Croatian alt-right and problem with Near Eastern immigrants (part 1): A single tiny group

Leadership of the alt-right Generation of Renovation party with Frano Čirko in the middle

This summer, Croatia experienced a new immigration wave and thousands of people from Asia and Africa went through the country, seeking a better life in Western Europe. These are negligible numbers compared to 2015 and 2016 when some 600,000 people went through Croatia, however, even this small wave was enough for reactualization of heated public debate about immigration issues in the media. The Republic of Croatia, a traditionally monocultural society, generally opposes the idea of immigration, but only recently we are witnessing the emergence of new alt-right political parties as the most staunch opponents. Their key argument is, as expected, the danger of terrorism.

Frano Čirko, leader of the Generacija obnove party (lit. Generation of Renovation) and editor of the web portal Sloboda.hr (lit. Freedom), described terrorism as only the tip of the iceberg, and speaking about the immigration problem on TV talk shows and social networks, he raised a number of questions: Can they adapt to Western culture and uphold values of the destination regions, or will they stick to the archaic worldview, along with their upcoming generations? Can they get rid of the tribal mentality? Will they endanger native European women? Will they engage in organized crime? Will they abuse hospitality and shock the civilized world by marching through the European streets with black flags and glorifying monstrous ideologies, all disguised under the right to freedom of expression and the pluralist diversity? Will they get so encouraged to openly praising suicidal freaks that set off bombs, hijack airplanes and kidnap people, or even Near Eastern entities that destroy World Heritage sites and conduct genocide? Will they also, in the words of Čirko, endanger the coexistence of peoples in the Balkans?

Many of these questions remain unanswered because, as Čirko correctly says, an objective discussion of the subject is fettered by political correctness in the mainstream media, whose journalists simply ignore his arguments and label him as a xenophobe or neo-fascist. Luckily, since this is not a mass media outlet, we'll discuss issues freely and without hesitation, and at the end of this series of articles you'll see that a similar analysis does not exist anywhere else.

A case study: just one Near Eastern group

For a case study, we will take a small Near Eastern country, more precisely only one of its ethnic groups that counts just over half a million people and has a strong tendency to migrate towards the West, and ultimately we'll estimate the extent of their terrorist destruction, as well as their integration capabilities. Before mentioning all the terrorist attacks, the ferocious methods and the affected countries, it should be emphasized that selected group represents only one very tiny piece of the total population of 1.3 billion cobelievers (roughly 0.04 percent) and that their terror began under the slogan of fighting "unbelievers."

Starting in 1968, when their activities have turned toward more spectacular forms, only one European capital city experienced three terrorist attacks during that year. In May, two mines exploded at the railway station and injured 14 people, then in July the bomb was detonated in a movie theater where one person was killed and 85 wounded, several seriously. In September, three explosives were detonated in the railway station cloakroom, leaving 13 people injured. Five years later, yet another attack on the city railway station occurred, leaving behind one dead and eight wounded.

In January 1972, a passenger plane flying from Sweden was destroyed in the air by a bomb on board, killing 27 civilians. In September of that year, an airliner carrying 87 passengers was hijacked by three armed terrorists, some of them earlier involved in terrorist assassinations. The plane was diverted from Sweden to Spain and after 20-hour drama the kidnappers finally surrendered and fortunately no one was killed. These events prompted the Swedish authorities to adopt a new anti-terrorism law.

Aviation terrorist incidents have also been recorded in North America. In 1976, a passenger plane flying from New York was hijacked by a group of five terrorists, first diverted to Canada where 35 of its passengers were released, then to France. The same group of kidnappers planted a bomb in a coin locker at Grand Central Terminal in New York, the largest and most busiest railway station in the world, and the improvised explosive device killed one police officer and wounded over 30 people. A year later another attack on European railroads occurred, this time a bomb exploded on a passenger train traveling from Dortmund to Athens, killing one person and seriously injuring eight.

Neither Australia remained spared from similar attacks. In a car-bomb attack on the Orthodox Church in Brisbane in 1972, an American businessman was killed and several other people were injured. From the early 1960s to the late 1980s, only Sydney experienced at least ten terrorist bombings of various consulates, clubs and shops, leaving dozens of wounded. An equal number of identical attacks on offices, agencies and cultural exhibitions have been carried out in Melbourne. There is also a series of successful and unsuccessful assassinations in the aforementioned Australian cities, but also in European cities such as Bonn, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Paris, Lyon, Stockholm, Gothenburg and The Hague. Terrorist attacks continued even after entering the new century: in 2001, the assailant slashed the throat of the bus driver with a utility knife, causing a traffic crash near Manchester, Tennessee, which killed seven civilians.

Altogether, dozens of terrorist incidents on three continents have been recorded, with tens of killed and hundreds of wounded. Considering that all these attacks were committed by members of only one Near Eastern ethnicity from a single country, would you approve their mass immigration to your homeland? Of course not all of them are the same, but as Donald Trump Jr. says, would you grab a handful of sweets if you know few are deadly poisoned? (→ part 2)

See also:
Part 1: A single tiny group
Part 2: Pro-terrorist mindset?
Part 3: Unintegrated minority
Part 4: A representative failure

Robert Novak

Robert Novak is a social anthropologist and human rights defender with more than five years of experience in the Open Society Institute (OSF), an organization campaigning for human rights and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia. His research interests include law and religion, human rights, comparative ethics, and international relations. Born in Osijek, he lives and works in Zagreb.