There are increasing ties between the far left in Europe and Islamist groups, writes Joshua Kurlantzik in Commentary magazine (December). Last year, RW reported on how the Labor radicals and Islamic groups have forged an alliance in Britain, but Kurlantzik writes that these ties have also been growing throughout Europe in the last two years, particularly in some segments of the anti-globalization movement, often because of a common animus toward U.S. policies.
A new alliance was cemented last year between France’s Trotskyite Worker’s Struggle and Islamist groups. Throughout 2003 and 2004, some anti-globalists have joined with Muslims in resisting the war in Iraq and protesting the ban on Muslim headscarves in France, while sidestepping Islamist extreme rhetoric. At these events, more of which are planned for 2005, Islamist and anti-Semitic sentiments are commonplace, reports Kurlantzik.
He adds that last fall, an anti-globalist strategy meeting in Beirut was hosted by the Shiite terrorist group Hizballah along with other local Islamists and leftists. “In 2004 elections for local offices throughout Europe and for seats in the European Parliament, Islamic groups either worked together with leftists on joint lists or helped promote Left candidates in Belgium, Great Britain, and France, where the hard Left won five percent of the vote … The electoral advantages of this united front can only grow as immigration and high birthrates add to Europe‘s already sizable Muslim population.,“ he adds.
Disparate groups with different constituencies that in the past would have little contact, are now linking up via the Internet, Kurlantzik concludes.