More than a few members of Europe's political establishment appear to believe that Pim Fortuyn -- the frank anti-immigration Dutch politician who was assassinated Monday, allegedly by a leftist activist -- had it coming.
... In response to his killing, El Mundo, a leading Spanish paper, cast much of the blame on the victim in convoluted but clearly angry prose: "A criminal response to the incendiary racist calls of these distant heirs of Nazism, introduces a terrible new element in a Europe that is fearful and harassed by demagoguery: that of vengeful violence, which can only engender more violence."
... Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel implied that the dead man had been just too darn democratic for a modern Euro-democracy: "Democratic parties have to campaign in a very cautious way, and in a balanced and serene way to try to orientate the debate toward democratic values.
... The Irish Times editorialized, "It is the very essence of democracy to allow anti-democratic views to be expressed." Apparently, trying to win an election on an anti-immigration plank is inherently "anti-democratic."
... Mainstream newspapers and politicians hinted that Fortuyn was a racist, a fascist or even a Nazi. The Irish Times went on: "Nevertheless the murder will serve to highlight the rise of the far right in European politics and may in the long run gain votes for those involved in simplistic, racially-motivated campaigns. Today, on the 57th anniversary of the defeat of fascism, such trends strike a sad note."
... Norman Lamont, the former Tory chancellor of the exchequer, wrote, "Britain has been fortunate to avoid the rise of extreme Right-wing, hateful politicians like Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pim Fortuyn, the Dutchman who was murdered in Hilversum."
... Aftonbladet, the leading circulation Swedish newspaper, weighed in with, "The brown parties of Europe have a new martyr." Brown was Hitler's color.
To quote from my VDARE article later:
Holland's flamboyant gay immigration reformer had been gunned down on the verge of what later proved to be a major electoral breakthrough - just after Jean-Marie Le Pen's surprise second place finish in the opening round of the French presidential election had set off a continent-wide two-week campaign of virulent hatred toward immigration reformers.
When reports emerged that the leftwing lawyer who had shot Fortuyn was an animal rights activist, the European Establishment breathed a sigh of relief. The gunman was just some animal rights loony. Vilification of immigration reformers had nothing to do with it.
Well, guess what? The assassin, Volkert van der Graaf, finally made his confession in court this last week. And—what do you know! – he says he killed Fortuyn largely for opposing Muslim immigration.
The London Daily Telegraph reported:
"Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr. Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as 'scapegoats' and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" to try to gain political power. He said: 'I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself.'"
The Boston Globe noted:
"Van der Graaf said that he had sensed an increasingly unpleasant and anti-Muslim atmosphere in society after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States—a time when Fortuyn's star was beginning its meteoric rise. Van der Graaf said Fortuyn, 54, had tried to use that atmosphere for his own aggrandizement. 'I saw him as a highly vindictive man who used feelings in society to boost his personal stature. The ideas he had about refugees, asylum seekers, the environment, animals. . . . He was always using or abusing the weak side of society to get ahead.'"
"Van der Graaf claimed, according to the Algemeen Dagblad, he was greatly influenced by politicians who compared Fortuyn with Austrian far-right leader Jorg Haider and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini."