The November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks led to anti-refugee backlash and gains in power for far-right political groups across Europe. In an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer, Alyssa Bryan ’17 and Besir Ceka, assistant professor of political science, warn that politics motivated by fear and anger threaten the very existence of liberal democracy in Europe and the United States. They write:
“Caving in to fear and pressures from populist parties will also undermine Europe in the long-run. The violence against refugees in particular, and the scapegoating of immigrants in general, plays right into the hands of extreme jihadist groups who recruit among disaffected second- and third-generation immigrants.
“In a sense, the extreme right and the jihadists are in a perfectly symbiotic relationship working together to undermine a prosperous, united and tolerant Europe. They share the goal of bringing down a continent that has been tearing down walls and dismantling internal borders since the end of the Second World War.”