For years jihadists have exploited a few persistent issues: NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. What’s new is the rising power and influence of xenophobic, anti-Muslim parties that are making Europe an ever-more target-rich environment for the terrorists. “The far right and the jihadis need one another,” says anthropologist Scott Atran, who is frequently consulted by U.S. government agencies about the social and organizational characteristics of terrorist organizations. In Europe especially there’s a growing impression that Muslims with immigrant backgrounds are “being thrown to the wolves,” says Atran. That fear plays directly into the jihadists’ propaganda. “This is politics,” says an architect of French counterterrorist strategy, declining to be named talking about his bosses. “But it does not help stop terrorists.”An oft-used movie line came to mind as I read that.
The most conspicuous provocateur at present is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. His anti-Islam, anti-immigrant Freedom Party is expected to have a pivotal role in the conservative coalition government still taking shape nearly four months after elections. Wilders first came to international attention in 2008 as producer of a film called Fitna, attacking Islam as a repressive ideology. “I think he hoped there would be riots, and nothing like that happened,” says Edwin Bakker of the Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
"Just give them what they want and they'll leave us alone."
There were passengers on three jet airliners on September 11, 2001 that heard the same line before they were slaughtered. Passengers on the fourth plane didn't buy it and fought back, likely saving U.S. Capitol building from a direct hit.
h/t to Weasel Zippers