Europe in North Africa – Recolonize or Rescue? YaleGlobal. Jonathan Fenby. January 23, 2013.
Amid a severe currency crisis and other economic struggles, cooperation of the European Union, the very union itself, is being tested with the rise of Islamist radicalism in North Africa. France has forcefully intervened to assist Mali troops against extremists who have taken over the northern half of the country, demonstrating a willingness to attack civilians, destroy cultural icons and lash out at the government. For example, Islamist militants from several nations blamed Algeria for extending fly-over rights to French troops and stormed a natural gas plant in Amenas, taking and killing hostages before being overtaken by Algerian forces. So far, France leads the charge while Britain warns of a lengthy struggle, Germany is undecided and the U.S. is detached, expecting Europe to take the lead. Muslims represent nearly 10 percent of the French population, and most are from North Africa. Whether Europe commits to this fight against extremism hinges on domestic opinion – and whether Europeans regard this as rescue and support, or reimposition of colonialism, says Jonathan Fenby. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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