On the tenth of September 2010, the representative of the European Parliament – at the time – “Marie Le Pen” chaired a public meeting of the National Front Party in Lyon, within the framework of the internal election campaign of the party, which resulted in her winning its presidency, to confront everyone with a process of media temptation through her speech that spoke On the Second World War, then I emerged from it to a strange comparison between the prayers that Muslims perform in some streets of Paris and the military occupation that France was subjected to during the war.
In her controversial speech, “Lupine” said that there are places that are regularly visited by a number of people “to monopolize public places,” which she described as “the occupation of parts of the public domain and neighborhoods where religious law is applied, and although there are no armored vehicles or soldiers, the matter is related to the occupation.” . This is what was commented by the French sociologist and historian “John Bobero” as a clever selection of words with the intention of suggesting that whole parts of French soil were taken from the republic .
This selection ensured that “Lupine” performed its impossible task of balancing between the centrist orientation demanded by the leadership and its competitive desire to win over its competitor, so it resorted to the mask of secularism as saw “Bobero” who also believes that secularism is the magic word that obscures the shameful appearance of the opinions adopted Especially when it is combined with the word sectarianism. Indeed, this debate at the Lyon conference extended to a shorthand question of French public opinion: “Should not in the name of secularism condemn prayers in the street?” .
In this context, we can observe the rapid rise of the extreme right in Europe and the United States, and its relationship to the populist discourse to mobilize the masses behind some issues. Chief among them is Islamophobia – or Islamophobia – and criticism of the phenomenon of immigration. According to Rabeh Zoghouni , the far-right parties – as a unified ideological cohort – seek through their anti-immigration and anti-immigrant program a discourse that limits immigration and the threat of immigrants, portraying immigrants as the most important threat to ethno-national identity, unemployment and crime in Europe. What are the reasons for the rise of this right, and does secularism express a position consistent with Islam and different cultures, or is it purely a mask of a balance – as “Lupine” did – between the issued image and the underlying truth?
Among many analyzes, some refer the interpretation of the story of the rise of the right-wing in Europe to a number of transformations that contributed to the decline in the popularity of the traditional left and right; So that the blossoming of the extreme right came about as a punitive reaction from the masses rather than a conviction with the programs of the extreme right, in what is termed the protest vote , which, according to Christian Voss , expressed the widening circle of discontent about the policies of the right and the left in particular, what It dispersed the traditional loyalty of the parties and thus changed the usual voting rules of the electorate.
The first of these changes seems to be related to the economic input. According to Zoghouni, many researches since the 1960s have focused on studying the impact of economic and social change on the values and attitudes of the electorate, which is what we observe in the “quiet reverse revolution” model of ” Piero Ignazi, “who explained the rise of the extreme right because of his speech that was able to touch a broad class of peoples who did not find their way in the traditional right or left discourse.
It is this class that has not been able to adapt to the transformations of the globalized economy that does not recognize nationalities or affiliations, or are victims of modernity in other words, as they found themselves “in a marginalized situation with the increase in unemployment rates.” Therefore, the increasing influx of immigrants and the reception of asylum seekers from third world countries, mainly to Europe, revived in this group the concepts of racism and xenophobia.
This in turn created a “favorable environment for extremist political forces and the emergence of extremist leaders with increasing popularity” , and produced – as previously explained – a pattern of punitive voting, an expression of discontent with traditional political forces rather than a conviction with the programs of the extreme right, which is what it translated The result of the French elections; Where “Marie Le Pen” achieved the best result in the history of the far right by qualifying for the second round of the elections, then winning 33% of the total votes; In other words, about 10 million voters saw in her extremist rhetoric the goal of their hope, which is what voters in the United States have already achieved when Donald Trump won his presidential seat.
It is clear from this that a cultural and civilizational point of view stands – it is the other – behind this remarkable rise of the extreme right, which coincides greatly with the trends and feelings of the electorate, in solidarity with the economic and political approaches, which began to spread after the events of September 11 by creating a state of discontent Towards the other – Muslims and Arabs in particular -, which the extreme right has managed to exploit with populist discourses that do not carry specific programs of action, but which exploit topics such as the Islamic threat, the threat of Western life values, the burden of immigrants, etc.
This flexible adaptation to cultural and political changes is what liberated the far right from traditional discourses and prepared it to adopt a discourse based on nationalism, ethnicity, and cultural unity of the nation and its national traditions against the threat of strangers. This speech, which “met with a broad societal demand, and the result came in the form of an equivalent vote from the European citizen to the extreme right, which was able to reduce the fear and anxiety of individuals about the threat of immigrants” , so how did the political and rhetorical reality towards these immigrants become?
If it was permissible to divide the Western dealings with the other, Muslims and Arab immigrants in particular, and we wanted to set a date / event and pray for this division, it would have been – according to many – the eleventh of September 2001 and the famous events of the bombing of the two trade towers in the United States, and the practices that followed. Anti-Muslim racism, which was followed by the so-called war on terror, which some saw as a war against Islam and Muslims in the name of terrorism, targeting in the first place the Muslim community in Western countries that resorted to it in order to find security “under the influence of slogans of freedom and equality,” but it collided with a different reality that looks To it as a source of threat to the unity and security of the state .
