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Thread: Europe lurches to the Right

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    Europe lurches to the Right

    Pretty scary results in the EU elections - Neo Nazi golden dawn gets its first MPs, Front Nationale continues to grow in France, and UKIP totally blitz the MEP elections in the UK (although Labour still on course to win the general election at home).

    Islamophobia is steadily on the rise, and while the street group EDL has pretty much fizzled out, bombings, shootings and assaults are on the rise in Greece, there was a shooting in a Jewish museum in Belgium last week (afaik the shooter hasn't been caught), and while the current situation in ukraine is presented as an US-EU/Russia powerplay, it is also interesting to note the forces at play on the ground - groups of far right activists (with US/EU backing) have been beating and burning ethnic russians to death (whilst western media lays largely silent - google odessa massacre 2014). This is disturbing enough but more disturbing is the idea that pockets of such people seem to still exist in europe

    All part of a cycle or are we heading into fratricidal nationalistic insanity once again?

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    i didn't "like" your post because i think it's a good thing. Its fucking terrifying.

    You can bet when Obama leaves office, we'll get some godawful ultra right wing nut job here. Just the swing of the pendulum.

    And as far as Islamaphobia, when the fuck are people going to realize that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are PRETTY MUCH THE SAME FUCKING RELIGION?

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    Sadly, this train rolls on... I remember Baroness Warsi saying a while back that Islamophobia had passed the dinner party test... now it's more like every single comment you see on a news story

    Ever get the feeling that in 30 years time you'll be one of the people with a clear conscience?

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    The left wing choices need to be better. Sometimes I feel like its a choice between some wolf in sheeps clothing Blair type or people who want the country to genuinely become communist. At the moment I will pretty much be voting Lib Dem again despite the coalition, because it will take me a while to forgive labour for Blair - he was totally evil

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    I vote green and independent now, I'm just sick of it all

    I think choosing ed over his brother shows that Labour are willing to make sacrifices in order to make a break with the blair/brown era. But yes I won't be voting for them again either

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    big grooming scandal in Bristol going down, lots of somali men being sentenced for preying on homeless and vulnerable teenage girls in bristol

    I don't seem to remember any outcry over the homeless teenagers in bristol, or the vulnerable ones the state can only afford to check on once every five months

    That's presumably ok. But if they get raped by a muslim then suddenly everyone gives a shit

    this country

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    And as far as Islamaphobia, when the fuck are people going to realize that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are PRETTY MUCH THE SAME FUCKING RELIGION?
    Well Islam has the wrong face... If they can't make the effort to look a little less foreign, they're really begging for it...
    That's what it comes down to around here -France- anyway. We managed to somewhat lock down the anti-arab sentiment during the 80ies, stabilizing it, but since the mid-90ies it came back under the guise of religion. Which, coming from a proudly secular country, is seriously fucking precious. Of course, now every religious movement is trying to preemptively defend itself by attacking everything in sight, and that secular, church-out-of-the-state statu quo is crumbling down. Suddenly we're a traditionally christian nation, out of fucking nowhere. We spent centuries trying to keep the churches in their place, but all it took was a bit of creative racism. And the lower classes ripping each other over who the good guys are, because that always ends well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Islamophobia
    goddamnit, I'm sorry, but this whole notion is utter horseshit. There are some lunatics who think that European countries (or the USA) are going to actually adopt Sharia law and become Muslim theocracies (yes, there's some really crazy people out there), but otherwise, this is a buzzword created to quell criticism of Islam in any of its applications, and it just sucks. The real irony is that there's a lot of people who are phobic to the idea of criticizing a particular religion.

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    Because whenever Islam is discussed as being a fundamentalist religion, brown people from the Middle East are used as examples. "Look how awful those Saudis treat women!" *gasp* Nevermind that Islam is a world religion that extends beyond the Middle East. Muslims and Arab-Americans have been played up as the bogeyman that you don't even have to be a Muslim-just unfortunate to look foreign-in this country to be perceived as a threat to people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    a buzzword created to quell criticism of Islam in any of its applications,
    As someone who is actually in Europe, Islamophobia is more of a buzzword for "boo to these brown people with their funny veils and taking all our jobs". It's more racism than a critique of the actual faith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I'm sorry, but this whole [Islamophobia] notion is utter horseshit. There are some lunatics who think that European countries (or the USA) are going to actually adopt Sharia law and become Muslim theocracies (yes, there's some really crazy people out there), but otherwise, this is a buzzword created to quell criticism of Islam in any of its applications, and it just sucks. The real irony is that there's a lot of people who are phobic to the idea of criticizing a particular religion.
    Nope, it's fucking real: systemic prejudice against people who express Muslim beliefs, and it manifests itself as overt hate speech and violence around the world (certainly in my own country). That's bloody fucking obvious. Islamophobia might be a silly word for this, but what the fuck else would you call it? Racism doesn't capture the specificity of whom it targets, regardless of what part of the world its victims hail from. I guess all of those Muslim people who are persecuted for displaying their faith, who could never try to run for public office or express themselves in the wider social fabric without finding themselves labelled terrorist-sympathizers... should just shut up and stay in their ghettos?

