The European dynamics: islamophobia, radical parties and European values : a critical analysis of current developments in Western Europe
Europe has in the past few decades seen a rise in political parties whose agenda differs quite significantly from other established European political parties. The aim of these relatively new parties is to change aspects in society which they see as problematic, and which threaten the traditional European traditions and values. One such threat often pointed out by the parties is the growth of the Muslim minority in Europe. Anti-Muslim sentiments are frequently used in the political rhetoric of the parties, whose ideas are legitimised through increased hostility towards Muslims among Europeans in general. This paper will analyse the dynamics between the increased intolerance towards Muslims in Europe, the popularity of the parties who use anti-Islamic speech to gain popularity, and the possible effects on the European value system as stated by the European Union and the Council of Europe. The conclusion drawn is that core European values are threatened by increased European intolerance towards the Muslim minority, and if the situation is not taken seriously, the values by which Europe defines itself might be weakened in the future.