Anti-Islamic sentiment on the rise in Europe

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The recent military-style assault on the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo , followed by a separate hostage standoff at a Kosher supermarket traumatized Paris and sent shock waves across Europe. The three-day terror spree in Paris ended with the deaths of 17 victims and three gunmen. The public response to the massacre of innocent people was overwhelming; a symbol of solidarity, the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) spread around the world overnight. The slogan grew into a popular hashtag on Twitter, has been chanted by marchers in Paris streets, and has become ubiquitous in the media. Amid the heightened tensions, French police continued to interrogate nine terror suspects as part of an anti-terrorism push that swept across France, Belgium, Germany, and Britain in recent days. At the same time, far-right nationalist parties across Europe seized on the recent attack to underscore their anti-Islam and anti-immigrant agendas. Soon after the Paris attack, Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch politician who is facing trial for inciting racial hatred, called for the “de-Islamization” of Western societies and claimed that Europe was now “at war”. In France, nationalist leader Marine Le Pen, who is also performing strongly in recent polls, blamed “radical Islamism” for the attack.

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  • 04/23/2018
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