The social polarisation of a globalised world continues. Toxic discourse around ethnicity, identity, citizenship, belonging and nationhood has led to the fracturing of communities along the lines of skin colour and accents rather than shared values. And although societies are far more conscious today to not tolerate racism, what is clear also is that fear and suspicion still breed ignorance, prejudice and bigotry. They become the stones that fuel xenophobic, populist movements rooted in reactionary politics.
The far-right have returned to increasing prominence, their racism masquerading as faux liberalism. Pulsing darkly through their movements remains a deep-seated dislike of those they see as ethnically and culturally different. With politicians increasingly unsure of how to defeat them, we risk veering towards the creation of right-wing, authoritarian societies not wired with empathy but natural hostility towards others.
These movements are a sore test of the values cherished by Western liberalism. As this report will show, the far-right have tracked plenty of support that has frayed the social cohesion of different countries. In a time when immigration and globalisation has created discontent and resentment, the far-right have provided misleading and simplistic answers to deeply complex problems that cannot be resolved simply by banning immigration and turning away all Muslims. As Jose Zuquete explained, “the threat that the Crescent will rise over the continent and the spectre of a Muslim Europe have become basic ideological features and themes of the European extreme right. Thus, the concept of ‘Islam’ galvanizes group action: as the group rallies a ‘defence’ against Islamization.”
The focus of this report will be on Generation Identity, who they are and what they stand for. In the wake of a global refugee crisis triggered by conflicts in the Middle-East, far-right groups such as Generation Identity have emerged portraying immigration and multiculturalism as physical and moral threats to their ways of life.