Migrant workers in Abu Dhabi, UAE, enjoy life in the enlightened Arab world.
Across Europe, the far-right is resurgent. Xenophobic, inward looking, suspicious of the ideas and people of the outside world: the political parties that wish to raise Europe’s drawbridge are once again making gains.
Old symbols have reappeared: the swastika in Germany, the totem of the European Union in Britain, the cry of “La Republique!” in France.
The differences, however, are surprisingly cosmetic. They are born of the same swamp of deprivation, the same fear of a changing order that has enriched only a few.
The language, however, has changed. The far-right used to worry about bloodlines. Now it fears “civilisational” collapse. Europe’s great fear of the Islamic empire at its gates has reappeared, only now it has turned its anger on its own minorities.
This language of “civilisation” has come from the top down. Watching Europe’s debate on free speech after the Charlie Hebdo attack was profoundly depressing, simply for the endless repetition of glittering generalities. Freedom of speech was elevated to a religious chant, despite the obvious – and, with the arrest in France of a comedian for writing a Facebook post, demonstrable – limits of free speech across the continent….
…Instead of explicitly using racial terms – Pakistani in Britain, Arab in France, African in Italy – they have grouped these together under the banner of “Islam”. With laws that defend against race-based hate speech, the far-right has gleefully spewed invective against one religion, confident that its supporters will understand the code word…
By Faisal al Yafai, identified only as a “journalist,” at UAE-based “National.”
Sorry, Faisal, if people have wised up. You might not get world wide Islam after all. What a pity!
Those evil European xenophobes! What a shame that they do not follow the Arab example — the Gulf states are shining lights on the subject of human rights and welcoming immigrants and refugees from around the world.
Their treatment of their many guest workers is legendary – true Arab hospitality! And of course, they are always allowed to stay and get the same goodies as the Arab-born citizens. We have so much learn from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and U.A.E.