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    This new wave of conservatives to gain power in Europe freaks me out.
    Nigel Farage is dangerous. I acctually for 5 minutes got swayed by him. He talks so well, comes across incredibly strong, when was the last time we had an alpha male Prime Minister? he has a real Vladimir Putin esque masculine charisma about him its infectous. Marine LePen is having a different but simillar effect on the French.
    But yeah this over the top vilification of a big chunk of our population worries me. A lot needs to be done and Its not constructive at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slave2thewage View Post
    As someone who is actually in Europe, Islamophobia is more of a buzzword for "boo to these brown people with their funny veils and taking all our jobs". It's more racism than a critique of the actual faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    Nope, it's fucking real: systemic prejudice against people who express Muslim beliefs, and it manifests itself as overt hate speech and violence around the world (certainly in my own country). That's bloody fucking obvious. Islamophobia might be a silly word for this, but what the fuck else would you call it? Racism doesn't capture the specificity of whom it targets, regardless of what part of the world its victims hail from. I guess all of those Muslim people who are persecuted for displaying their faith, who could never try to run for public office or express themselves in the wider social fabric without finding themselves labelled terrorist-sympathizers... should just shut up and stay in their ghettos?
    Then maybe people should stop employing it as a shutdown tactic whenever someone criticizes anything awful done in the name of Islam? Or maybe we should stop using buzzwords like this at all? If we're going to shut down a racist who is couching their racism under the guise of a criticism of Islam, then just call them a racist and point out why they're actually being racist.

    I'm just sick of seeing people pulling this word out when it is completely insane to use it. I was called an Islamaphobe by a friend (of a friend) recently for talking about how disgusted I was with the fact that they still publicly behead people in Saudi Arabia. I didn't even use a word which referred to the religion. To condense it, I was relaying how horrified I was to hear that several people have recently been beheaded by the government in Saudi Arabia, "one of our allies in the Middle East," for crimes like "sorcery."

    Also, @botley, I have to disagree with the primary complaint of that article addressing this phenomenon, especially where it implies that the problem can't be solved because the EU laws restricting freedom of speech aren't sufficient. The very idea that racism of any sort is actually contained by prosecuting people for exhibiting bigoted beliefs is ludicrous. You should be allowed to say whatever insane, hateful shit you want. In response, people should explain why you're being an idiot. It's a free exchange of ideas, and it allows you to identify the really ignorant hateful people. It's a good thing to know who those people are, and they should feel free to expose their ignorance to everyone around them, and face the consequences for it.

    The idea that we would even consider creating laws which would protect Islam (or any religion or belief system) from angry criticism should be horrifying.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 11-27-2014 at 06:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    goddamnit, I'm sorry, but this whole notion is utter horseshit. There are some lunatics who think that European countries (or the USA) are going to actually adopt Sharia law and become Muslim theocracies (yes, there's some really crazy people out there), but otherwise, this is a buzzword created to quell criticism of Islam in any of its applications, and it just sucks. The real irony is that there's a lot of people who are phobic to the idea of criticizing a particular religion.
    It's used in that way, certainly, and sections of the left have a problem reconciling their manifest encouragement of plurality with the realities of what that means you may have to tolerate. But nonetheless Islamophobia refers to an irrational fear of Muslims or Islam, regardless of whether people abuse the term - in which case the fault lies with them and within that issue, not the term itself

    I mean people often use the term Anti-Semite as a stick to bash critics of Israeli policy with - does that mean Anti-Semitism is a horseshit notion

