Jewish voters frightened of terrorism. She is essentially offering a slicker form of authoritarianism that brands Muslim immigrants as a new internal enemy. The new nationalist argument is that the individual countries of Europe must safeguard their traditional values by rejecting the liberal chimera of a single, united Europe with open borders.

This has paid off for Le Pen’s Front National, which in May led the field in France’s European Union elections, drawing 25 percent of all votes. And these numbers are only predicted to increase.

After World War Two, nationalism went into remission in Europe. Until recently, nationalist parties were largely regarded as a noisy but fringe phenomenon. The notion that they would gain public respectability — let alone wield power — seemed outlandish. No longer.

Marine Le Pen, France's National Front political party leader, smiles after delivering a speech at their congress in Lyon

In France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain, nationalist leaders are seizing on the tragic events in France to argue that they have been right all along. They argue that the open borders and liberal tolerance championed by the European Union are allowing a virulent jihadist virus to infect their countries.

Le Pen insisted the day after the Paris attacks that Islam is an “odious ideology” In that same Jan. 9 address, she said “The absolute rejection of Islamic fundamentalism must be proclaimed loudly and clearly” and called on French President Francois Hollande to suspend the Schengen Accords that allow for visa-free movement inside Europe.

Meanwhile, Alexander Gauland, a leading member of the libertarian party Alternative for Germany, maintains, “Everyone who has until now laughed or scoffed at the apprehensions of people of a looming Islamic threat are being punished by this bloodshed.”

And Farage, of the U.K. Independence Party, which wants to leave the European Union, says that a jihadist “fifth column” exists in France, one that is the result of multi-cultural policies. In the May EU elections, his party bested both the Conservative and the Labour Party, winning 28 percent of the vote, a big jump from its 16.5 percent in 2009, the last EU election. Twenty years ago, it only drew 1 percent.

The vitality of all these parties is a direct result of the failure of mainstream political elites. Exhibit A is the self-destructive austerity policy  that Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel has espoused. Haunted by the memory of the soaring inflation that helped destroy Germany’s post-World War One democratic Weimar Republic — leading to Hitler’s rise — Berlin has demanded budget cuts and opposed stimulus programs that could help revive the struggling economies of southern Europe.

Part-time and temporary arts workers, known as "intermittents", hold coffin-shaped cardboard boxes as they demonstrate over government plans to accept the unemployment insurance agreement in Marseille

This is perverse. It has had the effect of miring the eurozone in unemployment and deflation — thereby helping create conditions reminiscent of the 1930s, when economic misery helped radicalize the middle and working classes.

Today, a new generation of leaders on the right has seized on Europe’s economic malaise to argue that the real culprit is Islamic immigrants taking jobs away from the native-born. The underlying sentiment — the demonization of an “out” group — recalls the wave of anti-Semitism that helped propel fascist political parties to triumphs during the 1930s.

The credo of nationalist parties today is that Europe, the cradle of Western Civilization, is directly threatened by a new influx of Muslims intent on reenacting the Islamic invasion of Europe that took place in the eighth century and was only stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. It’s a message that’s attracting new adherents — some of them Jews, who feel threatened by Muslims.

Skepticism of European unity and immigrants has also proved a potent political move in France’s neighbor, Germany. The anti-euro Alternative for Germany party has entered state parliaments in Thuringia, Saxony and Brandenburg in the past year and its leading figures are making common cause with anti-immigrant groupings.

In Dresden, for example, weekly rallies against immigrants are taking place under the rubric Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident”– PEGIDA. Last October the turnout was roughly 500. At least 25,000 marched Monday — despite condemnations from mainstream politicians, including Merkel.

Supporters of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) hold flags during a demonstration in Dresden

In the Netherlands, populist leader Geert Wilder’s Freedom Party is leading the polls. In Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party entered parliament in 2012 with the slogan, “So we can rid this land of filth.” In Sweden, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat Party vaulted to 13 percent of the vote in 2014.

Though parties of the right have a history of squabbling with one another, they have begun to cooperate in the European parliament. If Le Pen were to win the French presidency in 2017, it could spell the end of the European Union and perhaps return the continent to a collection of feuding nation-states.

Franco-German cooperation, which has been at the heart of and essential to the European Union since its inception, would come to an abrupt end. The European Union has functioned as a way for Germany to leave behind an assertive nationalism that led to two world wars and create a new and peaceful identity as part of a democratic Europe. If La Pen wins in 2017 many could view it as a repudiation of that vision. The long shadows cast by the Nazi past would make it too difficult for any German chancellor to work with an authoritarian leader like Le Pen in the heart of Europe.

Certainly Europe’s democratic institutions are far stronger than they were in the 1930s. But this is no reason for complacency.

A revived European leadership that addresses immigration and the economy is essential — or the decades-long dream of a united Europe will disintegrate, to be replaced by combative nation-states headed by nationalist leaders. Merkel and other leaders on the continent, for example, will have to allow Britain to opt out of the European Union’s insistence on free movement within EU borders.

For British Prime Minister David Cameron intends to strengthen his island-nation’s border controls. He wants to tightly restrict EU immigrants’ rights, prohibiting claims for British benefits or public housing for four years and deporting those who do not get a job within six months  Otherwise, he will be outflanked on the right by Farage’s U.K. Independent Party, with the possibility of British voters approving a referendum for withdrawal from the EU.

The demons that European leaders tried to suppress after 1945 are back. It won’t be easy to exorcise them.

 

PHOTO (TOP): Members of DUEGIDA, Duesseldorf’s section of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) demonstrate in Duesseldorf, January 12, 2015. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

PHOTO (INSERT 1): Journalists surround Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front political party head, who reacts to results after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections at the party’s headquarters in Nanterre, near Paris, May 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PHOTO (INSERT 2):Marine Le Pen (C), France’s National Front political party leader, smiles after delivering a speech at their congress in Lyon, Nov. 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Robert Pratta

PHOTO (INSERT 3): Part-time and temporary arts workers, known as “intermittents,” hold coffin-shaped cardboard boxes as they demonstrate over government plans to accept the unemployment insurance agreement in Marseille, June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PHOTO (INSERT 4): Supporters of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) hold flags during a demonstration in Dresden, January 12, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

167 comments

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The author of this article is being somewhat disingenuous when he even makes a rough comparison between trash like Hitler and Mussolini, and the leaders of today’s European nationalists. “Return the continent to a collection of feuding nation-states”? Really? It seems that the European far-right is more concerned with dealing with the very real threat to Western Civilization that radical Islam presents. Can this all lead down the slippery slope to authoritarianism? Certainly. But to do nothing in the face of an enemy that neither thinks nor acts rationally seems much more dangerous than doing nothing. Dealing with radical Islam now, before it does much more damage, does not negate the ability to keep authoritarianism at bay. But letting radical Islam continue to thrive in the West only ensures the growth of a greater counter-radicalism. The longer a wound festers, the more drastic the remedies needed to treat it. Europeans (and Americans) need not give up their hard-earned rights–their very culture–in order to stop radical Islam. Until such time as Islam chooses to live in peace with its neighbors, the fear of rising authoritarianism should not keep Western states from containing this menace.

Posted by Toomuchthinking | Report as abusive

“Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini espoused doctrines of racial superiority… Scholars continue to debate whether Mussolini was even fascist — or simply an opportunistic nationalist.”

The author of this article does not seem to be familiar with the history of fascism or its definition (according to academics such as Roger Griffin, Stanley Payne et al).

E.g. “Fascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence.” – Roger Griffin.

Mussolini created the doctrine of fascism after becoming disillusioned with the Marxism of the Italian Socialist Party. It was not an officially racist or anti-Semitic ideology (there were unofficial negative attitudes towards Slavs and Africans, though, which were commonplace in the West at the time).

Instead, Italian fascism stressed the unity of the “spiritual” (as opposed to the biological) Italian nation. Jews were in fact overrepresented in the Italian National Fascist Party throughout the 1920s, and it was not until heavy pressure from Hitler’s Germany that the party adopted anti-Semitic laws (Manifesto della razza).

Thus, racism is not a necessary component of fascism. Rather, it is nationalism (whether it be civic/spiritual or ethnic/biological) that is necessary for fascism. That alone, however, does not define fascism.

Secondly, no credible academic would question whether or not Mussolini, the creator of fascism, was a fascist. That is simply illogical. I believe the author is confusing Mussolini with Francisco Franco here, who is often not considered a fascist by academics.

Posted by Hayden120 | Report as abusive

“Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini espoused doctrines of racial superiority… Scholars continue to debate whether Mussolini was even fascist — or simply an opportunistic nationalist.”

