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    People gather for a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in the Manhattan borough of New York, January 7, 2015

    Council of Europe Head Warns of Surge in Far-Right Sentiment

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    Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland said Monday that the recent Islamist attacks against Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris could lead to rise of right-wing movements in Europe.

    MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) — The recent Islamist attacks against Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris could fuel far-right movements across Europe, which in turn would lead to more jihadists' violence, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland said Monday.

    “In Germany, people are marching in the streets because they believe that Europe is about to be besieged by Muslims. There is a possibility that they, and even more people will have their views confirmed after the shots against Charlie Hebdo. Those, who want a holy war against the West, can be further angered,” Jagland, who also chairs the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said in an opinion piece published by the Norwegian VG newspaper.

    While Sunday's unity rallies in France, attended by more than 3 million people nationwide, could serve as “a wakeup call to be more united”, the situation in Europe remains “scary”, he noted.

    “The emerging rightist movements, whether we are talking about those who use guns or those who run for elections, have one thing in common — they are against European cooperation, they want to return to the nation state, they want to stop immigration… It is possible to imagine that the political center will be moved further and further in this direction,” Jagland wrote.

    According to the Council of Europe head, the worst-case scenario would be if European institutions begin to fall apart.

    If the European policy collapses, “the void will be filled by others”, most likely anti-European and anti-immigrant parties, he wrote, warning that “if this happens, the violence from jihadists will increase.”

    Addressing the controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo and reprinted by a large number of news outlets worldwide, following the Paris attack, Jagland called for moderation.

    “I support those who choose to publish the drawings, but let us not develop a culture where everyone is obliged to provoke,” he wrote.

    Jagland also noted that while Christianity has “benefited from discussion, even in blasphemous forms, large parts of the Muslim world are not there yet, and definitely not prepared to take this from the outside. Reformation must come from within.”

    The Norwegian politician, who previously served as the country’s prime minister, has repeatedly warned of the rise of right-wing movements in Europe. Following the 2011 terrorist attacks in Oslo, which targeted the center-left party he once headed, Jagland urged all European leaders to refrain from using rhetoric that could be exploited by extremists.

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    France, Islamists, terrorist attack, Charlie Hebdo, Council of Europe, Germany, Europe
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