Terrorist organizations and extreme right are just two sides of the same coin

By: Huda AL Ebyawy

  • | Wednesday, 11 August, 2021
Terrorist organizations and extreme right are just two sides of the same coin

       Over the past few years, the rise of the right-wing parties has fueled extremism and caused the concerns of the Muslim communities in the West, seeing their hostile rhetoric against immigrants in general and Muslim immigrants in particular. The rise of these extreme right-wing parties coincided with the rise in hostility against Muslims, also known as "Islamophobia", which is partly based on the stereotyping of immigrant Muslims. In the following lines, we are going to highlight what the far-right movements are, and discuss why they see Muslims as a cause of problems in their countries.

        The term “extreme right” or “far Right” is used to describe right-wing political, social and religious movements that exist outside of and are more radical than mainstream conservatism. In the United States, the extreme right consists primarily of two large, slightly overlapping spheres. In one sphere is the white supremacist movement, including its various submovements, such as neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, and the alt right, among others. In the other sphere are anti-government extremist movements such as the militia movement and sovereign citizens (collectively, this sphere is often referred to as the “Patriot” movement). Also, in the extreme right there are several “single-issue” movements, each of which tends to be the extreme wing of a more mainstream conservative movement; these include anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigrant extremists, anti-Muslim extremists, and anti-public lands extremists, among others.

       Most of these parties have the same anti-immigrant attitude, especially against Muslims, and consider that the Islamic identity is not suitable for the West and that the majority of the immigrant Muslim communities cannot be integrated into the societies in which they live. Some others go extreme in their views, believing that Muslims are all terrorists. What increases the fears of the Muslim communities in the West is the endeavors of some western governments and political parties to outbid what the far-right parties propose, with the aim of winning more electoral votes, which prompts governments to take steps against the Muslim communities to strengthen their position in the electoral street.

        Observers refer in this regard to the French case, where some of them spoke of an attempt by the French President Emmanuel Macron to identify with the calls of the extreme right in order to win electoral votes, and Macron had sparked a great controversy in early October last year when he indicated in his speech that the Muslims of France could form a "counter-society", and that Islam was facing a "crisis" all over the world, before revealing his plan to address what he considered a "parallel society" in France. Observers interpreted Macron's speech at the time, as nothing but an attempt to win the votes of right-wing voters in the French presidential elections scheduled for April 2022.   

  The Head of the UK’s domestic intelligence service MI5, Ken McCallum, has warned of the recent trend of far-right extremists to recruit children under the age of 13. He said the threat from right-wing groups had "grown and morphed quite substantially over the last five to ten years". It is worth mentioning that McCallum's comments came in his annual security speech at MI5 headquarters in central London, in which he also emphasized the continuity of extremist right-wing terrorism, saying that the far-right threat was "sadly here to stay."

    This warning accentuates what the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Prof. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb has emphasized on many occasions where he noted that the terrorist organizations like ISIS and the extreme right are just two sides of the same coin. Al-Azhar always calls for giving greater attention to the activities of the extreme right in the West, for they are no less dangerous than the activities of terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.



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