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    The Sweeping Wave of Far-Right in Europe…………Maryam Javed

     

     

    Far right movements are not a new phenomena but, the fact that they are now mainstreamedis rather a new development. The common characteristics of all these far-right movements across Europe are their white nationalistic, anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic views and policies. Marine Le Pen of far-right, nationalist party has claimed recently that the parties with nationalist, far-right agenda have offered a “new European Harmony” to the European people across the Europe echoing the same sentiments as of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini with his campaign launch slogan of “Make Europe Great Again”.

     

    What we see now is that the political parties with their xenophobic and anti-immigrant agenda with strong nationalist component has come into spotlight with wining parliamentary seats in major European states such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany which is quite a surprising development given that only a few years back they existed on the margins of political spectrum and most of the people did not even know their name. With their far-right agenda now gaining the support of working-class people who are fed up with the current political elite, it is hardly surprising that their politically incorrect and racist views are not only tolerated but also agreed upon with. In Hungary and Austria, the far-right parties have won enough Parliamentary seats to make them part of the government. Far-right, populist waves have reached far-flung corners of Europe, be it Italy, part of G-7 or a relatively small country such as Estonia. In recent elections, the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia won nineteen seats on the slogan for the protection of native Estonians and was able to become part of coalition government bagging five ministries as well.

     

    In Spain where for a long time, the era of Dictator Franco has been a constant reminder of the radical consequences of nationalism, the nationalist, far-right political party Vox came to spotlightin recent elections and there started the tussle for Spain holding their Centrist-left agendas or giving into the sweeping wave of far-right politics across Europe. In the major voter turnout of seventy six percent, the Spanish people went to polls to either vote for Vox or reject it. The outcome was hardly surprising given the current environment of Europe and Vox gained its entry into the Spanish Parliament for the first time by winning Twenty four seats.’

     

    We see a trend of not only the media giving space to the xenophobic and anti-immigrant policies of far-right but also normalizing it to the extent that it has led to an alienating feeling among ethnic and religious communities. With “us” vs “them” rhetoric of the right wing politics, it is not surprising to see the rise of far-right terror in Europe and in the United States.

     

    The attack on the two mosques in Christ Church where fifty-onepeople were killed by a white nationalist is a glaring example of how alienating religious and ethnic minorities can have devastating consequences. Brenton Tarrant, the perpetrator of these attacks clearly drew his inspiration from the very same hate preaching xenophobic and anti-immigrant politics of far-right as is evident in his manifesto.

     

     

    The UN’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide has compared the rise of the far-right parties in Europe to the rise of Nazis in Germany in the 1930s and urged the liberal politicians to stop playing political playoffs instead of combating far-right rhetoric.The rise of the far-right is hard to combat if governments and political elites do not address the grievances of the marginalized sections of the society and bring rules and regulations regarding these radical nationalist movements. An important step in this regard is to regulate and ban the rhetoric of far-rights and white nationalist political movements just like Facebook did and ensure that other social media platforms, where they find majority of their supporters, follow suit.

     

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