The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 3, 2002 - 7A
New trend shows Europeans looking inward
PARIS - A year ago, Europe watched America's calamity,
stunned and sickened but still an ocean away. Now, dusted with
Sept. 11 fallout, Europeans grapple with a new kind of world.
Fearful of foreigners in their midst, voters have shifted to the
right. Muslims with roots generations deep in European soci-
eties find themselves excluded in a mood of us-against-them.
At the same time, many Europeans who regarded the
United States as both an ally and an economic model now
feel elbowed aside and are deeply skeptical about U.S. poli-
cy on Iraq.
These twin effects of Sept. 11 confound national leaders
whose European Union, newly fortified with a strong common
currency, was designed to convert the Old World into an open
Now they face a new reality. Those who watch closely, from
political scientists and economists to psychoanalysts, see a
troubled Europe that is looking inward.
Barry Goodfield, a California-based therapist who has
worked in Europe for 30 years, sees deep conflict among peo-
ple who want to believe in a multiethnic national culture but
now fear its effects.
For him, the Netherlands typifies Europe's dilemma.
The traditionally outward-looking Dutch rallied behind the
anti-immigrant rhetoric of populist politician Pim Fortuyn.
Assassinated in May, Fortuyn is now a martyr to his fol-
In July, a new conservative Dutch government said it would
impose harsh new restrictions on immigrants. The new immi-
gration minister tried - unsuccessfully - to deport a Rotter-
dam imam convicted of hate crimes even though he had Dutch
The far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen's showing in France's presi-
dential election, and the gains by anti-immigrant parties else-
where in Europe, show that the Dutch aren't alone.
"The anxiety is incredible," Goodfield said. "People who are
strong liberals wake up in the morning and want their country
back. When even the Dutch get their jaws tight, it is time to
Goodfield believes the specter of terrorism raised by the
Sept. I1 attacks was the final straw for many people who have
long worried about large neighborhoods of immigrants who
did not integrate into the local culture.
"People aren't anti-Muslim, they just don't want them to live
on their block and take over their country," he said. "They want
the old sights and smells, a countryside with cows and wind-
Those sights and smells are still there and going strong, but
some urban areas are being transformed. Rotterdam, for
instance, is 43 percent immigrant.
Beyond the perhaps 13 million immigrants - mostly from
Africa, Asia and the former Soviet bloc - Europeans are hav-
ing to reexamine their relationship with America.
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