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The far right in Europe: a round up

In Germany, renewed efforts are being made to ban the neo-Nazi NPD (national democratic party).  The upper house of Parliament has asked the Constitutional Court to outlaw the party, which is suspected of at least indirect involvement with several murders of Turkish immigrants.   Yet, although extremist politics cause alarm in Germany, so does the idea of silencing dissent.

In the Ukraine as well as in Russia, there has been recent repressive legislation against gay ‘propaganda’.  The Ukrainian far-right party, Svoboda, has claimed responsibility for attacks on gay rights protesters, who were targeted with tear gas while demonstrating on 8 December.

‘Thanks to the five nationalists, the sabbath of 50 perverts was broken up,’ the statement read, reported the Kyiv Post.

‘They pulled out banners with perverted slogans, after which the protesters used teargas on them, but they received a decent rebuff. The fight broke out for which the police intruded.’

Although some don’t see Islamophobia as a big problem today, I heard a few things when I was in France recently which made me raise my eyebrows.  Here’s a report on the hardening of attitudes in France:

Beyond clearly Islamophobic acts, “we heard a speech uninhibited, often negative vis-à-vis Islam,” says Franck Frégosi, director of research at CNRS and specialist in Islam in Europe. For him, “which was rather an attitude of extreme right (…) tends to oil stain.” “Phobic feelings” were powered by various facts and a tense international context, he said, regretting that some use it “to say that Islam is not integrated into the Republic.”

There were horrific scenes in Budapest yesterday during an ‘anti-zionist’ demonstration in which slogans such as ‘filthy Jews’ and ‘to Auschwitz with you all’ were shouted. Former Jobbik member Balazs Lenhardt, now an independent member of parliament, was arrested after he burned an Israeli flag.  This follows the widely condemned suggestion, made by Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi, that a list should be drawn up of Hungarian Jews who might pose a security threat.

Although there are many dispiriting stories from Greece, it is particularly chilling to read of the hold Golden Dawn seems to have in Greek schools:

And a disciplinary procedure was opened in Athens against a high school principal who threatened to call in Golden Dawn to chastise his pupils.

“This threat is very much in fashion,” admits a high school teacher who was recently insulted by three of her pupils for her left-wing sympathies.

“What is worse is that two-thirds of my colleagues saw this incident as a justifiable dispute over politics,” she said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Although it might be disputed whether the EDL is technically ‘far-right’, it certainly doesn’t seem to do much to dispel such an impression.  There is still some uncertainty over whether this appalling tweet, which apparently appeared last night before being swiftly deleted, is genuine.

But there seems no doubt as to the authenticity of this unambiguously racist message.

Finally, that leads on neatly to a post from Maryam Namazie which asserts that the far right are the enemies, not the allies, of ex-Muslims:

A new report by One Law for All explores how the far-Right has attempted to hijack opposition to Islamism for its own ends. It focuses on the British National Party, the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe/America, and exposes how their activities, associations, opinions and intentions reveal a racist and inhuman worldview, which must be resisted and criticised with as much vigilance as Islamism itself.

Alec adds: the image used in the EDL flyer looked familiar, and this is why. It is ‘Revelations’ (2005) by American photo-artist, Jill Greenberg:

Whoopsie, EDL.

Sarah adds: EDLnews (a site opposed to the EDL) has cast further (though not absolutely conclusive) doubt on the authenticity of the horrible Newtown tweet.

And just to add a link to this good piece by Jamie Bartlett.