Islamophobia in Europe is backfiring on the elites
Islamophobic acts such as hijab bans in France and the minaret ban in Switzerland are pursued by Europe’s mainstream political forces that cultivate the support of the rightwing segments of European society.
August 5, 2012, 14:30 EST
Clashes at an anti-Islam rally in Sweden show that Islamophobic policies fostered by Europe’s ruling elites are backfiring.
On August 4, 2012 the English Defence League along with other rightwing groups organized the anti-Islam event in downtown Stockholm which attracted about 100 participants. The rally was described on the anti-Islam European Freedom Initiative's website as the "first worldwide counter-jihad action." At the time of the gathering European racists faced a counter protest organized by local leftwing groups numbering around 400 participants. Even though it is not fully clear how the clashes began, the mainstream media blamed the leftist groups for initiating the violence. Mainstream news agencies referred to the racist’ camps as a “100 strong demonstration” while the 400 peace protesters were identified simply as leftist protestors.
While such events are often portrayed as actions organized by Europe’s marginal rightwing groups, in reality the rightwing atmosphere and policies are fostered by the so-called “liberal ruling elite” of Europe. Islamophobic acts such as hijab bans in France and the minaret ban in Switzerland are pursued by Europe’s mainstream political forces that cultivate the support of the rightwing segments of European society.
Anti-Muslim campaigns in the mainstream political discourse and media within Europe is implemented by socio-political forces within the mainstream that try to portray themselves as distant from the rightwing segment of population. In April 2012 Amnesty International report stated that “Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf.” This type of discrimination has little to do with marginalized rightwing groups, but more to do with the forces comprising the ruling elite in Europe today.
It seems that the terrorist acts conducted by a Norwegian racist Anders Behring Brevik in 2011 did not send a signal to the European political elite that their Islamophobic agenda will in the long-run hurt the societies they claim to work for. The EU has many grave social problems that are currently papered over by the illusion of material prosperity. Currently this material prosperity bubble is in the process of bursting, critical problems related to Europe’s demographics will surface and the failure to propose accommodating and rational social solutions to this issue will create internal instability from which the current ruling elites will also suffer greatly.