Like every other terror incident, the deadly Nice truck attack has divided politicians and world leaders in their reactions. Some, like US president Barack Obama, praised French values of openness and tolerance, while others blamed them, declaring war on fundamentalism.
Mariusz Błaszczak, the interior minister in Poland’s right wing government said that the attack was a result of years of “multi-culti policies and political correctness.” He said Europe did not learn from previous attacks [link in Polish], mocking EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini for her tears in response to the attack on the Brussels airport in March. “They organized marches, painted flowers on the pavement in rainbow colors. To me, this is a very clear reference to LGBT.” He said that political correctness should be rejected.
”We don’t have such problems. We don’t have districts where law other than Polish law reigns. We don’t have no-go zones for police,” he told a Polish TV station. Poland’s population is 95% ethnically Polish (people who identify as only Polish), and overwhelmingly Catholic, and the current government opposes allowing migrants into the country.
Błaszczak’s comments were echoed across the pond by the US right. Newt Gingrich, former House speaker who was until recently seen as a contender for Donald Trump’s running mate, said that western civilization is “at war.” “We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia they should be deported,” Gingrich told Fox News. ”Sharia is incompatible with western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door,” he said.
Trump, asked whether he would seek a declaration of war from Congress, he said he would. ”This is war,” he said. ”You know, in the old days, we would have uniforms, you knew what you were fighting. We are allowing people into our country who we have no idea where they are, where they’re from, who they are, they have no paperwork, they have no documentation, in many cases.”
Back in France, right-wing politician Marine LePen struck a similar, warmongering tone. ”The war against the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism has not yet begun, and it’s now urgent to declare it. She also cited plans to “attack” and “combat” fundamental islamism using “the necessary measures of prevention and repression,” and a determination to “eradicate” fundamentalism.