The Neo-Nazi Dilemma

Currently, more people than ever are migrating, being displaced, or left stateless. As a result, trends surrounding the European migration crisis and various other movements have arisen. Unfortunately, through the increased presence of various cultural, ethnic, and religious groups, there has been a drastic increase in xenophobic opinions presented within communities. Xenophobic and white supremacist preferences in western states provided an incubator for a new wave of Nazi’s, with a newfound ability to spread contagiously through social media into susceptible communities. These Neo-Nazi movements are found not only in the U.S., but also in various European countries, including the U.K., Germany, and Ukraine.

When discussing the current racial tension of Neo-Nazism, it is vital to consider the astounding number of people who have fallen victim to forced migration from conflict. Currently, there are 40 million people internally displaced from conflict. Another 25.4 million are refugees, the majority of whom have been resettled, while a further 3.1 million are still seeking asylum. Of these 68.4 million people, over 57% come from three states: Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan. While Neo-Nazi resurgence did not result primarily in retaliation to an increased number refugees, the European Refugee Crisis and the Syrian Crisis have both fuelled Neo-Nazism in recent months due to its impact on the ever-rising number of migrating global citizens.

This increased interaction between racial, cultural and ethnically different groups, specifically between a newly introduced refugee group and the integrated community within a new state, can trigger the underlying xenophobia or ‘otherism’ ideologies embedded within the host communities. Many Neo-Nazis’ fear the integration of different ethnic groups into the community, holding them responsible for crimes committed by minorities from similar backgrounds, like, for example, Syrian refugees being feared as terrorists due to the stronger ISIS presence in the Northern Syrian region.

Much reflective of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) initiative in the U.S., it can be drawn that Neo-Nazi regimes have been formed primarily as an objection to the presence of, and forced integration of, people from non-Anglo-Christian backgrounds into western regions. This ties into the xenophobic roots of both KKK organisations and traditional Nazism from the mid-19th century. Consequently, current Neo-Nazi movements appeal to both traditional Nazi idealists, migration objectionists, in conjunction with objections to marriage equality, planned parenthood.

Furthermore, Neo-Nazi behaviours have proven comparable to the KKK, with groups forming to act in a violent manner, inciting protest, riots and imposing tension within otherwise peaceful communities. This was exhibited during a Neo-Nazi rally in Georgia, U.S., on April 21, 2018. On this occasion, Jews and African-Americans were primarily blamed as a group for the refugee crisis, as well as the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville. While this had been a fairly peaceful protest, it was a calculated act of bigotry towards generalised ethnic groups for actions no singular ethnic group can be held responsible for.

Currently, Neo-Nazis are creating and perpetuating tensions, and present as a risk to many minority groups. Government organisations such as the FBI are increasingly expressing that extremist groups like the Neo-Nazis pose as greater a threat as any other terrorist organisation to state security and safety. Not unlike terrorist and guerrilla militia groups, Neo-Nazis have the ability to launch attacks and insight fear within communities regardless of government action. Consequently, it is imperative to state security in all states to educate and act against growing xenophobic tendencies in the west.

Emy-Lee Rogers

Student undertaking a Bachelor of Government and International Relations at Griffith University
Emy-Lee Rogers

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