The author of this article does not seem to be familiar with the history of fascism or its definition (according to academics such as Roger Griffin, Stanley Payne et al).

E.g. “Fascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence.” – Roger Griffin.

Mussolini created the doctrine of fascism after becoming disillusioned with the Marxism of the Italian Socialist Party. It was not an officially racist or anti-Semitic ideology (there were unofficial negative attitudes towards Slavs and Africans, though, which were commonplace in the West at the time).

Instead, Italian fascism stressed the unity of the “spiritual” (as opposed to the biological) Italian nation. Jews were in fact overrepresented in the Italian National Fascist Party throughout the 1920s, and it was not until heavy pressure from Hitler’s Germany that the party adopted anti-Semitic laws (Manifesto della razza).

Thus, racism is not a necessary component of fascism. Rather, it is nationalism (whether it be civic/spiritual or ethnic/biological) that is necessary for fascism. That alone, however, does not define fascism.

Secondly, no credible academic would question whether or not Mussolini, the creator of fascism, was a fascist. That is simply illogical. I believe the author is confusing Mussolini with Francisco Franco here, who is often not considered a fascist by academics.

Posted by Hayden120 | Report as abusive

A well written article which outlines the problem but I feel again misses the underlying issue. The majority of people in the EU do not want immigration and as the writer states nationalist parties say out loud what people are thinking. It matters not one jot what the main stream parties do or say. The majority of people do not want there version of society but wish to formulate there own. The political elite have moved people on to quickly and by doing so have killed there dream of what they feel is a liberal utopian society

Posted by Moties001 | Report as abusive

Is Barack Obama “one of today’s would-be authoritarians”? How do you define “far right”? How can Le Pen’s FN be defined as far right when they are the highest % support party in France nationally? By definition, far right would have to be far right of FN…the new middle. Or, is “far right” a slander word used by the far left against anyone who isn’t on their side? Yes.

Posted by sarkozyrocks | Report as abusive

It’s the start of the end of Merkel and as a bonus also the E-Union.

Posted by Willvp | Report as abusive

Islam is a choice. Until the clerics stop putting fatwas out against cartoonists, and START putting fatwas out against the murderers and rapists who fill the member lists… it is a terrorist organization.

Why is there stilll a fatwa against a cartoonist from Seattle (Molly Norris), but no fatwa against Boko Haram (a child sex ring professing to be in the service of allah)? It is because Islam now is a terrorist organization at the very top levels. It is run wrong and it should be evicted from civilised nations until it can behave.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

This is what makes me so GD mad the media and these political leaders NEVER address the issue of how none muslims living in muslims countries are harrassed, attacked and killed. They spout how their own countrymen are racist or haters or what ever but NEVER verbally attack the leaders of thos islamic nations as the same. I have NEVER heard a Middle Eastern leader appologize for attacks on none muslims, as a matter of fact they charge them for practicing their relgion dont see that here in the USA or in Europe, just saying.

Posted by francisarias | Report as abusive

The real issue is this: Religion kills. Plain and simple. All religion. It kills the spirit of free questioning and open inquiry. Whether with a smile or a smirk or a sword, it kills and perverts the mind, with fear and falsehoods and fables, with guilt and poisons and prejudices, with wasted lives yearning for pie in the sky when you die. It kills and slaughters and maims physically, brother against brother, us against them, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth until all are left blind and toothless, or worse. From the bloody bible to the bloody koran, physical and mental horrors have been committed in the name of religion by hucksters and frauds and fascists who claim to speak for god, and with god, and through god. And we fall for it! God did this, God told me. God loves that. God hates this. God wants this. Oh, and please please please drop another coin in the basket before you leave …as god demands. Their so-called holy books are nothing but recipes for our enslavement and torture, written by self-serving, and all-too-human control-freaks. Like shorn sheep, like lemmings, we are led to our mental and physical debasement and slaughter, time and time again. Enough. Get off your knees! Stand up like the proud Men and Women that you truly are, and choose to live your own lives, in your own ways. Walk tall on your own path – with your own meanings and mistakes and methods. Break the chains of dependency and submissiveness and religion, and breathe the fresh and healing air of freedom. Deeply. Fully. Finally.

Posted by stan11222 | Report as abusive

“Long after World War Two, fascism is a specter that still haunts the continent.” I presume you mean the north American continent. It is the right wing in the US who have been at the vanguard of the fascist movement. Though not specifically labeled as such, America is the place where the money lenders to Hitler settled and hashed out the business plan. Ted Cruz is the prototypical over the top Nationalists/Fascists politician but most of the right is in some sort of state of fascism where corporations are the actually the strong-man-like leaders. Reagan was instrumental in advancing this tradition, and the Bushes and Clinton carried it on as loyal minions to the security state entities that are the muscle for the true owners. Telling us that Muslims are violent and a problem is not the same as being correct about your right wing fascism. The Neocons are evil selfish and babyish people who don’t want to work, they want others to labor while they take the benefits. If they tell me that the Muslims and Mexicans are bad, even if that were true, it would not mean that the neocons are not evil selfish lazy people who steal others labors. I can say that people from New Jersey are fat and drunk and corrupt, but it does not make my political philosophy necessarily correct, even though most people would agree with me regarding the people of New Jersey.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

Most migration today retards global economic development. Cheap immigrant labor often subsidized by the tax payer keeps industries in the developed world that should have migrated South decades ago. EXAMPLE – The garment industry in California.

The average salary for High Rise Window Washer in Los Angeles, California is $23,739. (3.5 million illegal immigrants)

The average salary for High Rise Window Washer in Indianapolis, Indiana is $37,310. (fewer low wage immigrants)

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost- of-living/

http://windowwashersalary.com/IN/Indiana polis/salary/High-Rise-Window-Washer-Sal ary

Posted by Doug57 | Report as abusive

Islamo-Fascism is the problem, not the healthy rejection of it.

Posted by Redford | Report as abusive

“Certainly Europe’s democratic institutions are far stronger than they were in the 1930s. But this is no reason for complacency.”

What a sad irony that westerners do not understand what is going on here. It is exactly complacency and naivete, just like we saw in the 1930’s with Hitler invading neighboring countries, that is undermining the “mainstream” capacity for applying reason; and I use the term mainstream loosely because I’m not so sure it is anymore. The status quo cannot come to terms with the stark reality that a pathos exists in modern Muslim culture and that just because all Muslims are not extremists doesn’t mean that extremists do not rise from that larger culture. This is the cancer that will destroy Europe and most Europeans don’t want it. I do not see anything “racist” or “bigoted” about choosing who you will allow to immigrate to your country. Countries have been doing it for hundreds of years and still do.

Continued complacency to appeal to emotion is a policy paradigm just as disastrous as the policies that allowed Hitler to go on a rampage for years before anyone reacted. Only persons from countries that have a demonstrated pattern of not producing terrorism should be permitted entry, and that ramp to qualify should be applied steeply. Emotional outbursts from political ideologues about what is ideologically correct will be disastrous and we need to grow up and see things for what they are rather than pandering to these emotions.

Posted by Sigurn | Report as abusive

It is NOT facism to keep control of your OWN country. The muslims have invaded their country, and they want them out. Facism comes from the left. I wish the USA had someone like Le Pen. “Le Pen herself espouses an authoritarian program that calls for a moratorium on immigration, a restoration of the death penalty and a “French first” policy on welfare benefits and employment.”

That pretty much sums up what is going on here in America. we are not far behind France. Wake up liberals! if you don’t like freedom, move to a communist country. If you love freedom, wake up or we will ALL lose!

Posted by USAPatriot913 | Report as abusive

It’s usually a mistake to compare anyone or anything to Adolf Hitler or Naziism, and that mistake is made in this opinion piece. There are two objectives that distinguish the German campaign of the 1930s and ’40s from nearly everything else: (1) the objective to kill an entire family of more than 6 million people and (2) the objective to clear out the population in the geographic area from Germany’s Eastern border to the Ural mountains in order to make land available for German settlers. The program of mass murder of European Jews was independent of the second objective, and France cooperated more than most Western European countries (more than Italy). Tthe program to kill intellectuals and professionals in Poland and elsewhere was part of the second objective — done with the intention of depriving local populations of people suited to lead a resistance.

European rightists may not be my cup of tea, but it is unfair to them — and a violence against history — to compare them with Nazis. Indeed, the consensus politics of modern Europe is itself highly intolerant, and there is no reason to concede ownership of the mantle of anti-Naziism to modern day France and Germany.

