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Jakarta Post

Near east and the nearer Brussels

Anis H. Bajrektarevic
Vienna   ●   Tue, March 29, 2016

There is a claim constantly circulating the EU: '€œmulticulturalism is dead in Europe'€™'€™. Dead or maybe d(r)ead? That much comes from a cluster of European nation-states that love to romanticize '€” in a grand metanarrative of dogmatic universalism '€” their appearance as a coherent union, as if they themselves lived a long, cordial and credible history of multiculturalism.

Hence, this claim and its resonating debate is of course false. It is also cynical because it is purposely deceiving. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates '€” that of European anti-fascistic identity, or otherness '€” to the wing-parties. This was repeatedly followed by the selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions of the EU over the last two decades.

Twin Paris shootings and this fresh Brussels horror, terrible beyond comprehension, will reload and overheat those debates. However, these debates are ill conceived, resting from the start on completely wrong and misleading premises.

Terrorism, terror, terrorism! '€” But, terror is a tactics, not an ideology. How can one conduct and win war on tactics? '€” it is an oxymoron. (In that case, only to win are larger budgets for the homeland security apparatus on expenses of our freedoms and liberties, like so many times before.)

The fact that these individuals are (again) allegedly of Arab-Muslim origins and seemingly clero-indoctrinated does not make them less fascists, less European, nor does it abolish Europe from the main responsibility in this case. How do we define that challenge will answer us whether we live the real democracy or are blinded by the formal one.

Fascism and its evil twin, Nazism, are 100 percent European ideologies. Neo-Nazism also originates from and lately unchecked blossoms, primarily in Europe. Many would dare say of today; an über-economy in the center of continent, surrounded from all sides by the recuperating neo-fascism.

How else to explain that the post-World War II come-and-help-our-recovery slogan '€˜'€˜gastarbeiter willkommen'€™'€™ became an '€˜'€˜Auslander raus'€™'€™ roar in a matter of only two decades, or precisely since the triumph of the free will '€” fall of the Berlin Wall.

Suddenly, our national purifiers extensively shout '€œstop überfremdung of EU, we need de-ciganization'€œ of our societies, as if it historically does not always end up in one and only possible way '€” self-barbarization. In response, the socially marginalized and ghettoized '€œforeigners'€œ are calling for the creation of gastarbeiterpartie.

Indeed, the first political parties for foreigners are already created in Austria, with similar calls in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Their natural coalition partner would never be any of the main political parties.

We should know by now, how the diverting of the mounting socio-economic discontent and generational disfranchising through ethno engineering will end up, don'€™t we?

Illuminating cradles of millennial multiculturalism '€” some of the brightest verticals of entire human civilization such as Jerusalem, Baghdad and Damascus still suffer unbearable horrors of externally induced, rather a historical destruction, hatred and perpetuated purges.

With such a dismal '€œexport'€œ record, universal claim of the European political system or even its historic perspective does not hold water any longer, hardly appealing to anyone anymore.

Europe still defies the obvious. There is no lasting peace at home if the neighborhood remains restless. Ask Americans living at the Mexican border, or Turks next to Syria.

The horrific double Paris massacre and this fresh Brussel'€™s shock is yet another a painful reminder of how much the EU has already isolated itself.

For unreasonably long, Europe promoted in the Middle East and Africa everything but the stability and prosperity of its own post-World War II socioeconomic model. No wonder that today, instead of blossoming neighborhood, the EU is encircled by the ring of politico-military instability and socioeconomic despair. The colonial overstretch/economic chauvinism, yesterday abroad '€” means a moral overkill, today at home.

In this context, one should understand also the Oxfam study '€œWealth: Having it All and Wanting More'€œ released in January. It documents into a detail, all the enormous wealth accumulation on the side of 1 percent over the last 25 years, as well as the further acceleration of wealth gap.

Rather mistakenly, many would consider 99 percent as a principal victim, although 99 percent themselves are primarily, sustained and for years, responsible for this cleavage by ignoring and silencing it.)

Hence, when there is no opportunity, give at least a lame (Spring) hope. That is what Europe keenly helped with in the Middle East: The very type of Islam Europe supported in the Middle East yesterday, is the version of Islam (or better to say, fascism), we are getting today in the Christian Europe as well as in the Christian neighborhoods of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Thus, in response to the Balkans, MENA and Ukraine crises, the EU repeatedly failed to keep up a broad, single-voiced consolidated agenda and all-participatory basis with its strategic neighborhood. The EU missed it all '€” although having institutions, World War II-memory, interest credibility and ability to prevent mistakes.

The very same mistakes it did before at home; by silently handing over one of its most important questions, that of European identity, anti-fascism and otherness, to escapist anti-politics (politics in retreat) dressed up in the Western European wing-parties.

Eventually, the '€œlast world'€™s cosmopolitan'€œ '€” as the EU is often self-portrayed '€” compromised its own perspectives and discredited its own transformative power'€™s principle. The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, EU did so by undermining its own institutional framework: the Nurnberg principles and firm antifascist legacy, Barcelona Process as the specialized segment of from-Morocco-to-Russia European Neighborhood Policy and the Euro-Med partnership.

The only direct involvement of the continent was ranging between a selective diplomatic de-legitimization, satanization in media, false-flag or proxy assaults, and punitive military engagements via the Atlantic-Central Europe-led coalition of the willing (the Balkans, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine).

This naturally results in a massive influx of refugees, a consequence to which Europeans usually respond by criminalizing migrations and penalizing the immigrants'€™ way of life. Confrontational nostalgia prevailed again over both that is essential for any viable future: Dialogue (instruments) and consensus (institutions).

The consequences are rather striking and worth of stating once more: The sort of Islam that the EU supported (and the means deployed to do so) in the Middle East yesterday, is the sort of Islam (and the means it uses) that Europe gets today.

Small wonder, that Islam in Turkey (or in Kyrgyzstan and in Indonesia) is broad, liberal and tolerant while the one in Atlantic-Central Europe is a brutally dismissive, narrow and vindictively assertive.

Our urgent task '€” if we are any serious about Europe '€” is denazification. Not a one-time event, but a lasting process. Let'€™s start from Bosnia, Ukraine and Brussels at once.

The writer is chairperson and professor in international law and global political studies. His most recent book Geopolitics '€” Energy '€” Technology was released by the German publisher LAP. No Asian Century is his forthcoming book, scheduled for later this year.