    The issue is with the abuse of the term, not the reality of the concept

    I wouldn't worry about random do-gooders attacking you for criticising KSA... a comment on them is by no means a comment on muslims in general... my liberal muslims friends hate KSA for being too barbaric and puritanical, and my conservative muslim friends hate them for being decadent and corrupt

    edit - I also think it's worth pointing out that Europe is pretty hysterical at the moment - issues of nomenclature aside, there's definitely a growing number of people who regard Muslims as fifth column in Western Society. If islamophobia is an inappropriate then what is appropriate? Could say Far-Right, but this brand of prejudice doesn't take the dim view of homosexuality, Jews, feminism and the disabled that your average far right supporter does
    Last edited by Sutekh; 11-27-2014 at 07:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    If we're going to shut down a racist who is couching their racism under the guise of a criticism of Islam, then just call them a racist and point out why they're actually being racist.
    Fine, but what about all those cases of bigots who AREN'T criticising Islam, but simply insulting people and uttering hateful threats against them for belonging to that religion? The tweets quoted in the CBC piece I linked aren't racist, they're anti-Islamic. They make no comment about the race of the Muslims in the mosque that their writer wants to blow up. That's not a peaceful protest or a rational criticism; it's not speech worthy of protection, but it's not racism either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    The very idea that racism of any sort is actually contained by prosecuting people for exhibiting bigoted beliefs is ludicrous.
    Whose argument are you attacking here? The guy in that CBC piece? Nobody is claiming you can legislate bigotry away, but I agree with the op-ed I also linked to from the Guardian: by marking it as socially unacceptable and unwanted, it can be made to wither away. I'll protect your right to criticise what is said, but if you say hateful shit about an entire people grouped together only by their religion, you should be called out on it in a way that matters, from a shared position of social authority, not by some other chump in a comment thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    It's a good thing to know who those people are, and they should feel free to expose their ignorance to everyone around them, and face the consequences for it.
    That's the problem: there are no consequences for it. You can make hateful threats towards Muslims all the live long day and there is no repercussion for you, meanwhile the environment for the Muslims living around you becomes ever-more fearful. People like us argue about whether what it is the bigots are doing is actually a thing or not, meanwhile people are being assaulted in the streets for wearing a hijab or having their windows broken or vandalized with "terrorist" scrawled on them for praying at a mosque. Don't call it Islamophobia, though, I guess?

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    Fine, but what about all those cases of bigots who AREN'T criticising Islam, but simply insulting people and uttering hateful threats against them for belonging to that religion? The tweets quoted in the CBC piece I linked aren't racist, they're anti-Islamic. They make no comment about the race of the Muslims in the mosque that their writer wants to blow up. That's not a peaceful protest or a rational criticism; it's not speech worthy of protection, but it's not racism either.
    I feel that every form of speech is worthy of protection (with only some very specific exceptions), no matter how despicable I find it. I'm not advocating it, I'm just saying it should be permitted.


    Whose argument are you attacking here? The guy in that CBC piece? Nobody is claiming you can legislate bigotry away, but I agree with the op-ed I also linked to from the Guardian: by marking it as socially unacceptable and unwanted, it can be made to wither away. I'll protect your right to criticise what is said, but if you say hateful shit about an entire people grouped together only by their religion, you should be called out on it in a way that matters, from a shared position of social authority, not by some other chump in a comment thread.
    I'm not "attacking" the argument so much as disagreeing with the concept it relays: the implication that certain forms of hateful speech should be policed (in a manner similar to the way that hateful/racist speech is prohibited). A reduction of that would be the implication that banning hateful speech in any way accomplishes a greater good, which is something I just fundamentally disagree with.

    The end result of banning this sort of speech, in any kind of legislated way, could easily be confused to create anti-blasphemy laws.

    You run into problems when you try to legislate "hateful shit being said about an entire people grouped together only by their religion." If we prohibit that, we lose the ability to call Scientology a brainwashing scam. What constitutes "hateful?" If you imply that Scientologists are brainwashed and that the religion is a money-making scam cult, you are making a sweeping condemnation of the believers in that religion.

    And even then, in the UK, they were arresting people for protesting the church of Scientology, actively stopping people from carrying signs which called it a cult. Where do you draw the line, and how is this sort of speech not already impaired in the UK?


    That's the problem: there are no consequences for it.
    There are many consequences for being a bigot, even if the consequences are not directly enacted by a governing power. For starters, you could easily lose your job and subsequently become unemployable.

    You can make hateful threats towards Muslims all the live long day and there is no repercussion for you
    But legitimate threats, or even veiled implications of potential violence, are legally prohibited. For good reason.