Posted by Bob9999 | Report as abusive

Europeans deserve their lands to themselves. If Colonialism was bad back in the days of yore–and it was–it is just as bad today when committed against Europeans. Doubly so if the politicians are pushing the displacement and even physical elimination of the native European peoples.

There needs to be no other argument necessary. No justification should be required to defend one’s land, one’s culture, one’s unique racial and national character.

Posted by WorkingClassMan | Report as abusive

Both Hitler and Mussolini were self proclaimed Socialists. One was the leader of a National Socialist party and the other an editor for a newspaper called The Socialist. Neither was Right Wing and were only called that as a slur by communists after Hitler and Stalin had a falling out. Right wing is the opposite of left wing due to the fact that we want less government and more freedom. That is not what leftists want.
Hitler in his own words said this “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” Do those words sound like the words of any right winger that you have ever met? I’d like to see an example of any other instance of a right wing organization having the words “socialist” or “Workers” in their name like the Nazi’s did. Just one.
The left needs to accept their own and recognize how their own policies of easily swayed emotional reactions and demagoguery have and will always lead to dictatorships.

Posted by jtstreeter | Report as abusive

I feel very deeply concerned with this insidious rise of hyper nationalism/cryptic Nazism that is engulfing people around this embattled world. I have seen, in otherwise normal FB and internet threads dealing with the eroding forces in our nation, a creeping theme to extol Hitler as not all bad, just a victim of pseudo history, written by the “victors”. OMG! Are we so lacking in knowledge that we could entertain such trash? Jim Marrs, a noted, solid researcher, has written a book that foresaw such a rise in Nazi inspired movements. His book, “Rise of the Fourth Reich” addresses this growing trend, dallying with the evil that rent apart nations and killed countless millions. This perverted rise in Fascism, wears a different face, but the dark, malicious heart is the same. I hope this is eradicated from the world ethos or we may well see the monster rise again.

Posted by sweetpea2015 | Report as abusive

So Islamic terrorists murder 17 innocent French citizens, and Reuters says the real story is the threat of the French Right? Hmmm. Isn’t this the same news outlet that after 9/11 claimed “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter?” Not much left to explain how far the left has drifted off from the shoals of reason. Honestly folks, I firmly believe that if the author of this article weren’t so severed from reality, this Jacob Heilbrunn entity might simply have a love of taunting that cannot be tamed. Of course, such is today’s left anyway.

Posted by Brigattista | Report as abusive

in the us the right wing takes the same tack–mobs always go after the most vulnerable people.

Posted by notquiteover | Report as abusive

But we know the “leaders” were never together with the million and a half(the picture with all the pres is widely known and they are not in the same manifestation), and yet, many more millions seem to embrace whatever these hotheads spill out to advance the corporate agenda; good brainwashing, maybe too late to change and definitely going to get worse. Hold on to your pants people.
Now, to talk about immigration, can we talk about imperialism before? or if you prefer, the occupation of nations by other nations and its corporations, that thing that was going on from the 1500’s to about 70-60 years ago? Oh, but that has nothing to do with this new white supremacy trend, violence just appears out of nothing, those were all very ungrateful countries, good thing we left…..

Posted by pssdffthnkr | Report as abusive

@sarkozyrocks: The political terms “left” and “right” date to the French Revolution and where certain groups sat in the Legislative Assembly. The Feuillants (monarchists) sat on the right and Girondists (republicans) and Jacobins (radicals) sat on the left. Henceforth, the political spectrum has always been described in terms of “left” and “right.” The most liberal groups are on the left and the most conservative groups are on the right.

Posted by ErikMD | Report as abusive

The author speaks of nationalism as if it’s a bad thing. After 70 years of paternalistic statism and socialism, Europe is a dying continent. Low birthrates, shrinking economies and successfully assimilate. An awakening of nationalism, particularly in Britain, Germany and France, as well as Russia, might be what saves Europe. Nationalistic people are proud of their culture and heritage and are less likely to allow another culture and ethnic group to move in and displace the native culture. Personally, I hope Farage, Le Pen and their German equivalent win office. and along with Putin, start to push back against immigration, secularism, multiculturalism and Islam.

Posted by joycestanton | Report as abusive

The writer is either ignorant of history or just another lying communist/demkkkrat/leftist/liberal/prog ressive/socialist POS. Assimilation of immigrants is the only way to keep the west from becoming a third world cesspool. Otherwise, immigrants can stay in their country of origin and fight themselves to make it a better place.

Posted by A.Cortez | Report as abusive

I hear these same sorts of arguments all the time from far right Fox News viewing Americans.

Posted by stanford1 | Report as abusive

It is a bit shocking to me to suddenly find a Cultural Marxist editorial at Reuters–I have always been under the impression Reuters was the news and nothing but the news.

Will Reuters publish a pro-native European or Nationalist opinion alongside this, or has it just become yet another worthless Cathedral rag?

Indigenous Europeans are starting to finally wake up to the seeping Islamist cancer upon the land and no amount of brainless “Hitler!” comparisons is going to stop the awakening.

Posted by AntonChigurh | Report as abusive

Just to be clear, scholars do NOT “continue to debate whether Mussolini was even fascist — or simply an opportunistic nationalist.” I am currently a PhD student studying the history of Italian Fascism, so I’m qualified to disagree. Mussolini and a handful of others INVENTED Fascism, plain and simple. Scholars debate 1. whether or not Nazism was a form of Fascism or something altogether different (although related) and 2. how “totalitarian” Italian Fascism really was. But they do NOT debate whether or not Mussolini was a Fascist. He was. There’s no debate.

Posted by Anonymous002 | Report as abusive

We watched many nationalities have it out with Muslim radicals. One of the larger ongoing KOSOVO with the Serbs losing lands to Albanians. While the world only charged Serbs as aggressors & NATO engaging in war with Serbia 15-20yrs ago over the conflict after they rid their unwanted guest. Now the circumstances are on EU so lets see that hypocrite NATO face again?
Serbs can’t stop laugh’n all you freakin hypocrites, you wanted them, deal with’em.

Posted by PRPWR | Report as abusive

The entire planet needs to be concerned about fascism.

Posted by WPalmerIV | Report as abusive

It is a very complex issue that cannot be resolved so easily as by being Nationalistic. Who will wash the dishes, remove the trash, grow the plants, wash the cars, cook the food, etc. in Europe when they kick out the Muslims? Also, will the Nationalist stop at Muslims or will they carry on to the blacks and Jews? Will they import more black people instead to do all the menial work?

The problem of Islamic fundamentalism and thought can only be changed by Muslims and good free information from the Internet. The problem with terrorism on foreign soil can only be solved by the Westerns powers. Remove all the armed forces out of all Muslim countries and force Israel to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinians and hold them to it. You have now successfully removed all the excuses for a Muslim French National to kill his fellow citizens.

Demonstrations, tweeting and hashtagging are a waste of time – see what happened to Egypt.

Posted by Maigoro | Report as abusive

A KEY difference is that these new nationalists are opposing a fascist ideology themselves, Islam. Don’t you think that is worth acknowledging that it makes a difference? National survival versus what Hitler did, national expansion by conquest – big difference!

Posted by Cranios | Report as abusive

Response to Hayden120: Re: Mussolini being Nationalist vs. Fascist-
I think the author was trying to create a bridge between then and now- showing how tedious our footing could become under a Nationalist leader. How Nationalism as you’ve said, is a toned down Fascism.

Frankly the explanation the author gives for viewing Muslims as the scapegoats this time around (whereas it was the Jews in WWII)is incredible and now seems obvious. The economic conditions, riling up the masses about people who don’t belong, how cleansing will somehow fix all the problems of Europe. Scares the whiz out of me. Wonderful and sad article.

Posted by hanabi | Report as abusive

“In Dresden, for example, weekly rallies against immigrants are taking place under the rubric Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident”– PEGIDA. Last October the turnout was roughly 500. At least 25,000 marched Monday — despite condemnations from mainstream politicians, including Merkel.”

I really don’t like this kind of journalism, Mr. Heilbrunn. You forgot to write about the 35,000 (!) inhabitants of Dresden who protested against PEGIDA in Dresden last Saturday.

Please think about it !
ccd

Posted by ccdnyc | Report as abusive

Why has my earlier comment not been posted? It in no way contradicts the policy here.

Posted by Sigurn | Report as abusive

The xenophobia wave and anti immigrant sentiments were promoted in concert with a crackdown on European workers by 2007. The US was blaming Mexicans, with help from is elites, for taking their jobs just as certain fascistic Western Europeans intensified their campaign to blame Eastern Europeans and Poles for harder working conditions, low wages and disappearing welfare nets.
Most disturbingly, the hosing crash & global recession seem to have been orchestrated by the same political powers as the xenophobia on all the continents. Now, they like to say terrorists are forcing them to crack down, to be more war like.

