Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, July 2011
Dutch Right-Wing Politician, Anti-Islam Hatemonger, Geert Wilders, Under Fire After Norwegian Attacks
Dutch right-wing politician under fire after Norwegian attacks
THE HAGUE, July 27, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Norway's worst bloodshed since World War II has brought a Dutch far-right lawmaker under fire for his anti-Islam statements.
Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-Islam Party of Freedom PVV, has drawn widespread criticism after 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, the self-confessed mass killer behind Friday's deadly twin attacks which claimed 76 lives, was found to have expressed his admiration of Wilders in a rambling 1,600-page manifesto posted online shortly before the attacks.
Wilders, who was acquitted last month by a Dutch court on hate speech and discrimination charges for statements made attacking Islam, had condemned the Norwegian attacks on Tuesday, saying he was "disgusted" by Breivik's reference of the PVV.
Although Wilders could be held responsible for the attacks in Norway, he did share the same ideas, according to Job Cohen, leader of Dutch Labor Party PvdA.
He called upon Wilders to moderate his tone and the choice of words in his anti-Islamic comments.
"I want Wilders to control his anger," added Tofik Dibi of the left-wing party GroenLinks.
"He must speak out more frequently and more clearly ... because the words of Geert Wilders go far beyond the borders of the Netherlands," he said.
But Wilders fought back in Twitter post on Wednesday morning.
"Lefties like Cohen and Dibi are now trying to take advantage of mass murder politically. Disgusting. The PVV remains itself, concerning content and also our tone!" he wrote.
Friday's Norway attacks, a downtown explosion in Oslo which killed eight people and a shooting rampage in the Utoeya island later the same day that claimed 68 lives, have sent shockwaves across Europe.
On Monday, the Oslo district court had order an eight-week pretrial detention for Breivik, who confessed in a court hearing to both deadly attacks, to facilitate investigation.
Police and prosecution were considering whether Breivik could be charged with crimes against humanity, the maximum sentence for which is 30-year imprisonment.
Editor: Yang Lina
Hungarian right-wing youth group got letter from Norwegian killer
BUDAPEST, July 25, 2011 (Xinhua) --
The Hungarian right wing group "64 Counties" was among the dozens of European radical organizations the Norweigian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik wrote to, Hungarian television channel TV2 reported on Monday.
Laszlo Toroczkai, head of the far-right extremist "64 Counties Youth Movement" in Hungary, publicized the letter sent from his own email address.
Toroczkai said he had only read the letter after Friday's massive bomb attack in central Oslo and subsequent shooting massacre on a nearby island that have left 76 people dead and nearly a hundred wounded.
The letter had not specify the suspect's plan, stressed Toroczkai, but only contained a brief summary of Breivik's ideology and the 1500-page study he had posted on the Internet, which called for a "cleansing of Europe."
While acknowledging that his organization agreed with many points in Brevik's ideology, Toroczkai said he strongly condemned the killings. He did not recall ever having met Brevik personally, he said.
Earlier on Monday Breivik admitted to court the responsibility of Friday's twin attacks, saying they were intended as a message to protect Norway and Europe from "multi-culturalism."
According to his social media profiles and the online manifesto he posted Friday, hours before the attack, Breivik holds extreme right-wing and anti-Muslim views and is a conservative Christian.
Commentary: Heinous ultra-rightism poses severe challenge to Europe
BEIJING, July 25, 2011 (Xinhua) --
The latest twin massacres in Norway committed by a confessed ultra-rightist sounded an alarm in Europe that ultra-rightism is resurging there, posing a severe challenge to the continent's social order.
Breivik, a Christian fundamentalist and once a member of Norway's right-wing populist party, is a typical ultra-rightist. And his heinous deeds tell the world what a pressing task it is for the European countries to contain the spread of ultra-rightism while keeping the mainstream values dominant.
After the Second World War, the crackdown on the Nazi has nearly wiped out ultra-rightism in Europe. The mainstream values support such notions as "racial equality" and "multi-culturalism." The European society, therefore, was tolerant of immigration.
After the War, West Europe, due to a shortage of labor, has witnessed a an increasingly large number of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa.
With time passing by, ethnic integration has turned out to be a headache for some European countries due to huge differences in culture and lifestyle of various ethnic groups.
The immigrants' general low-level education, disorderly behavior and overdependence on social welfare have become the breeding ground for xenophobic ultra-rightism in several countries.
In recent years, the stagnated European economy has served as a fresh catalyst for ultra-rightism as the global financial crisis and the European debt crisis dented the European economy, raised unemployment rate and aroused some people's anti-foreign sentiment.
In Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Austria and some other European countries, voices of ultra-rightism were heard from time to time in mainstream politics.
Ultra-right organizations such as Skinhead and Autonomous Nationalists have frequently launched violent protests in the streets, damaging properties and posing a threat to the life of the public. In 2008, more than 20,000 crimes were conducted by rightists in Germany alone.
The rightist wave is impacting the political order in Europe. Some ultra-right parties gained seats in parliament and several parties even won posts in government, forcing these countries to tighten their policy on cultural tolerance.
The bloody attacks in Norway have alarmed the whole Europe that the ultra-right wave is crossing the line and moving toward the extremism of endangering people's life and the society.
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