For the last few decades, Europe has been a haven for Islamic migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Despite the terror attacks and extremist preachings of Maulvis, the countries of the continent kept welcoming more and more migrants from Islamic countries, due to their liberal consensus. But in the last few years, especially after Trump came to the United States and changed the Western policy consensus on migration, one country after another in Europe is shutting its door for migrants from Islamic countries.
The most liberal of the European countries like Sweden and Denmark, which were earlier known as the heaven for refugees and migrants from Islamic countries, have revolted, and campaigns like ‘Stop Islamization of Europe’ are getting widespread popularity.
The most important and impactful anti-Islamization drive is being led by Emmanuel Macron in France. Macron, who was considered one of their own by liberals and Islamists, is leading the crackdown on Islamism in France. The crackdown was followed by the beheading of Samuel Paty, a schoolteacher, for showing the cartoons of Prophet Muhammed, that were published in Charlie Hebdo.
Since the killing of Paty by Islamists in October 2020, French police inspected a total of 24,000 places and has closed down 650 places for allegedly housing extremists. They also closed five Muslim associations for promoting ‘Political Islam’ in the country.
According to the French Interior minister Gerald Darmanin, a total of 10 associations are to be closed, and 205 bank accounts associated with these associations have been confiscated. They also expelled two Imams in the process. The minister added that religious officials will not be able to visit the country after 2023, and those who are currently residing will not get their resident permits renewed.
Perhaps owing to various terror attacks in the last two years, be it the ghastly November 2015 Paris terror attacks which killed 130 people or the Nice truck attack in 2016, multiple knife attacks every year, and encounters with extremist ideologies, Macron has done a complete volte-face when it comes to tackling the illegal immigrants and Islamists.
France is facing a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Northern Africa and West Asia, and its southern borders are constantly under siege. The influx has been particularly unchecked during the last decade as refugees as well as extremists have been pouring into Europe from countries like Libya and Syria where regime-change wars and terrorism have rendered millions displaced. However, France now, with the largest population of Muslims in Europe, is reacting to the dire effects of the ideology that the influx has brought with it.
In Sweden, which was so far an ideal location for refugees and Islamist immigrants, Sweden Democrats, a party founded almost three decades ago but never mainstream, emerged as the third-largest party in the 2018 general election, riding on the anti-immigrant sentiment among the Swedish people. There are good chances that the party will win the 2022 general election, and if it comes to power, Sweden will completely close its gates for Islamists and illegal immigrants.
In Austria, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is already in power and the country has taken a very hard stance against Islamists, going as far as publishing an Islamic map, identifying the locations of mosques and Muslim concentrated localities.
In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, the leader of the party for freedom, which campaigns on the ideology of anti-Islam and anti-immigrant, grabbed a double-digit vote share in the last general election.
In Britain, the conservative party is already in power but it is yet to take any hard action against Islamist groups. However, the views of Prime Minister Boris Johnson on these issues are well-known.
Across Europe, either the anti-Islamist leaders and parties are already in power or they are garnering double-digit vote (above 25% vote is winning share in most of these countries) vote share. France and Austria are leading the anti-Islamist campaign in Europe and other countries are already tightening their migration laws or plan to do so in the coming year. The decade of 2020s is not going to be good for Islam and Islamists in Europe.