Posted by pj1999 | Report as abusive

Mr Heilbrunn.
Your are totally off the track. Fascism in Europe was an action.Initiated by populist leaders.
The movement against Islam in Europe now is a reaction.
Europeans have been invaded by millions of people with another culture and religion and are just defending themselves.
Is OK to recieve and help some few millions of migrants that are in despair,
another story is beeing floaded by millions of them, some 15% in France.
When the % of migrants is over 5% is where the problem start.Excpet in USA where they were all migrants
They are all anticipating the moment that they will become monorities.
And they are going to react, violently if necessary.
It is a matter of survival.
The multicultural world is a fiction invented by writers and politicians to gain fame.In preactice is a “no go”. And I believe even in a 1000′ s of years from now. Unles humanity is made only of robots. And even then

Posted by samantha1415 | Report as abusive

A large fire always starts with a small spark.

Posted by SporTye | Report as abusive

“The demons that European leaders tried to suppress after 1945 are back. It won’t be easy to exorcise them.”

Pure speculation. The author writes about nationalism as though it is a dirty word. Nationalism and patriotism are syllables, but being a patriot isn’t so bad, is it? Most citizens identify with the cultural attributes of the nations they call home. Oh, but according to the Left, patriotism is akin to Nazism, and harkens back to the ghosts of Hitler and Mussolini.

Never, ever, doubt the capacity of Leftists to make stuff up to fit their ideology.

Posted by ceccil | Report as abusive

I can’t wait for the truth to be revealed. That is, that the reich wing goons are actually anti-semitic. They have given sufficient hints in their tacit support for Steve Scalise, Vladimir Putin and others. Further, they fly the confederate flag and choose to support the destruction of the middle-class. They continue with their neo-nazi claims of white supremacy, racial superiority, nationalism and “christianity”, while acting in direct conflict with the teachings of Jesus Christ. It will continue to be exposed for what it is. Our parents and grandparents died fighting this ideology and now they want to bring it back in the United States.

Posted by Outpatient | Report as abusive

What to Muslims expect? Once they start actively outing and giving up their “bad apples”, people will stop fearing them.

Posted by JWBjohnnyWalker | Report as abusive

Decades of dumb headed economic and political policy have brought Europe to where she is today. Europe’s politicians for the past 40 years seem to have forgotten 1000 years of history. Where there is Muslim immigration there is war and turmoil. Where there are secure borders and powerful armies to contain Muslim expansion, there is peace.

There will never be accommodation between Islam and other religions in multicultural societies. A fundamental tenet of the Muslim faith is Jihad. If you could bring Mohammed back from the grave he would approve of terrorism as a way to destabilize infidel societies

Posted by jayjay2 | Report as abusive

Islam blocks innovation and productivity around the world.

Muslims boast that they are the single largest group of people on earth. Great. What do they contribute? Can anyone name a major medical breakthrough that has happened at a Muslim hospital or university? How about a major development in ecology, engineering….. anything useful? How about even just an automobile that was invented, and is produced in the Muslim world. Anything? A light bulb? Hello?

Most of the productive Muslims I know have moved out of places that are predominantly muslim. They are seeking the smarter, harder working people and institutions of the west. Because Islam, left to its own unchecked devices…. produces cave men.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

This is what Obama is being criticized for not marching with?

Posted by Barrister15 | Report as abusive

This article sounds like leftist Islamic Terror apologetics and makes lies about anyone who is worried about the fast-moving Islamization of Europe. As the PEGIDA protesters often chant when the German press approaches them, “Lying Press, Lying Press”!

Always the comparisons of moderates and conservatives with Hitler, but it is the European left which is filled with hatred for Jews and Israel, and looks more like the Hitlerites with each passing day. They partner with Muslim groups to deprive others of freedom of speech and assembly, making Brownshirt attacks against ordinary people — and just look at Hollande’s outrage that Netanyahu dared to come in support of the remaining Jews of France, who have been under attack and getting very little help from any French politicians ever since 911. French Jews are getting out!

And since when did Marina Le Pen or the National Front do any fire-bombings of churches, massacres of Jews at synagogues, shooting and bombing people who disagree with them?

France is going under Left-Islamic fascism. What they need is less “je sui Charlie” and more “je sui Charles Martel”.

Posted by BlackEagle94 | Report as abusive

They really need to reconsider which writers they allow to write for Reuters. This author doesn’t even understand what fascism is, yet toses it around aimlessly.

Posted by ChuckRobPearson | Report as abusive

I think perhaps we have come to a time when it is necessary to differentiate between immigration and migration. To my way of thinking immigration is strictly limited and controlled while the movement of people from their homelands to another country without obtaining legal permission is migration with the intent to possess. Europeans should be demanding that their governments agressively resist and push back against such invasion.

Posted by bnb8669bnb | Report as abusive

This is pretty opinionated, rather than news. I do believe that Islam is a religion of peace, but this sort of drivel serves no purpose. I think that Le Pen has a legitimate (if peripheral) point that no one wants to address.

In short, where are the Islam leaders speaking up here? I know that we have many Muslim civilians in solidarity with France. But the leaders of Islam are strangely silent. Where are the leaders of the religion? If they don’t, I’m sorry, they are complicit.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

This is pretty opinionated, rather than news. I do believe that Islam is a religion of peace, but this sort of drivel serves no purpose. I think that Le Pen has a legitimate (if peripheral) point that no one wants to address.

In short, where are the Islam leaders speaking up here? I know that we have many Muslim civilians in solidarity with France. But the leaders of Islam are strangely silent. Where are the leaders of the religion? If they don’t, I’m sorry, they are complicit.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

I’m not saying these parties are right, but we are seeing a failure by the political elites in these countries to the needs of its people. I like the EU I think it’s good in concept but perhaps it has gotten too large and unwieldy. It seems like countries need to be able to take back some control of their borders. That may mean placing limits on how many are allowed. There should be some renegotiating of some of these treaties and I would say sooner rather than later, because if the mainstream parties do not respond, change will be forced upon them that’s a lot worse than whatever ground they may have to currently give.

Posted by hansrob00 | Report as abusive

thats about right,

the extreme right created the phony war on terror and now that want to capitalize on it…

the the british had the opium wars, the french invade algiers, the americans invade iraq, its gotta happen every century just to test history and how stupid we are to repeat repeat repeat…

and the answer is, we are the stupidest monkeys on this planet…

Posted by Fillmore48 | Report as abusive

Pretty scary for us all I would say. We need to be very careful that this violence isn’t spilling into our streets. We should be prepared in case it threatens to, I think. My best precautions to be ready (and be ready to get out of cities if you have to), are to:
1.Have at least a months supply of food that does not spoil handy, such as canned goods and keep at least 50-100 gallons of fresh water if you can
2 If there is a risk to you, keep life insurance on yourself (its only $15 a month online at Life Ant), especially if you have kids and a family.
3.Keep items you may need if power goes out, candles, firewood, extra batteries, and don’t forget games and entertainment.
It’s all stuff that we should be doing anyway…

Posted by brentwill723 | Report as abusive

Not good for anyone

Posted by brentwill723 | Report as abusive

A lot of really wealthy people are buying gold right now. I would prefer to use gold because it has an intrinsic value, and it will go up because it has real demand, such as manufacturing demand. I am moving about 20% of my portfolio to physical gold. It is going to be a nice hedge when the markets swing this year. I use Gramercy Gold because they sell below market value when you open an account. I noticed its cheaper to buy online and have it shipped than it is to buy from a retail spot. I just wanted to make sure I had the gold, because if you don’t hold it you won’t necessarily be able to count on it.

Posted by brentwill723 | Report as abusive

What a joke of an article – Godwin’s law on parade. Oh, Le Pen thinks France should halt immigration and kick out the people harboring this suicidal maniacal ideology. Why, it’s just like Auschwitz!

Posted by CJR43 | Report as abusive

“Unlike in the 1930s, Le Pen and her compatriots do not deliver spittle-beflecked speeches calling for the extermination of other races.”

You’re probably referring to speeches concocted in Hollywood.

Posted by cartag | Report as abusive

Why should “open borders and liberal tolerance championed by the European Union ” be the norm? It has never been before in the history of Europe (or anywhere else). If Charles Martel had held that view, there wouldn’t be a Europe today. The current problems are certainly not caused by having too restrictive an immigration policy.

