More than 50 physical and verbal attacks committed against Muslims in France
The repercussions of last week's terrorist attack in France are still reverberating worldwide. The French continue to feel threatened, the terrorists are praising each other, tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets, Germany's eurosceptic party is arguing with itself, and the number of attacks against Muslims is rising in France.
The French continue to feel threatened
France continues to feel threatened despite the fact that the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in which mainly Jewish people and journalists perished last week were ultimately caught. Police are still searching for as many as six more members of the terrorist cell.
The authorities have also mobilized thousands of men to protect Jewish properties throughout the country. The police investigation so far has revealed that the partner of one of the terrorists who was killed was crossing into Syria at the time of the attack.
The assassins were praised by Islamist radicals from abroad today. A leading international terrorist figure, Mokhtar Belmokhtar of Algeria, expressed appreciation for the murderous attacks in Paris and also called on Muslims in Western countries to commit similar actions.
Humanists versus Pegida
Germany has called on Turkey to more effectively prevent extremists from traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State movement and other terrorist organizations. Ankara has responded that it is already doing the maximum in that regard.
Tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets in many towns to demonstrate either against the dissemination of Islam or in favor of an open society. According to police data, with the exception of Dresden, the opponents of the "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" (Pegida) have vastly outnumbered its proponents, with as many as 20 000 opponents of Pegida gathering in Munich alone; the Pegida supporters demonstrated in black armbands to remember the Charlie Hebdo victims.
German eurosceptics growing fractious
The eurosceptic political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is undergoing internal dissension over the different positions taken by its various representatives on the issues of immigrants and Islam. While AfD dominated both the European and German elections with its demands to abolish the euro, during the state-level elections the party reached out to voters with an appeal for a harsher approach to cross-border crime and restrictions on immigration.
This shift has been confirmed by the fact that AfD party representatives have drawn closer to the Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West") movement, which has been holding regular demonstrations against Islam in Dresden and other cities. One such protest was attended by the head of the Brandenburg organization of AfD, Alexander Gauland.
The head of the AfD organization in Saxony and the co-chair of the national party, Frauke Petry, said after negotiations with representatives of the Pegida movement that she sees programmatic agreement between the demands made by the AFD and Pegida. On the other hand, the national vice-chair of AfD, Hans-Olaf Henkel, has said he opposes collaborating with Pegida and criticizes the very concept of a "patriotic European".
Representatives of the AfD organization in Hamburg have taken a more restrained stance toward anti-Islamic rhetoric and have said they want to return to a program focused primarily on economic topics and Europe during February's elections. They are concerned that speaking out against immigrants and Islam could threaten their chances of success.
The terrorist attack on the headquarters of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has sparked more division inside the party. Gauland said the assassinations confirm Pegida's warning that Europe is Islamizing.
German MEP Bernd Lucke, a founding member of AfD, has refused to blame all Muslims for the attack. "A crime committed by two extremists cannot be attributed to an entire religious community, most of whose members are blameless, peace-loving people," he said.
Obama and Netanyahu
The US media are surprised that the march in Paris where other heads of state and government stood side by side with French President François Hollande was not attended by US President Barack Obama. The White House has acknowledged that it made a mistake by not sending a higher-level representative.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did participate in the demonstration; the Israeli press reports that at first Hollande did not want to him there so as to avoid reviving controversy around complicated Israeli-Palestinian relations. Netanyahu also irritated the French Government by calling on French Jews to emigrate to Israel after the attacks.
Fifty attacks on Muslims
- Commentary: European demonstrations for unity give us hope, demagogues take it away
- Czech-language Facebook page slanders Romani organizations as anti-Islam
- Germany: Tens of thousands march in Dresden against Pegida and hatred
- Newspapers also attacked in Belgium and Germany, EU and USA to increase cooperation
- Czech religious organizations call on public to resist radicalism
- Czech Republic: Muslim representative touts conspiracy theories about the murders in Paris
- Can Europe maintain hope of a free, open society? Nous sommes Charlie!
- Czech cities honor French shooting victims, freedom of speech
- Germany: Xenophobic party apologizes for racist coloring book after sharp criticism
- Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority
- German Interior Minister: Hanau terrorist attack motivated by racism, neo-Nazis have attacked three times in just a few months
- Young Romani woman was a victim of German shooting spree
- German shooting spree is being investigated as a terrorist attack
- Germany: Anti-migrant xenophobic gunman kills 11 in horrifying spree, he and his mother then found dead
- Germany: Head of the state of Thuringia resigns within 24 hours after extremist party plays kingmaker role
- German shop selling beer with neo-Nazi symbolism
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency to publish results of research with Roma and Travellers in six EU Member States
- British environmental activist causes rift in international movement with remarks minimizing the Holocaust
- Germany: Right-wing extremists "patrolling" in Berlin
- German Govt approves measures to combat right-wing extremism, requires social media firms to report IP addresses of users making death threats