Whatever happened to Newsweek? In a recent article two of the magazine’s contributors suggest that the rise of anti-Islam parties throughout Europe is somehow connected with the raised terror alert on the continent. Not only do the authors fail to explicate a connection between the two; they fail even to substantiate this assertion.
According to the magazine, people in Europe are “afraid, caught between terrorists who are plotting attacks against them and politicians who are not only exploiting the public’s fears but, in some cases, openly taunting the terrorists.” I can’t speak as to the mood in every part of Europe, but in general, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of fear around. Indeed, American news media have been more anxious to report on the terror plot that Al Qaeda affiliates were or are supposed to planning against France, Germany and the UK than their European counterparts.
The authors conveniently glance over the near absence of extremist parties in those countries though. They point out that “from Sweden and Denmark to Italy, Holland and Hungary” anti-immigration parties are on the rise (which is true), and they conclude that “It’s been years since the clash of civilizations seemed so real and so imminent” (which is preposterous).
If the mounting popularity of Islam bashers in the aforementioned countries were to incite terrorism, why aren’t those countries targeted? The answer, of course, is that unlike those countries (with the exception of the Netherlands), Britain, France and Germany have actually fought terrorism instead of Islam, from Western Africa to Afghanistan. That’s why terrorists are attempting to strike against them.
Muslim extremists make a lot of fuss when someone like Geert Wilders declares Islam a “fascist ideology” and suggest that the Qur’an should be outlawed, but Geert Wilders isn’t taking the war to them. France, Germany and the United Kingdom are.