Posted by Jim1648 | Report as abusive

Religion Kills. Patriarchal religions kill women with rocks. Islam = cave man.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

Justice for all.

Posted by Creationgardner | Report as abusive

Mussolini wasn’t a fascist? Then why was he the head of the National Fascist Party in Italy?

Posted by hauntedink | Report as abusive

Does the author even know what fascism is? Such blatant ignorance and unprofessionalism.

Posted by amd65 | Report as abusive

Everything is right and correct about people wanting to protect themselves from an ideology of hate. The Muslims, Moslems, Islamists are those who are doing the killing. They must be stopped!!!

Posted by OldWiseMan325 | Report as abusive

The Awakening. That’s what this article should have been called.

Don’t worry journalists, once nationalism hits a critical mass, you and all the liberals will scatter like the cowards you are and join the nationalists

Posted by rarn80 | Report as abusive

Le Pen is right, open borders is what the terrorist’s want, better to
sneak in an kill you, Better to sneak in and take your job, better to
sneak in and collect social program money. One of the answer’s to terrorism is SECURE Border’s and a moratorium on immigration.

Posted by royce101 | Report as abusive

“… present themselves as legitimate leaders who are saying what the public really thinks but is afraid to say.”. So, Marine Le Pen is leader of the National Front, leading in the polls in France and yet she is not ‘legitimate’? Right… This is more pro-EU propaganda coming from Brussels.

Posted by j8h9 | Report as abusive

This article is exactly correct. Neo-liberal economic policies are causing misery where there should be none. This is creating conditions conducive to the rise of extremists.

Posted by SteveK9 | Report as abusive

As an American… I bid all Europeans welcome.

This is what’s been going on in the US for a while now. Now instead of looking with incomprehension at the ideologues in the US you can look to your own countries leaders and know that it’s not just the US.

How can the US be so intolerant, ignorant, prideful, etc etc etc? Ask LePen and Wilder…

Those of us who aren’t nuts in the US have been dealing with this for a while now. I welcome the common ground we’re now starting to share.. and feel bad you’re marching into this morass.

Posted by serendip7 | Report as abusive

It is the Frontlash. The Actions of the Islamo-Facist that should be the main concern. Any Backlash is a direct Cause and Effect correlation.

Posted by BlackHatter | Report as abusive

This column is fighting the anti-immigrant feelings caused by terrorism in Europe by doing a comparison with pre- WW2 conditions. That is delusional. They cite “the wave of anti-Semitism that helped propel fascist political parties to triumphs during the 1930s” yet the Semites did not wage acts of terrorism as are these radical Islamists. That Islamists themselves have not done enough to control the extreme elements among them propels persons to take matters into their own hands. The media has decided to call this “nationalism”. It is reaction to fear of assault from within. The media community needs to get their brains around this fact. Again, much of the media falls so short on common sense.

Posted by Margaretville | Report as abusive

Feuding European nations? Really? that’s what was going on before the Euro. What a bunch of hot air. end the E.U. quit letting Brussels tell everyone what to do.

Posted by DrinkSlinger | Report as abusive

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a moratorium on immigration, especially from muslim countries. It’s time people are told they need to stay in their own countries and fix the situations there that lead them to immigrate in the first place. Don’t like ISIS, fight to get rid of them, as long as people are allowed to throw up their hands and claim “refugee” status they will do that. And a lot of these refugees are really economic refugees who pass over countries closer to them in favor of European countries where the welfare benefits are better. And stop with the “xenophobia” garbage, the French, Germans, Swiss, English etc,etc are the “indigenous” people of these lands. They did not steal them from other people, so they have every right to say who should be allowed into their countries and to what extent. Nobody calls American Indians “xenophobic” for claiming their land was “stolen” by whites. Nor does anyone call black Zimbabweans racist and xenophobic for killing white farmers and stealing their land and I don’t hear anyone calling muslims xenophobic for saying the entire middle east is “muslim land”. No, the xenophobic charge is only leveled at whites who worry about the futures of their countries.

Posted by 99fatboy | Report as abusive

Someone please explain to this author the difference between “nationalism” and “facism”. Mr.Heilbrunn obviously doesn’t know. The French and other European countries are learning quickly about the mistake of allowing open immigration of people that refuse to assimilate. They and we, need to close the doors to those that put down our way of life. There is nothing wrong with deporting these dangerous/violent people back to the cesspool countries where they came from.

Posted by Butch907 | Report as abusive

Yes..sometimes sad that to counter crazies you need other crazies…hopefully the other crazies are less crazy and don’t kill or limit freedoms of innocents….which seems to be the case in this instance.

Posted by imaxfli78 | Report as abusive

I don’t understand the problem with the Jews, but I get the hatred of fundamentalist Islam. These are the scumbags who carried out the murders on 911, who saw people’s heads off, who treat their women like subhuman sh*t. By now, we hate them all, hate their religion, hate them breathing our air….and we’re done warning them…. either they quit their atrocities or we’re going to hunt down and kill every GD one of them.

Posted by Becker111 | Report as abusive

So the bodies are barely cold from the latest savage attack by barbarian killers and we’re being told that to be concerned about the vast, broad, terrorist infiltration of Europe is… “FASCIST!?”
What utter insanity.
That kind of derangement is what has now killed 17 people in Paris.
We are in danger and it is apparently unacceptable even to speak of the danger?
What possible comparison is there between 20th century fascism and Nazism, which targeted harmless, productive, active contributors to society, and the current concern over creatures which have repeatedly demonstrated their bona fides as homicidal maniacs?
This is not some arbitrary jingoistic “nationalism.”
This is self defense.
This is survival.
Your defense of the terrorists may buy you a little more time but it will not save you. You will simply get your head sawed off a little later, AFTER the rest of us have died trying to defend useless terrorist apologists like you.

Posted by nublican | Report as abusive

Not all which is not Leftism = Fascism.
EU is not in a good shape to get more immigration or even an extra load of those refugees who are & where naturally qualified to be received by their own rich Ummah.

However is not just about jobs, social welfare or opportunities, but about security and compatibility.

It is not even just about burka or nikab or confessional rights to Halal.

It is not even only about fair use of freedom in media and cartoon.

It has been well confirmed that the real objective is to take over in Europe – http://www.stopeuro.org/limam-di-londra- chi-offende-maometto-deve-morire-video/

Imam Choudari is frank and outspoken where others are shifty or diplomatic.

The objective of all this induced cycle of revenges and pretexts is to take over, with or without cartoons.
The current laws and constitutions are supposed to be subjugated by the theocratic government of Islam – which means Sharia and all which comes with it.

In the cycle of pretexts appears also the alibi of “Capitalism” as the bite for the leftism to naively swallow.
Accusing the West of economic injustice, in the assumption that Islam would do much better, is for the International Socialism a sound of hope to recover from the defeat of the XX century.

It doesn’t matter if Europe has been flooded by social democracy and the best and most generous welfare in the world with few others – such that millions of Muslims have been the major beneficiaries – as what it counts are the faults of Europe and the West.

Amongst the faults are the fact that Israel has not been abandoned and that the Calipha movements and strategies have not been left alone in their activities in and outside the Western Countries.
The blame is essentially that the West should not oppose the attempt of Islam to revive the Caliphate and resume what was left undone in Vienna and Poitiers on the objective to reach London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.

The Leftism is therefore enchanted by a dream of revenge itself and it appears ready to risk the freedom of its own civilisation in order to achieve its ideological goal. For the most leftist Islam is the perfect ally, but what is unclear – actually perfectly clear to Marine Le Pen – is what would happen to the same leftists once Islam takes over.

The moderate Muslim: amongst them are various entities which are not consistent with each other.
Some moderate are just “dormant” until Islam takes over. Other moderate are “liberal” but they can’t tell to their own. Other are “reformers” – liberal or orthodox. General Al-Sisi sounds like a liberal reformist, while the refined and diplomatic Mr Tariq Ramadan sounds orthodox.

Substantially the “Moderate Islam” seems dormant, paralysed by the circumstances or simply too idealistic to reform Islam in the way it should to be suitable to the Western democracies and related constitutions.

The Western leftism doesn’t seem much aware of all this and seems instead to be focused in resuming the old conflicts of the XX century, convinced that Islam is a perfect ideological ally.

Islam is an ideology but is also a religion – and vice versa – all faiths and believes, as all governments and ideologies should remember that. Islam as a religion dictates the ideological agenda by the its theological doctrine and eschatological vision and objective.

