28 September 2015
The recent influx of refugees into Europe has been mislabeled as “immigration” and portrayed by local right-wing politicians as an existential threat. This European nationalist rhetoric could legitimise and provoke violence by Salafi-jihadis.
Refugees fleeing the wars in Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan are facing a great injustice: in the past few months, right-wing European politicians have been referring to them as ‘migrants’ and even depict them as an existential threat to Christian Europe. The justifications of European nationalist politicians for such actions are seeded in the conflation between Islam – the refugees’ religion – with Salafi-jihadi militancy.
By framing it as an existential threat, the right-wing politicians are constructing their political discourse in the same way Salafi-jihadi organisations construct theirs while at the same time, acting inconsistently with the fundamental values of the European Union. If this rhetoric persists it might result in legitimising the Salafi-jihadi discourse and make recruits of current refugees, which in turn, would increase the likelihood of attacks in Europe orchestrated by Salafi-jihadis.
… Aida Arosoaie is a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015