In Europe, where’s the hate?

Gary Younge“Over the past year or so the rural Italian idyll of Colle di Val d’Elsa has played host to a bitter battle for Enlightenment values. On one side, the hamlet’s small Muslim community has raised a considerable amount of money to build a large mosque. Having gained the mayor’s approval, the Muslims signed a declaration of cooperation with the town hall and even planted a Christmas tree at the site as a good-will gesture.

“In response, other locals pelted them with sausages and dumped a severed pig’s head at the site. On a wall near the site vandals daubed: ‘No Mosque’, ‘Christian Hill’ and ‘Thanks to the communists the Arabs are in our house!!!’ Such is the central dynamic in European race relations at present.

“… the primary threat to democracy in Europe is not ‘Islamofascism’ – that clunking, thuggish phrase that keeps lashing out in the hope that it will one day strike a meaning – but plain old fascism. The kind whereby mostly white Europeans take to the streets to terrorize minorities in the name of racial, cultural or religious superiority.”

Gary Younge in the Nation, 20 December 2007