Such doctrine and objectives are in conflict with Judeo-Christianity and the what really the Bible spells about eschatology and the Kingdom of God – which would be implemented without human hand according the Apocalyptical sources. Jesus Christ would be the King of Kings of such kingdom, but in the meantime Judeo-Christianity would continue to abstain from restoring any of the detrimental theocratic government that has crippled Europe in the Middle Age. The principle of Judeo-Christianity is that Grace and Freedom are a divine allowance before the return of Jesus Christ for the purpose of salvation.

Islam doesn’t want to wait for a kingdom to be established “without human hand” and it wants to do it instead in the way 1400 years of Islamic history has well indicated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mX g8Y

Due to the combined religious and ideological nature of Islam, the only chance for Europe to address the matter with some decent hope… is to organise a vast ideological unity in Europe, restore Judeo-Christianity as the recognised heritage of Europe, re-check seriously the historical memory and spiritual identity of Europe at the foundations of the civil society of the modern age.

If this is not done the hope for Europe to survive the crisis in progress will lead in the best hypothesis to an empirical autocracy with Islam in a position of preeminence or to a European Caliphate itself.

Marine Le Pen is not a theocrat but refers to the Judeo-Christian heritage of Europe and France to prevent the restoration of another detrimental and foreign theocracy.

Comparison with Hitler and Mussolini are completely out of place and the result of ideological naivety if not of delusional and instrumental assumptions. The reality is that the European Leftism doesn’t know what really Islam is. Imam Choudary has tried to inform the Europeans what Islam is and what wants to do in Europe… but the Leftism wants to be deaf and blind.

Once the “Leftism” has understood all this will know what Marine Le Pen is all about to France and Europe!

Posted by TexDP | Report as abusive

The ONLY fascist threat existing in Europe if that from the growing number of Islamo-fascists infecting that continent. The left, the ORIGINAL fascists if anyone would care to do their homework (remember the National SOCIALIST Workers’ Party), has been very adept at branding anyone on the right as such. Fortunately the people of Europe are slowly waking up and realizing love of country, language, and culture is the only means to a people’s survival.

Posted by kwherkghfwlek | Report as abusive

I would suggest to the author a bit of research. A few books that cover the beginnings of fascism.

Posted by Currahee11b | Report as abusive

I don’t understand the problem with the Jews, but I get the hatred of fundamentalist Islam. These are the scumbags who carried out the murders on 911, who saw people’s heads off, who treat their women like subhuman sh*t. By now, we hate them all, hate their religion, hate them breathing our air….and we’re done warning them…. either they quit their atrocities or we’re going to hunt down and kill every GD one of them.

Posted by Becker111 | Report as abusive

It is not fascism to value our own culture and limit our dilution by other cultures. It is not racial superiority to point out the advantages of our culture. It is not hate speech to point out disadvantages in other cultures. It is not selfish to preserve jobs for unemployed members of our own community. We are entitled to our own culture. Stop trying to shut down the debate by making unjust comparison with evils of the past.

Posted by andychrys | Report as abusive

His comparison to what is happening now and the rise of fascism in the ’30s is totally absurd. Did the Jews assault kill journalists with machine guns? Did they blow up train platforms? Heilbrunn paints those that object to letting potential terrorists into their country with a broad brush, labelling them as fascists, yet defends Muslims as a perfect people that have only a few bad apples. Perhaps he should travel to Muslim countries, where non-Muslims are openly discriminated against, constantly under the threat of death and increasing taxation. What about their treatment of homosexuals and women, that, by the way, is an attitude moderate Muslims share? Of course not, it’s so much easier to generalize about people that are sick of being victims of terror.

Posted by lapet | Report as abusive

Doesn’t get more confused than this. Hell might well use the word espoused another 5 times in the first couple paragraphs to make it an even 20 count.

Posted by GrizzlyMcStink | Report as abusive

I have to agree with John Oliver on this point; “the term “far-right parties surge in Europe” is about as unpleasant as hearing the words “it’s malignant” and “we’re losing cabin pressure.”

Posted by mikeyz99 | Report as abusive

We are watching the tectonic-like collision of two mega-tribes, primarily different in operating systems even though they share the same language legal identity (French), and land (France).

Anthropologically, the operating system that motivates its members to sacrifice the most to defend, at least, and seize the territory — physically and culturally of their neighbor writes humanity’s next chapter.

Based on demonstrated behavior, theocratic social contracts are very resilient, and depending upon the tribes theology, some are profoundly durable. We face a real test between the theocracy of Islam and western secularism,
The problem with theocracies is not how observant members may be what their priests say their God requires. Tere has not been a Christian crusade for hundreds of years and Judaism has never waged an offense war outside of the land initially chartered some 3,500 years ago — so there can be no moral equivalency between them just because they are theocracies.

The collision is between Salifist Islam and everyone else, and Secularists against anything theocratic concocts an interesting brew. (It’s ironic that Christians who gave up crusading hundreds of years ago and Jews who have never fought over land they did not have an ancient charter to are despised by both Salifists and Secularists — who are Christophobic anti-Semite partners).

The tribe with the operating system, will, and means to patch the bad coding of their opponent will determine what kind of world our children live in.

20th century terms like socialism, fascism, Nationalism, communism do not capture the real politik of what’s happening. The battle is over the world of cyberspace, the virtual community-space of the internet as well as Paris.

So, brave hearts — who’s operating system shall prevail?

Posted by Pontificuss | Report as abusive

Religion is an invention of the human male, by the human male for the human male and was created to used as a weapon against the human female because the human female never needed the human male for anything; not for his sperm, not for his protection, and not for his intellect either. The only two things the human female ever needed were food and shelter.
It should be noted that the Chinese female folklore predates the era of the dinosaurs and goes back hundreds of millions of years whereas the Chinese male folklore only goes back hundreds of thousands of years. This difference in timelines embitters the males and they will not allow the women to teach or talk about the distant past upon pain of violence or death.
During all the millions of years that the human female used language they did not create gods or religion and that was so because the human females are not born liars. When the human male finally learned to use language thousands of years ago they immediately invented gods and religions and that was so because we males are born liars. Only if we are rigorously trained by our mothers not to lie do we manage to be honorable most of the time.
Anyways, religion is a product of language and cannot exist without the use of language. Language is an invention and is, therefore, artificial, unnatural and unreal. Everything created by or through the use of language must, likewise, be artificial, unnatural and unreal. Religion is artificial, unnatural and unreal. If there were only a few million religionists on the planet at this time religion would not be much of a problem. There are, however, billions of religionists all over the world some of whom are heavily armed and prepared to blow themselves up in service to their god.

Posted by kamanalo2 | Report as abusive

French citizens should be able to vote in a binding referndum on whether or not to limit immigration. When EU was proposed I doubt most Frenchmen had any idea this would be their future. Google images “Marseilles France Muslim population”. Do it while you still can or you may be faced with solution Israel had to do.

Posted by swips88 | Report as abusive

Yes, just ignore the fascist present and future manifested in Muslim terrorists and Sharia law. Doom yourselves because of a fear of self-preservation. Don’t bother to value or protect your own culture, allow yourselves to be blown away like sand in the hurricane of fascist Islam

Posted by oldsoulrebel | Report as abusive

On the one hand we have the scheming and extreme Right using the threat of “a new influx of Muslims intent on reenacting the Islamic invasion of Europe that took place in the eighth century”; or, on the other hand, the rational, thoughtful Left threatened by the vampiric resurrection of Hitler or Mussolini. How does one decide? I suppose the Jews are the key: Unarguably, they are fleeing Europe to escape Islamic violence from an increasing Islamist population and political power. But all is not lost. Its still quite possible that the EU will be able to work out a 2-for-1 deal, and produce a reality reflecting both theories simultaneously.

Posted by PeterKolding | Report as abusive

Why can Muslims stand on street corners and yell, “Kill the infidels” or “Sharia will conquer the world” and the police do absolutely nothing? But if anyone dares to say, “Let’s have a discussion on Islam”, the police will rally around and arrest this person for “hate speech” for daring to upset a Muslim?

Are Muslims gods in Europe?

Please, I’d like a European to explain to me this irrational fear of making Muslim uncomfortable. I’d think after being forced to lick NAZI’s boots in World War II that the French would be the first to say “NON!”.

Posted by Andy_Whitehead | Report as abusive

Well, Europe can kick all 45 million muslims out, no doubt, it’s your country. But then, muslim countries will kick all 120 million christians from their countries out and send them packing for Europe. So, Europe will have 3-fold worse immigrant problem then it has now.

Posted by homers | Report as abusive

National and cultural identity are not necessarily synonymous with fascism. While Merkle and company say “Islam belongs in Germany” there are those of us who still know that Islam and the Nazis were as thick as thieves in the 1940s. Both have a virtually identical bloodlust.

