By: Ivan Baric
Tragic events that took place mainly in Paris but also in couple of other locations all over France couple of days ago, triggered unimaginable consequences. Even before such happenings, wave of anti-islam ideas was spreading all over Europe, culminating in Germany, where anti-islam march were held only two days before the attack on „Charlie Hebdo“. Expectedly, the situation got even worse after the attack.
Pegida, short for „Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West“, German political movement, is occupied organizing anti-islam protests all over Germany, especially in Dresden, movement’s home city. Those protests are held on weekly basis, and up until this Saturday, they never had more than 18,000 participants. Today, that number nearly doubled – 35,000 participants protested in Dresden yesterday. Not only that, in „March for Unity“, held today in Paris as a sign of solidarity with the victims of recent terrorist attack, was attended by 40 world leaders as well as 3 million people. Although this march can not be seen as a march against islam, but rather against all kinds of extremism, it is nevertheless a sign that the Al Qaeda and ISIS, as two main ideological enemies of the West that are actually making moves threatening the West, are finally seen as something that needs to be stopped no matter what. Furthermore, National Front (Front National), led by Marine Le Pen and founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, radical right party with anti-immigration ideas, is growing strong in France, and that growth is expected to be even faster in the wake of recent events.
After the attacks, Jean-Marie Le Pen stated that „he is not Charlie Hebdo“ (opposing to supporting slogan „Je suis Charlie“ – I am Charlie), and his daughter, Marine Le Pen, stated that she is in favour of returning the death penalty back to France. Not only that, but she asked of president Hollande „to immediately suspend Schengen to be able to control our borders as an essential element in the fight against terrorism“ and undertake „the necessity of measures for the removal or the forfeiture of citizenship for all of those who have dual citizenship who have left to train or fight in a foreign country, and then come back to our territory, to commit barbaric crimes, which seems to be the case with these two murderers who are currently in the process of being chased“. It seems that Spain is also opened to this kind of ideas as a measure against islamic extremism. Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz stated that „we (Spain) are going to back border controls and it is possible that as a consequence it will be necessary to modify the Schengen treaty“.
It will be more than interesting to see how this will turn out, but, unfortunately, it looks like Europe will be caught in the middle of fighting with the extremist strenghts and making backwards decisions in order to protect their citizens. Nevertheless, terrorist attacks need to be strongly condemned, and the victims should be always remembered. Je suis Charlie!
Photo courtesy of BBC.