    People like us argue about whether what it is the bigots are doing is actually a thing or not, meanwhile people are being assaulted in the streets for wearing a hijab or having their windows broken or vandalized with "terrorist" scrawled on them for praying at a mosque. Don't call it Islamophobia, though, I guess?
    And this is disgusting, and a result of ignorant thinking, and that's a problem. You can call it "Islamophobia" if you feel the term applies, but you cannot deny that it is freely thrown about to criticize people for saying things that are nowhere near the nature of what you're suggesting.
    @Sutekh brings up an interesting comparison to the use of the word anti-semite to identify people who hold bigoted hateful feelings towards Jews. He's got a point, but yes, that word gets thrown around a lot to attack people who are not pro-Israel. Even then, at least, it is rarely used to identify people who feel that horribly interpreted Judaism, or to note that some Judaic theocracies are dangerous.

    When people attack people using these terms though, to basically disarm a point they might be making, that's the danger. If we want to identify it solely in the sense that you present it, yes, that's a problem that needs addressing. We can call it whatever we want. But the people who are really concerned about that issue should be the first people to defend others against baseless extensions of that accusation, and that's not something I see happening really.

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    I agree these people are just racist and it would save time to just label them as such, but ultimately - and I hate this cliche - but Islam is not a race, so using the term racist to describe people who hate all muslims is surely approaching the kind of broad use/abuse of a term that you take issue with when it comes to the term "Islamophobia"

    Do gooders and the ignorant will always abuse terms - conservative, liberal, socialist, nazi etc... any term with strong connotations is in danger of being misused.

    I think at the end of the day, the anti-muslim violence and bigotry going on in Europe is a bigger problem than the term islamophobia being used to muzzle critics of Islam. The day it hit home for me was when the mosque in the quiet, leafy, affluent London neighbourhood I live in was burned down by the EDL - and nobody saw anything, knew anything

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    I think at the end of the day, the anti-muslim violence and bigotry going on in Europe is a bigger problem than the term islamophobia being used to muzzle critics of Islam. The day it hit home for me was when the mosque in the quiet, leafy, affluent London neighbourhood I live in was burned down by the EDL - and nobody saw anything, knew anything
    I guess I live in a bubble. Every time I've seen someone bring up the word "Islamophobia" in real life, it is not referring to this sort of thing. Maybe this is a more prevalent issue in the UK. I honestly don't know.

    I've already derailed this thread enough though probably, and that wasn't my intention.

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    No worries, it's all discussion - I find it interesting that things aren't as bad in the US

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    Well it's hard to say, especially since race-based statistics are banned around here. I understand the issue, and am quite on the fence on the subject, but in the end it means that all I know about how bad or how good it is comes from the media, who are echo chambers for everyone who's howling loud enough.
    So you either hear left-wing SJWs crying bloody murder, or right-wing nutjobs yelling at clouds.
    Some of it is bad, my father in law trying to be edgy by denouncing every community that isn't white enough, or straight enough, or French enough, some of it is great, like my dad who's living in harmony within a neighborhood that's basically one huge Turkish community.

    The problem in France is that during the 50ies we made whole families come from north Africa to help rebuilding (literally) the country, while the government promised the citizen that those people would be shipped back there once that was done. Who the fuck believed that I wonder, anyhow those people obviously didn't leave, why the hell would they ? They had built a life, they had a job, they had their family... So, from the 50ies on, there was quite a resentment towards the Arab community.
    Which has now a brand new, politically acceptable face thanks to the Big Muslim Terrorist Threat. You can't say "Arabs are so and so", but hey, "Muslims are so and so" works great at parties. You can spit the exact same rhetoric and it's suddenly worth discussing.
    That's what Marine LePen does. She has the charisma of a french bulldog, but she gave the Front National the best rebranding since it's inception, along with a bit of house cleaning. Her father's party used to remind everyone of Vichy, now it's simply considered like another brand of independent party, and that just with a bit of paint.
    She has no charisma, but she turned the drunk in the bar next door into a political scholar.

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    I was driving through the French countryside in the summer and I noticed a stencil of Marine had been daubed on every pillar/lamppost bridge, but when I got close to Nantes (town/city), they had all been defaced with neon pink paint.

    I think things are pretty fucked now, to be honest. I mean how can all these brainwashed people ever come back to Earth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exocet View Post
    This new wave of conservatives to gain power in Europe freaks me out.
    Nigel Farage is dangerous.
    You really think so?