Posted by JoeMartinJr | Report as abusive

QUOTE: Le Pen herself espouses an authoritarian program that calls for a moratorium on immigration, a restoration of the death penalty and a “French first” policy on welfare benefits and employment. END QUOTE. MY RESPONSE: Le Pen’s proposals are not “fascism”. They are COMMON SENSE.

Posted by David_SD | Report as abusive

There is something haunting Europe. It’s called radical Islam and terrorism. Is the author of this piece not aware of the events a few days ago?

Posted by JaneAgriculture | Report as abusive

The REAL headline should be “Specter of Islamofascism haunts European failed “multi-culturalism” experiment”

Posted by RachelCarney | Report as abusive

So.. you’re journalist right … But not mathematician obviously…
Can you tell me how 4 millions Front National votes at the European election out of the 45 Millions registered voters in France is 25% …
Fact is that FN got 25% out of the 40% people who actually moved their bottom to go vote.
Fact is .. Beaucaire elected a FN mayor… Beaucaire is a city with 10 000 inhabitants.. Fact is.. Marine Lepen had roughly 1000 people at her rally… and lots of them actually booed her Sunday.
Fact is Mosque, French Muslim woman and store own by North African were shoot at, fire were start… insult were written.. and strangely nobody is talking about that…

Posted by EmC230676 | Report as abusive

This article seems to be mainly an attack on the nationalism of Marine Le Pen and similar EU politicians.

Personally, I enjoy a world where each country has its own culture. Its what makes London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Madrid, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Istanbul, and so on, such wondrous places to experience. Moreover, it strengthens the world.

But, such diversity, heterogeneity, does not suit the mission of the neoliberal would-be hegemonists of the world. Apparently, the Western world leaders in charge at this time feel that there should be free trade throughout the world, and all that goes with it. And what goes with free trade? Th e same rules for everybody, made up in the back rooms of the world capitals by the chief capitalists. One set of rules for all. Money travels freely. One world culture. But, play the workers of the world off against each other, so that the chief capitalists can make the most money, and further strengthen their grip on the people.

In my view, resisting the neoliberal juggernaut is what the newly rising nationalism is about. Given that, I am all for Marine Le Pen, et al. Get rid of the hegemonists. For example, US leadership is just another word for hegemony. Moreover, hegemony is not democracy, in case that hasn’t been noticed.

Each country’s people should be able to run their country the way they choose. That is a much more generalized democracy than what the interventionist Western leaders presently strife for. Western leaders are selling us out, selling a program tailored to the elites. To me, neoliberalism is the root problem. There can be more to life than efficient money making. Plus, the world’s people are capable of producing much more stuff than is physically needed.

I would guess this article is in accord with Reuters’ mission to tar and feather Le Pen et al. since they resist the neoliberal, Western world elite hegemonic agenda which Reuters does such a good job of representing. In this case, make Le Pen et al. and followers appear to be anti-Semites and xenophobes. Its just one more slur.

Also, blowback from Western interventions in the Middle East, is naturally to be expected. What else could Europeans and Americans expect after mucking around with the Middle East for a century, stealing everything they can get their hands on, and setting people against each other apparently to the maximum extent? If the West wants to stop radical Islam blowback, then why not figure out what is motivating these young ME people? Obviously it is not simply Islam!

As for Western people, I think they are seeing through their corrupt leadership. What we have is not working any more.

Posted by xcanada2 | Report as abusive

The Battle of Tours was fought on October 10, 732 between forces under the Frankish leader Charles Martel and a massive invading Islamic army led by Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, near the city of Tours, France. During the battle, the Franks defeated the Islamic army and Emir Abd er Rahman was killed. This battle is considered to be of major historical importance, in that it halted the Islamic conquests, and preserved Christianity as the major faith in Europe, during a period in which Islam was overrunning the remains of the old Roman Empire.

On September 11, 1683, advancing Muslim armies who had been conquering Europe were finally defeated and turned back at the Gates of Vienna by a coalition of European armies led by Jan III Sobieski, the King of Poland. Muslims have never forgotten that date. Their war continues.

The west has buried it’s head in the sand.

Posted by Salami | Report as abusive

Leftist loons are the danger to Europe, MULTICULTURALISM = FAIL. In 30 years Islaropa will be our problem.

Posted by teflonron | Report as abusive

Le Pen is correct. The author is an ultra-left-wing sympathizer to what has come to be realized as a genuine threat to society world wide. I do not believe that in this case the concerns of the people should dismissed. We should have the right to defend ourselves and our way of life. A tipping point has been reached. Left wing propaganda or simply a lack of reporting will be in full force to attempt to hold back the tide that is building world wide. One more incident and the dam is going to burst.

Posted by Tastyfrzz | Report as abusive

Wow some people need to read slightly more and being more informed, else they run the risk or saying things that are inaccurate.
To put things in perspective the extreme right parties in Europe are slightly right to the Republican party and no one would dare to say that the GOP is a fascist party.
2nd, Jews in Europe were not danger to the European culture, if anything they were good citizens whose only concern was to assimilate.
All in all, there is simply nothing to compare. Most Muslims while not terrorist or even potential terrorist, don’t really want to assimilate.
Their loyalty and this is perfectly acceptable is not to the countries they live in but to Islam.
2nd, the extreme minority, while a small minority does share a lot in common with the majority, maybe not in the way to achieve it.
One thing they do share is that Islam is out of the real, it is not just satires but any criticism or any opinion that does not toe the official acceptable line.
The real problem is not really the few million that live in Europe, the real problem are all these intolerant Muslim countries where hardly any non Muslim live or can live.
These are the real problems because these countries are the ones that actually produce the monsters we see day in and day out in the news.

Posted by VanDerProel | Report as abusive

To put things in perspective, the extreme right in Europe is slightly right to the GOP in the US, and no one would suggest that the GOP is fascist.
2nd, the problem in Europe is not exactly these movements, but really the extreme Islam that has developed and is constantly fueled by more and more failing European Muslims who no longer have the will or ability to assimilate to Europe.
Usually when people are depressed they kill themselves first, unfortunately others, think that it is better to take a few with you before dying.
The main problem is not in Europe though, but in most Muslim countries, which for the exception of a few are all failing.
The problem is when countries like Saudi Arabia or the Arab emirates are still treated as normal states in spite of their fascist ideology, their dismal human rights or freedom of expression records.
Another problem, and that relates to the Muslims in Europe, is that the majority might not fully agree with what happened, but for most of them they do agree that any critic or remark on Islam that does not toe the official Muslim line is out of the pale. Indeed for most of them, it might the manner that is troublesome.
When Muslims were torching Jewish stores or house of worships a few months ago, how many Muslim demonstrations did you see calling for the end of it
What most Muslims want is what you have in most Muslim countries when it comes to Islam? No critic, no discussion.
For all the human right lovers, if Muslim were to become an enough proportion of the population, it is very likely that countries would start to look like Muslim countries.
While there are 50 something countries, there is only 1 England, 1 Germany or 1 France, so sometimes, you might understand why some people want to keep their country with its own identity and are not interested in having it changed. It sounds pretty legitimate.
Note that Muslims in Europe love freedom of expression, however in Muslim countries, this is a concept that is non existent and it does not seem to bother European Muslims a bit.
And on a final note, to compare 30 with now, is quite preposterous, Jews never killed or bother Europeans, their only desire then, was to be as best of citizens as one could be and assimilate to the country they were in.
Their only fault then, was to be Jewish.
Muslims in general don’t have the will to assimilate.

Posted by VanDerProel | Report as abusive

Who decided that Marine Le Pen is “far right wing”???

Posted by zac48 | Report as abusive

Extraordinary stuff…Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor has declared …”Islam is part of Germany”…”Islam belongs to Germany”…What that must logically mean by default is “Germany is part of Islam”…”Germany belongs to Islam”.

Posted by zac48 | Report as abusive

We are asked to tolerate the intolerant, live with those who will not integrate, forgive those who do not forgive but murder in the name of their religion, respect those who disrespect other cultures. I think the real concern is that Europe may react using the same playbook as the islamoterrorist. Try walking or driving through any one of the no-go Muslim neighborhoods that rim Paris and see with your own eyes examples of tolerance and multiculturalism. Should we not take a page from their book. My concern is not a backlash or rising nationalism but additional murderous attacks by Islamofascists in the name of jihad.

Posted by garravagh | Report as abusive

The author misunderstood a basic chronological fact: Mussolini arguably invented fascism. Hitler admired, and subsequently emulated, him. Eventually, Hitler eclipsed him. Nazism was really a toxic variant of fascism.

