Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Rise of the Neo-Nationalists

On many occasions I have warned that inattention or incompetence by mainstream politicians vis-a-vis Islamism will lead to a rise in support for 'rightist' movements (I prefer the term 'neo-nationalists'). If people who are angry and anxious have no choice among existing political parties they will find an outlet somewhere else. If professional, moderate parties are seen as sell-out or cowards likeminded people will find another way to express their political beliefs.

But don't take my word for it. Dutch parlimentarian Hirsi Ali warns of the same thing.

Hirsi Ali fears that inaction will be grist for the mill of an extreme right that is on the rise. ''If we don't take effective measures, now,'' she said, ''the Netherlands could be torn between two extreme rights'': an Islamic one and a non-Islamic one.

There are already a few signs of movement toward the Neo-Nationalists. Little Green Footballs links to this article in the Independent (UK) last week.
Children as young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found. Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom.
Notice that the hacks at the Independent label as 'islamophobic' simply not wanting a foreign, anti-Western culture expressed in the classroom. That is exactly the kind of rhetoric that alienates people from the mainstream.

In Holland these nascent Neo-nationalist are not a debating society.
A group of youths smashed windows of a mosque in the southern Netherlands, setting off a street brawl with Muslim immigrants, police said Sunday. ... Local media reported the fight involved about 60 Turkish immigrants and around 20
native Dutch.
This is part of the general rise of the Dutch right and the spread of so-called extremists, known in Holland as Lonsdale youth.

Police have sparked alarm about the speed with which youths are becoming radicalised in the Netherlands. ... Police and youth researchers assert that Lonsdale youths are becoming more of a danger given the fact that society is experiencing a generic shift to the right, propelling the youths to action more quickly.
The security services are investigating.
Police and the national security service AIVD are to investigate extreme-right youths who wear Lonsdale clothing as concerns rise over the radicalisation of Dutch youth. After police raised the alarm over the speed of radicalisation of young native-Dutch people, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner announced the
Cabinet has ordered an investigation to determine how dangerous these groups are.
Almost certainly more dangerous than the clueless Dutch police think.
The police were completely surprised by the riots and Venray Council will discuss the incident on Tuesday night.
(Now if they had hired Rant Wraith as a consultant .... Note to Dutch security officials: I have very reasonable rates. Email me and we'll work something out.)

All this sounds more than a little like Europe in the 1930s, and well, we all know how that turned out. These angry youth will only get angrier, especially when Dutch officials are seen cracking down on native Dutch while at the same time they are preceived as avoiding a crack down on Muslims. At least one school has banned Lonsdale clothing. Of course Muslim girls can still wear the hijab so you can imagine how the youth are feeling about that. All it takes at this point is for one Lonsdale youth to kill an imam or a prominent Islamist and all hell breaks out.

Hirsi Ali thinks that the Dutch need to wake up and really see the situation they are in. She says that Dutch politicians think
"that if you can approach matters in a spirit of pragmatism, you can avoid talking about values. They seem to think that if Muslims and non-Muslims have a principled confrontation, the Netherlands will be destroyed in a civil war. But I believe a values confrontation is inevitable.'' (emphasis added)
Let's just hope that somehow they can have a confrontation on values without having a confrontation in the streets.