On far-right Breivikism

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“ While the far right has always been obsessed with Jewish people, today’s far right is fixated too with Muslims and Islam. After three Islamist terrorist attacks in just a few weeks, some believe that Muslims as a whole are a fifth column, an internal menace to western civilisation. And that’s what leads on to what you could call ‘Breivikism’. In 2011, the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik launched an Islamophobic attack that did not target Muslims. Instead, he targeted young socialists, whom he believed were traitors responsible for mass immigration, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. According to this worldview, the left is the enabler of Islam, and therefore just as culpable for the destruction of the west ”

Owen Jones, ‘Far-right extremists are cornered and dangerous. They must be challenged’, The Guardian

On Britain’s business community opinion on EU migrants

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“ It includes a poll of more than 1,000 companies, weighted to represent Britain’s business community, which finds that 23% believe allowing in an unlimited amount of EU migrants with a job offer would have a negative impact on their organisation. More than a third (35%) of businesses in low-wage industries said they recruited EU nationals because they cannot fill the positions with UK-born applicants, signalling that labour shortages could result from a clampdown. There was even more disquiet about stricter schemes among the 91% of companies that expected to hire EU migrants. Some 28% warned that giving skilled EU workers five-year visas would hurt them. More (30%) said that one-year visas for unskilled workers would do damage ”

 Michael Savage, ‘Big business leaders press Theresa May to rethink hard Brexit’, The Guardian

On the need to focus on actions, not words, in US politics

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“ What remains striking about Trump, however, is how much of the push back against him is provoked by his words, and how Americans are prone to ascribe weight to those words. This is not a Trump phenomenon. It is a very American one, stretching back many years, and starkly evident during Obama’s tenure just as much as it is during Trump’s early months in the White House. In short, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to action. We have a cultural tendency to assume that words, political words, are reflections of reality, when very often they are not (…)  Between 2009 and 2013, there were more deportations than at any other point in American history, close to 3 million people. Many have noted that, under Obama, authorities made a point of de-emphasizing non-violent undocumented immigrants and allowing them a degree of protection from deportation. But according to Ice records, about half of all deportations in those years were for non-violent immigrants. It is true that immigration policy changed during Obama’s second term, with much greater emphasis on criminal immigrants. But it is equally true that the actions of his first term should have created widespread panic that deportation was a clear and present threat. Yet while many Hispanics, who tended to be more directly affected by these harsh immigration policies, were critical of Obama’s immigration approach in his first term, they remained supportive of him and positive about his administration overall. Unlike Trump, Obama’s soaring and inclusive words created a culture of hope that served to offset the way his actions were perceived ”

Zachary Karabell, ‘Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words’, The Guardian

On the strict correlation between European colonialism and imperialism and immigration

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“ In the French case, it is impossible to maintain a settler colonial regime on your own doorstep for over 100 years, with all the brutality inherent to such a project, without telling yourself certain stories by way of justification. If you can convince yourself that you are the agent of modernity and progress, while your colonial subjects are backward, superstitious and irrationally violent, then massacres, torture and repression become regrettable necessities or understandable aberrations. Then, when your subjects in north Africa and elsewhere overthrow your rule, end your empire, and then in some cases come to your country as economic migrants or refugees, you are ready to see these developments as a humiliation, an insult and a threat (…) The reality is that in Britain and France much of our patriotism has been toxified by imperial self-satisfaction, an inherited sense of superiority over others, and a refusal to climb down from this through an honest reappraisal of our history. It is here that we find the roots of the post-imperial status anxiety that characterises the rightwing Brexiteers. It is also here that we find the instinct to see Muslims as uncivilised, immigrants as an economic burden, and refugees as cockroaches or just chancers on the scrounge ”

David Wearing, ‘Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to his colonial past’, The Guardian

On the history of French anti-immigrant sentiment exploited by the Front National

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“ There is a lot of assumption that far-right anti-immigrant sentiment is driven by this increasing prevalence of Muslim immigrants. There has been politicization of immigration and in particular attacks on Muslims, like the ban on headscarves in public schools — an absurd and racist measure passed in 2004. At the same time, mass immigration from the Arab and Muslim world, and from the French colonies, has been a permanent feature of post–World War II life. The numbers kept increasing in the decades following that war, from the Maghreb, during the 1960s and 1970s. There was a lot of racism during that time. During France’s brutal colonial war in Algeria, there was an infamous incident in 1961 when a police captain ordered the massacre of several hundred Algerian pro-independence demonstrators; the police then dumped their bodies into the Seine River ”

Jonah Birch, ‘The Centrist Cul-de-Sac’, Jacobin Magazine

On the failure of the Dutch Labour party

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” The Dutch Labour party in this election framed their anti-migration arguments as protecting workers – but the party’s real problem was that it was in coalition with the centre-right government until 2014 and pushed through painful cuts to pensions and healthcare. Voters have not forgiven it ”

Randeep Ramesh, ‘Geert Wilders was beaten, but at the cost of fueling racism in the Netherlands’, The Guardian

On how anti-immigrant policies hurt women

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” The truth is that anti-immigrant policies are much more likely to hurt women than help them; look no further than the undocumented woman in Texas who was arrested while seeking a protective order against an abusive partner. Or how immigrant and refugee women across the world are at an increased risk for sexual assault and rape ”

Jessica Valenti, ‘Don’t let feminism get hijacked for racist ends’, The Guardian