The Washington Post this week reported on a growing phenomenon in Europe – the use of the Muslim card in promoting the far right. All across the continent, parties and organizations that have traditionally existed on the margins have found new life in scapegoating Muslims for their societies ills; in many cases, these parties either come from a neo-nazi past or contain neo-nazis within their ranks.
Either way, pandering to and promoting Islamophobia amongst the European masses gives this movement the cloak of respectability needed to promote a white nationalist agenda. Relying on traditional anti-Semitism and anti-Communism would have rendered any movement building or electoral campaign moot by being labeled fascist, while being anti-Muslim makes you “nationalist” and hence “respectable.”
It’s a sad indictment of these times when – instead of learning from the past – we just recycle the past into the present with new scapegoats, bringing about a future we’ve seen before in old black and white movies of emaciated figures emerging from the camps and the bodies of those who didn’t make it bulldozed into mass graves.
It’s as if we’re watching a replay in slow motion – except we’re the ones that are going slow, not what we’re seeing in front of our eyes.