Posted by MarcLawrence | Report as abusive

@garravagh…….You aren’t being ‘asked’, garravagh, it’s being ‘demanded’ of you, whether you like it or not. There’s a huge difference.

Posted by zac48 | Report as abusive

I agree entirely with the author’s economic-political thesis. Germany’s knee-jerk austerity in the face of severe economic malaise throughout so much of Europe has planted the seeds of political instability.

Posted by MarcLawrence | Report as abusive

The underlying sentiment — the demonization of an “out” group — recalls the wave of anti-Semitism that helped propel fascist political parties to triumphs during the 1930s.

I do not remember learning that the jews in the 1930’s were randomly killing people. While I do not understand anti-Semitism, I can understand anti-muslim. It is a proven blood thirsty cult.

Posted by idobrew | Report as abusive

1) Jean-Marie Le Pen did NOT say that the Holocaust was a detail of history. What he said was that the fact that the corpses in the Nazi extermination camps were cremated was a detail of history.

2) What drives the PEGIDA and other anti-islamic movements is not the unemployment, or any economic reason. It’s a feeling of an unwanted and unneeded cultural, way-of-life shift. That foreigners are coming and not willing to integrate; worse: willing not to integrate.

Posted by ComteArnau | Report as abusive

Radical Islamic terrorists are killing journalists and other innocent civilians and non-combatants, including Jews and you deflect attention away from the the terrorists, making excuses for them and blaming the right.

The Europeans are finally waking up to the threat that Islam presents to their countries and you make excuses.

Posted by HarryReid | Report as abusive

Extremism on either side is dangerous. But what is wrong in calling for more sensible immigration policies? If you have the right to decide whom to let into your house, why shouldn’t a country decide whom to let in and have the flexibility to change its policy? And what’s wrong with French first in France? As for racism, how about the racism and prejudice that some immigrants possess (in this case their anti-Western view). What I have problem with is immigrants who take advantage of the host country’s generous welfare while inflicting harm on the host country.

Posted by CMC313 | Report as abusive

problem is too much frog in the soup, now it just taste like pee!

Posted by kiven | Report as abusive

Well, Putin has plunged Russia into this nationalistic hysteria so brilliantly, no wonder he became a hero for the likes as Le Pen… and even Xi Jinping. One just might hope that people still have some survival instincts left and the things won’t slip back to 1939, only with the nukes now.

Posted by UauS | Report as abusive

Take religion out of equation, and you’ll get almost perfect world!

Posted by UauS | Report as abusive

Lumping together European Jews and European Muslims in some sort of common class of victimhood at the hands of right-wingers is utterly incoherent. And recognizing Marx’s communist manifesto as the source is even more troubling.

Posted by B_Crawford | Report as abusive

“The borderline between the kind of populism they espouse and the outright fascism of the 1920s and 1930s, when Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini espoused doctrines of racial superiority, is a slippery one.” – No.

Not one modern European nationalist party embraces a racial superiority doctrine. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story though!

Accusing the right of “Populsim” – These parties had these policies before they were in such popular opinion. They haven’t pandered to populist views, the people just started to wake up to the reality of the immigration nightmare and embraced the parties of the correct policies. And why do you think those views are popular? Do you live near a poor immigrant area?

The Remarks about Le Pens fathers previous contorversial views/comments were uncalled for. Her fathers views are his and Marine Le Pens views are hers. In North Korea three generations are punished for one family member criticizing the regieme.

The right are not “Seizing on tragic events”. The events are merely showing the right to be correct. As a large political party they rightly showed their respects in their own way as they were not invited to participate in the main events.

About the fear of immigrants taking jobs. How come we have so few jobs to go around the general population (i.e getting thousands of applications per job) but we continue to recieve thousands of immigrants each year? I think there is every reason to believe you will have less chance of getting a job if you’re country has a high immigration rate. Although the author has probably never had to compete for a minimum wage job with immigrants like a large percentage of the population has to. The supply of immigrants keeps competition for low paid jobs high and thus wages low.

Thinking that countries will become feuding states if they vote in a nationalist government is nonsense. Modern say nationalism in Europe is in no way about sabre rattling, it’s about reclaiming their own country which is righfully theirs. The people voting nationalist do not want wars, they are voting for jobs, peace, an improved society and cultural stability.

The longer leftist goverments keep getting voted in, the worse this situation will be when it comes to a head. Action is needed now, before it’s too late.

Posted by Jay219 | Report as abusive

If these violent Islamist acts, including the child sex ring being kept by Boko Haram in the name of Allah are truly aberrations and distortions of Islam…. then why no fatwas from the Muftis and top Clerics against the perpetrators. They have time to issue fatwas against cartoonists. They still have a price on the head of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris.

The religion is run wrong from the very top levels, and it is endemic. It is truly a sick religion at heart now. Islam is essentially being run as one large terrorist organization. The muslim defectors who have escaped to the west can deny it all they like. But there is a reason they left the muslim world.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

Ever notice we don’t call these gun deaths ‘terrorism’ when it’s american white men doing it? America has 31,000 gun deaths per year (87 per day). That’s 7 Charlie Hebdo massacres all day every day for… ever. And we don’t call these school shootings or the mall shootings or the office shootings or the theater shootings here…. terrorism. At least when the perpetrators are white males. They are “lone wolves.” “gunmen.” “deranged individuals.”

I blame Christianity and the NRA :) Both are ideological froth machines, whipping up the fear to raise money and sell ammo.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

What UTTER and Complete Rubbish of an Article.

I guess marching in the streets to protest the Islamization of ones country and the subsuming of ones culture by a Murderous, Mysogynist, predatory so called religion whose adherents have deified a pedophilic psychopathic butcher is now new “nazism”

What you don’t see is anyone in these protests having any issue with ANY other kind of Immigrant – gee i wonder why that is…??? Not quite the Aryan way now is it.?

You all at Reuters and the Huff Post are walking around with your eyes wide shut…Typical blithering propagandizing stupidity from left wing marxists.

You Disgust me.

Posted by steakman911 | Report as abusive

The only fascism European have to be concerned about is Islamic fascism and colonisation.

The irony of it is that the Nazis were big fans of Islam, and today’s European nationalists are fighting tooth and nail to avoid being submerged by these third world migrants.

It’s so typical of a white liberal American to write about Europe and the European race as if they are nothing more than “white-Americanised shopping mall dwellers” who should simply accept third world colonisation, least they appear “intolerant” if they don’t.

Also, Why do white liberal Americans not call a religion that is deeply anti-democratic, and extremely violent; chopping off of body limbs, including heads, in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran and Pakistan and Yemen, just to mention a few, is routine within Islam as punishment, why is that religion not called fascistic by American do-gooders?

Are the adherents of Islam just too dark skinned for self-hating white coolie Americans to criticise?

Posted by koos1999 | Report as abusive

Oh, come on.
Here we go again, terrified that the extreme Right has reared it’s ugly head.
While we ignore that the extreme Right rules the US Republican Party and controls the US Congress.
Other than not being a smart, are Louis Gohmert and many GOP Congressmen like him any different than Marine Le Pen?
What does the US MSM do? Fall into false equivalence and ignore what has been going on since Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine so that Murdoch could bring us Fox News. The MSM is terrified of being called ‘liberal media elite’ by Limbaugh and Fox if they report actual facts.
So, here we are. As headed toward fascism as any country in Europe, but actually closer.

Posted by emm305 | Report as abusive

Dont you realise that your have confront muslim ideology. You cannot negotiate or rationalise their violent extremism.

Posted by rovgallach | Report as abusive

It is important to point out radical Islamic Fundamentalism as a problem. There are a great many of Islamic faith who do not subscribe to crazy or backward beliefs. They are the many and bombers are the few. Also fascism is associated with economic failure and the need to shove austerity down the throats of an unwilling electorate. When the country’s leaders are faced with economic failure and can think of austerity as the only viable solution, the autocratic nature of fascism allows lower living standards with any complainers sent to a concentration camp.

Posted by LowIncome | Report as abusive

So many paranoid conservatives, so little time. The author did not compare Hitler and Mussolini to today’s nationalists. In fact, the opposite–designed to defuse the claims of some that do liken them to Hitler and Mussolini. But most telling in the comments is the name calling and vitriol from “conservatives” as well as the anger because the story doesn’t address their pet “side issues”. i love the comment from the guy who felt it necessary to distinguish Hitler and Mussolini from today’s right wingers. Who is making that comparison other than you? Etc.

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