    His, and his party's policies seem to be about enriching the UK's abilities to self-govern, as opposed to siphoning off control to Brussels. I don't find anything odd about that. Conservative, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary. I don't believe they've made any racist remarks. I have, however, heard many critics condemn UKIP, and Farage of xenophobia, and racism with the age-old platitude: "selective immigration policies = racism."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiz View Post
    You really think so?

    His, and his party's policies seem to be about enriching the UK's abilities to self-govern, as opposed to siphoning off control to Brussels. I don't find anything odd about that. Conservative, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary. I don't believe they've made any racist remarks. I have, however, heard many critics condemn UKIP, and Farage of xenophobia, and racism with the age-old platitude: "selective immigration policies = racism."
    Nah he is too much, he is too right wing for the UK at the moment. Him leading would cause a lot of friction and create a toxic atmosphere. there have been a few people associated with the UKIP party making fucking stupid racist, homophobic remarks on twitter or caught out making them. Its somewhat alarming. I respect conservatives but not bigots. the party attracts the wrong people.
    i find the party regressive. I think he would isolate us, also prior to 2008 recession didnt the economy increase as a result of Labours relaxed immigration laws? Bigger population equals bigger workforce. I think the 2 million Polish and eastern Europeans who arrived here since 2004 have been a real good thing for us.
    i dont agree with Brussels having control over us either, but i dont think it would be wise to cut all ties with the EU. Something about being unified with 500 Million people, the strength in numbers aspect of the EU appeals to me.

    .

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    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graph.../islamineurope

    Neat chart showing the actual Muslim populations of Western European countries vs what people polled thought they were. Also the amount of terror related arrests and how many of those were religiously motivated vs other reasons. Didn't really have to point it out but the far right is really good at fear mongering. People in France thought Muslim populations were 31% while in reality it was only 8%. Most terror arrests come from other sources like separatism, according to the article.
    Last edited by icecream; 01-09-2015 at 11:03 AM.

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    absolutely. Everyone in Britain knows who Lee Rigby is, but very few can name the UK soldiers killed in a barracks shooting by the Real IRA a couple of years before. It's terrorists killing troops just the same though, but it doesn't tickle anyone's confirmation bias, and as such fails to take root in the popular imagination

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    Well, the IRA soldiers weren't killed off-duty during the daytime in the middle of a peaceful town centre. But you're right that other lives lost for similar reasons aren't as famous.
    @Tiz UKIP's policies:

    Stop equal pay
    Stop the 48 hour limit on the working week
    Stop maternity pay
    Legalise handguns (thanks Dunblane!)
    Privatise the NHS (Farage himself said that he would feel "more comfortable" if UK healthcare were opened up to the marketplace.
    Stop renewable energy ("blow up wind farms" in his own words)
    Stop HIV positive people from coming to the UK
    Repeal the human rights act

    Unlike other parties, UKIP does not publish their full policies on their site. Only the "highlights". Analogy "oh baby you're so hot, we're going to live on an island with a ton of money and have beautiful children and you'll never have to worry again" CUT TO: NEXT MORNING "oh btw you have herpes. BYE!"

    Also I'm pretty sure referring to foreign people as being "from bongo bongo land" is pretty fucking racist.

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    What about that comment Farage made when he was late for something recently and was blaming the immigrants on the M4, that was pretty bad I thought (as well as complete bollocks)

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    Quote Originally Posted by icecream View Post
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graph.../islamineurope

    Neat chart showing the actual Muslim populations of Western European countries vs what people polled thought they were. Also the amount of terror related arrests and how many of those were religiously motivated vs other reasons. Didn't really have to point it out but the far right is really good at fear mongering. People in France thought Muslim populations were 31% while in reality it was only 8%. Most terror arrests come from other sources like separatism, according to the article.
    Erm...31 percent of France is around 25 million. most people knew it was around 5 million. Even 10 million would be absurd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exocet View Post
    Erm...31 percent of France is around 25 million. most people knew it was around 5 million. Even 10 million would be absurd
    The people asked must not have taken that into consideration. Probably thought, "I see brown people everywhere. Ermmm 31%!"

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    UK General Election today, a good test for the fortunes of the far right - will they be able to cash in on the growing anti muslim/immigrant hysteria and dissatisfaction with mainstream parties?

    I won't go on about the exit poll (a forecast based on a sample of 22000) as in a few hours it will be meaningless as we'll have the actual results, but if Farage of UKIP wins his south thanet seat I think that will act as a pretty good indicator of that party's long term prospects

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