Paris attacks will be 'told-you-so' moment for Europe's far right
The horrific twin attacks in Paris last week have sent shockwaves throughout Europe. Political leaders from across the EU joined millions of French mourners on Sunday, and Europeans-at-large continue to pay tribute with public vigils, flowers and candles, and minutes of silence.
Yet this outpouring of solidarity must not obscure another response across the continent. Leaders of Europe's far-right have been quick to blame Islam and immigration, mosques have been defaced in France and elsewhere, and a xenophobic movement called "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the Occident" brought tens of thousands to the streets of Germany this week. This extreme strand of European publics and politics will likely receive a boost from the French tragedy.
Anti-immigration and anti-Islamic sentiments have been on a steady rise in Europe for years. While a majority of Europeans appreciates mobility and migration within the European Union, they are largely negative about immigration from outside of the EU, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.
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Dr. Joerg Forbrig is a transatlantic fellow for Central and Eastern Europe, and director of the Fund for Belarus Democracy.