The European Union at 50-Xenophobia, Islamophobia and the Rise of the Radical Right

Yeşilyurt Gündüz Z.

JOURNAL OF MUSLIM MINORITY AFFAIRS, vol.30, no.1, pp.35-47, 2010 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Europe is a controversial continent. Although Europe stands for high values and fundamental rights, it simultaneously demonstrates a rise in Islamophobia-the fear of Islam and Muslims, and Xenophobia-the fear of immigrants, foreigners and strangers. On March 18, 2007, the European Union celebrated its 50th anniversary. Whereas it could be expected that the European Union should by now-at the age of 50-be mature enough to outgrow racism, the opposite seems to be the reality. The radical right has risen in an unprecedented way and what is even worse-the centre-right has adopted far rightist approach and by that has become more radical and radicalized. This article tries to explore these two interconnected topics: the discrimination against Muslims living in the EU member states and the dangerously rising phenomenon of the radical right, manifested in their national election results and in the radicalization of the agenda of the centre-right political parties. The author fears that these two trends endanger numerous ideals and ideas Europe stands for, and hopes that the EU can stop racism once and for all.