EU Highlights ‘Growing Menace of Right-wing Extremism’ Day After Westminster Attack
Top Eurocrat Julian King urged people “to keep in mind the growing menace of Right-wing violent extremism” just one day after a radical Islamic terrorist murdered a number of people in Westminster, London.
King, the European Commissioner for the Security Union and the only British member of President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet, was speaking at the launch of a book entitled: The Challenge of Jihadist Radicalisation in Europe and Beyond.
“I think we also need to keep in mind the growing menace of Right-wing violent extremism,” he said.
“I’d just like to pause for one moment on this” he emphasised, “I’m not aware of a single EU member state that is not affected in some way by Right-wing violent extremism.”
EurActiv reported that, while King did not believe “every white racist attack was a backlash to jihadist violence”, he did suggest that “Right-wing extremism can have an impact on [Islamist] radicalisation”.
The Commissioner did not substantiate this, beyond referencing an alleged increase in “attacks against mosques and asylum centres”.
He was also raised “the brutal murder in the UK of the British Member of Parliament, Jo Cox” by Thomas Mair – a man with a history of mental illness who was turned away after attempting to seek treatment the day before he carried out his attack.
King claimed that “such attacks are no less appalling [than Islamic terrorism] but tend sometimes to go less reported and to attract less attention”. The attack on Mrs. Cox received intense, days-long coverage in the media.
King also referenced the example of Norwegian shooter Anders Brevik – whose victims were drawn overwhelmingly from the white majority population, much like Mrs. Cox in the UK – as “a horrible reminder of devastation one violent extremist can inflict”.
Right-wing extremism, King concluded, “exists in its own right, and we need to be conscious of that and we need to take that into account when we’re thinking about how most effectively to counter radicalisation. Radicalisation comes in different shapes and forms.”
King did not draw a distinction between Mair and Brevik and the “Right-wing” as a whole; however, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted the attack in Westminster was not reflective of Islam and therefore “not an act of faith”.
“It is wrong to describe this as Islamic terrorism,” she said. “It is a perversion of a great faith.”