Europe's Far-right Parties, Feeling Vindicated, Respond to Paris Attack

An overview of some of the positions expressed by far-right right parties in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

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 bullet impact is seen in a window of a building next to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015.
bullet impact is seen in a window of a building next to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Credit: AP

Many European far-right right parties see their positions vindicated by the bloody attack on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.

In the hours and days since the shooting, its leaders have charged that Islam has revealed its true, violent face and have urged a change to European immigration policies.

Here is an overview of some of their positions.


"We have to de-Islamicize our country," Dutch populist Geert Wilders said in reaction to the attack.

The leader of the opposition Party of Freedom (PVV) called for immigration from Muslim countries to be stopped and jihadists to be extradited.

"It's Islam that inspires murders time and again," he argued.

In an interview with the Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad, he predicted that like-minded parties and movements such as Britain's UKIP, Germany's Pegida and France's Front National (National Front) would gain strength in the wake of the attacks.

"The revolution is coming," he said.


The head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farrage, said on television that as a result of multiculturalism, a small number of radicals had set up a "fifth column" in European countries.

"We've got people living in these countries, holding our passports, who hate us," he said.


The new German movement Pegida also clearly felt vindicated in its positions by the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

"The Islamists, which Pegida has been warning about for 12 weeks, have shown in France that they are not capable of democracy, and instead look to violence and death as a solution," the group said on Facebook.

"Our politicians want us to believe the opposite. Must such a tragedy first occur here in Germany?" the group asked.

Pegida, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, has been drawing increasing numbers to its weekly rallies since it was founded in October.

Austria and Switzerland

Reactions were more muted among the strong rightists parties in other German-speaking countries.

The head of Austria's Freedom Party (FPOe), Heinz-Christian Strache, called for more active policies against the radicalization within the Muslim community.

Nearly 170 people have left Austria to join jihadists in Syria and Iraq, according to the Austrian police intelligence agency.

"After yesterday's attack in Paris, we have to stop this ostrich policy of sticking our heads into the sand when it comes to radical Islam," the opposition party leader said Thursday.

The populist and nationalist Swiss People's Party (SVP) remained quiet, except for parliamentarian Walter Wobmann, who said his country should stop admitting Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers because they could be terrorists in disguise.


Some of the loudest anti-Islam slogans in Europe have come from Italy's Northern League, an anti-migrant opposition party with close links to the French National Front.

"Let's block the clandestine INVASION immediately. Let's check by whom, how and why there is funding of MOSQUES and Islamic centres," Northern League leader Matteo Salvini wrote in a first reaction on Facebook.

He questioned whether the tens of thousands of immigrants that had arrived in Italy last year might include future terrorists.

The head of Italy's third-largest political force also demanded that Muslims declare their condemnation of the Paris attack.

"In Italy there are supposed to be 2 million Muslims. What are they waiting for before hitting the streets to condemn the massacre?" he wrote.

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