“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.
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.”
“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.