Which can be included – according to some – to the clash of civilizations that the American “Samuel Huntington” dealt with in a book of the same name, which caused more resonance in Europe than it did in the United States itself; Given the “fears and panic that Europe is experiencing due to the spread of the phenomenon of a clash of cultures within European borders between Islam and the West,” which observers considered “a prelude to the wider clash of civilizations expected in the twenty-first century along the borders between the West and Islam” .
Looking at a number of events that have become famous in the current century, we will find that this clash has already taken shape and took an acute and violent form of racist practices, such as the cartoons offensive to the Prophet Muhammad, the issues of incriminating the headscarf in France, the issue of banning minarets in Switzerland, and calls to limit immigration in Germany. This can be seen in some of the declarations and slogans of the European far-right parties .
The most prominent of these slogans is what we find in the popular right-wing Austrian party, which described Islam as the first enemy of the Austrian nation, Europe and the world at large, as well as its Danish counterpart, which warned the masses during its election campaign of the danger of Islam to Western civilization in general, and at the head of all comes the French National Front, which took Islamophobia included a propaganda method in his 2017 election campaign by “Marie Le Pen” .
Likewise, we find in a number of individual statements by right-wing politicians and officials the same thing, such as the statement of “Umberto Bossi”, the leader of the Italian Leganord Party, who described Islam as the greatest threat to European culture, which was repeated in the words of “Geert Felders”, the leader of the Dutch People’s Party, who compared Islam with fascism and considered Muslims Backward, they must be prevented from immigrating to his country , just like “Theo Sarrazin”, the representative of the German Social Democratic Party, which considered Muslim immigrants a reason for the impoverishment of his country and made its citizens more stupid because they are less intelligent – genetically – than the Germans , which resulted in a case From the sharp hostility between this extreme right in secular-sponsored countries and the claims of freedoms towards immigrants who did not aspire to more than freedom in practicing their beliefs.
Concepts always possess two facts: the truth of the term, and the truth of the meaning practiced in reality. To the extent that the two facts agree, the term is consistent with the meaning that it expresses, and vice versa. In this context, we find the writer and researcher “Tabibi Gamari”  who deals with Islamophobia as a false term for a real phenomenon. On the theoretical level, researchers see Islamophobia as “a set of previous fears and rulings towards Islam and Muslims and the issues related to them” .
These fears may often amount to violent, aggressive behaviors, whether they are actual, such as cases of persecution and physical attacks, or symbolic, such as the previously mentioned statements made by the leaders of the far right. However, “Ghomari” believes that the term “Islamophobia” does not properly express this fact, but rather – in fact – beautifies it without stigmatizing it with shame, which led some, such as thinker Omar Orhoun, to use Islamophobia as an expression of “intolerance and racial discrimination against Muslims and Islam “.
And because the concept – in general – is considered an “ideological shipment developed to serve the party that seeks to build and spread it,” the word “phobia” here implies a phobia that expresses a “pathological” condition, which in a way frees the aggressor from the sin of his aggression; As Islamophobic behavior “is supposed to have two parties: the victim and the perpetrator,” and in our case here, the perpetrator becomes “a victim who only defends herself, her society and her civilization” .
Whereas in the case of another concept, which is well-known, which is “anti-Semitism”, “Ghamari” believes that the culprit in this concept is independent of his criminal offense. The concept identifies the perpetrator as a criminal because he describes him as an enemy, while the meaning would not be confused if the term was “samophobia”, This prompted “Ghamari” to say that using the term Islamophobia with the suffering of Muslims from racist practices and hate speech represents a process of distorting the meaning that protects the perpetrator and justifies his act.
Under such a concept, we can understand the escalating wave of actual attacks by citizens against Muslims and Arabs, prompted by a political rhetoric that practices this attack symbolically. Perhaps the most famous of these attacks is the “Christchurch” incident in New Zealand, in which a right-wing extremist terrorist killed fifty people in two mosques in the city during Friday prayers ”, which the New York Times commented on as the latest evidence of the growing ideology of the extreme right in the West, and that anyone who helped propagate and spread the myth that Muslims represent a global threat, their hands are stained with blood, according to its expression  .
Foreign Policy magazine also warned that hostility to Islam has become a global trend, with the rise of the right in the West, indicating that in light of this fact, the New Zealand attack could be repeated in other places. According to a report prepared by BBC Arabic, The right’s rhetoric itself, in many Western countries, justifies its hostility to Muslims and immigrants by accusing them of seeking to change the culture of the Western countries to which they are introduced.
This is in addition to talking about most Islamic societies being closed in on themselves and not integrating, which is what Islamic activists responded to – according to the report – that Muslim communities in Western countries are doing everything they can for integration, but the truth according to them – as the report mentioned – is that they do not receive Welcome, whether by political institutions or groups . Will the near future carry a state of calm for Muslim minorities, or will the rise of the extreme right continue its march with its symbolic violence and its effects on the masses?