Last October, the largely unknown French group Generation Identity occupied a mosque in the town of Poitiers. Founded only a month before, the group had already attracted interest after releasing a “declaration of war” through YouTube outlining goals focused heavily on opposing multiculturalism and Islam. The young activists presented themselves as a generation of “ethnic fracture,” who had suffered from record levels of unemployment, debt, multicultural decline and the “forced mixing of the races.” From the mosque’s rooftop, the group demanded a referendum on Muslim immigration.
While it is tempting to view such groups as isolated and largely insignificant, their recent emergence reflects how the radical right in Europe -- and, to a lesser extent, North America -- has spawned a new generation of activists who appear focused explicitly on tackling the perceived threat from Islam and Muslim communities. Often referred to as the “counter-jihad” movement, these groups include “defense leagues” in countries such as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Scotland and Sweden; groups in Germany that rally opposition to the construction of mosques; and international networks that attempt to coordinate these activities, such as Stop Islamization of Nations and the European Freedom Initiative, the latter of which claims to coordinate 18 defense leagues. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Diplomatic Fallout: Small Wars Create Big Problems for U.K.’s Cameron, France’s Hollande
- Akinci’s Election Revives Hopes for Breakthrough in Cyprus Talks
- Global Insights: New Technologies Complicate U.S.-Russia-China Arms Control
- Diplomatic Fallout: Greek Financial Crisis Forces EU to Play for Time on Ukraine, Migrants
- Russia Becomes the Middle East’s Preferred but Flawed Nuclear Partner