Sebastian Kurz's fight against radical Islam signifies Europe's Rightward turn


By Ravi Shanker Kapoor

New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS): Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurzs resolve to take on radical Islam, close on the heels of French President Emanuel Macrons tough stand against Islamic terrorism, signifies a change of mood in European politics.

The entire continent has suffered Muslim fundamentalists for decades, their cantankerousness and vehemence growing over the years. Till some time ago, anybody standing up to them was vilified by the mainstream media and intellectuals as racist and Islamophobic. The anti-jihad politicians and writers were denounced as far-Right -- a wide-spectrum term of denunciation. That is changing now.

The Austrian cabinet has "agreed on a wide range of anti-terrorism measures meant to plug perceived security flaws identified after a deadly attack by an Islamic extremist in Vienna last week," the Daily Mail reported.

"The proposals include the ability to keep individuals convicted of terror offences behind bars for life, electronic surveillance of people convicted of terror-related offenses upon release and criminalising religiously motivated political extremism," the report said.

"Kurz said the measures, which will be brought before parliament in December for a vote, take a two-pronged approach, targeting both terror suspects and also the ideology that drives them."

Had a European head of government made such an announcement five years ago, he would have been hauled over the coals by the opposition, MSM, and other opinion makers -- not just in his or her own country but all across the world. Kurz has been spared such opprobrium, for the mood vis-a-vis radical Islam has changed.

People and, more importantly, top politicians no longer believe that Muslim terrorists are impoverished, 'alienated' youth who murder innocent people because of racism. Of course, editorialists of several MSM organisations still peddle this pernicious theory, but it finds few subscribers.

Macron has surely signed off from the subscription, much to the chagrin of Islamists like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

They reacted violently, with Erdogan taunting that his French should get "his mental health tested." He also called for the boycott of French products.

Khan tweeted, "Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, including his own citizens, and encouraged the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and the Holy Prophet (Muhammad)."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- who refused to acknowledge the menace that radical Islam is -- too has seen the light. She backed Macron.

Her spokesman said, "They are defamatory comments (by Erdogan and Khan) that are completely unacceptable, particularly against the backdrop of the horrific murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist fanatic."

Interestingly, public intellectuals were supportive of Macron and Merkel in the past, as they though that the two leaders were bulwarks against rising tide of far-Right politics.

Even Kurz was approved by The Washington Post as a conservative leader who had "reinvented himself" by shunning his more Rightwing political associates.

"Austria's 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz appears set to become the youngest head of government in the world -- for the second time -- after his conservative party and the Austrian Green party announced a coalition agreement on Wednesday," the newspaper wrote on January 2 this year (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/01/02/world-is-likely-get-new-youngest-government-leader-hes-familiar-face/).

Kurz became Austrian chancellor for the first time at 31 in 2017, but lost office when a scandal triggered a breakup with his far-right coalition partner last May.

"Seven months on, however, Kurz has reemerged and reinvented himself. Whereas in 2017 he was criticised for undermining European values with his embrace of the far right, he is now being hailed as the leader of a liberal-conservative political experiment that could be repeated elsewhere on the continent," The Washington Post wrote.

In other words, the liberal establishment regards Kurz as a regular leader. He is certainly no Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, who could be conveniently dismissed as Islamophobes.

In short, it is not the Right in Europe that has been mainstreamed; mainstream politics has turned Rightward. This is one bit of good news in this dreadful year.

  

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Comment on this article

  • Sadiq, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    Refugees are entering the country’s with the theme of peace and later on they are following piece.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    All nations should keep religion away for political and vote bank gain. If religion is used to cause unrest and disharmony in the society a law should be formulated to ban such fanatic political parties. Equal respect and treatment for all religions. All should obey and follow the law of the land and constitution.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan Prabhu,, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    INDIA and MODI/RAHUL PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE RISING MENACE OF ISIS IN OUR OWN BACKYARD.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chris, Tel Aviv

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    The need of the hour is another modern crusade.Templar's should rise again .

    DisAgree [5] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijay Benedict, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    I still do not understand. If what they are following was so classy, why do they migrate to Christian nations? Cant they migrate to places like, Bangala desh, Malaysia, Pakistan etc where Sharia law is followed?

    DisAgree Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jude, MANGALURU

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    Because countries like France, Italy, and Germany foolishly let in migrants, to show that they were more 'humanitarian', and in doing so, they have let in several terrorists into their territory. How do you expect the migrants to follow the laws when they behave like barbarians in their own former country. Countries like Poland and Hungary which are pro-family and pro-culture did not let in the migrants, and that is why you do not hear about terrorism in their countries.

    DisAgree Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harsha, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    My former boss an Austrian , retired from service and took up a job of teaching German to the refugees in Vienna. 4 years down the line today he has realized that he is paying a very heavy price for the 'goodness of his heart'. Not even one immigrant destination is in peace today. Whatever Crazy guy Trump was , he had stopped this immigration from such countries into US. Hope Biden follows suit.

    DisAgree Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jude, MANGALURU

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    Trump was portrayed as a crazy man by the mostly leftist media because the illegal migrants were a huge vote bank for the Dems, but Trump only wanted that they come in after due process. Biden has deeper ties with the globalists, and he will wreck the American nation.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    Same is going to happen with India when opening the borders under CAA for people who undergo religious persecution in thier host countries. It's difficult to distinguish between who are non Muslims, who are forcefully converted to Islam but originally Hindus or non Muslims etc. If our govt uses religion for opening the borders then it's again a big blunder and chaos. Is there any need to add more to already 135 crore + population except for greedy vote bank politics????????.?........

    DisAgree [13] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kitta, Mlore

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    You are in Nagpur
    You are having so many issue
    Why you still not protest in NAgpur head quarter

    DisAgree [7] Agree [11] Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Nov 14 2020

    Nagpur doesn't need outsiders and foreigners to vote and win elections. Take care of Mangalore where soon from neighbouring countries foreigners and terrorists will be arriving disguised as persecuted Hindus taking over the district. Already Malayalees, tamilians and north Indians are dominating.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [8] Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'lore

    Sun, Nov 15 2020

    There’s a wide difference between refugees from ME countries migrated to Europe and coming to India from three neighbouring countries. Refugees from Middle East were not driven out by persecution. They are those who fled due to civil war and lawlessness in their countries. They have willingly left their countries in search of green pastures in Europe and the US, taking with them their arrogance, aggressiveness and fanaticism. Thousands among them are well to do moneyed people. On the contrary refugees from neighbouring countries are compelled to take shelter in our land because of religious persecution, who had been systematically oppressed and decimated over the years.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Report Abuse


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