UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said the West is partly to blame for the Charlie Hebdo attacks, claiming that mass immigration and Western foreign policy had led to the massacre in Paris.
Speaking during a debate in the European Parliament, Farage said: “We have pursued policies of immigration at a rate that has made it frankly impossible for many new communities to integrate and for that I think we have to hold our hands up.
“Perhaps worst of all we have been guilty of weakness – lack of courage – of lack of assertion of who we are as people.
“We’ve turned a blind eye within many of our minority communities to practises that would not be tolerated in the rest of the population.
“Indeed, we’ve allowed preachers of hate to go around saying things that are totally unacceptable.”
Farage also repeated his claims that a “fifth column” living in the West and who were opposed to western ideals, adding that it was “vital” to deal with the issue to prevent further atrocities.
However, he said that these anti-Western elements did not represent the entire Muslim community.
“We must embrace the vast majority of Muslims who themselves are horrified with the civil war that is going on within Islam, but unless we are prepared to admit our own culpability in much of what has happened, we are not going to be able to find solutions”, Farage said.
“We are going to have to be a lot braver and a lot more courageous in standing up for our Judeo-Christian culture.”
Farage’s comments came as the Muslim mayor of the Dutch city of Rotterdam said Muslim immigrants who didn’t appreciate the western way of life could “f*** off”.
Ahmed Aboutaleb, who is Moroccan origin, made the comments during a live TV debate on the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom,’ Aboutaleb told the Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur (Newshour).
“But if you don’t like freedom, for heaven’s sake pack your bags and leave. If you do not like it here because some humorists you don’t like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can f*** off. This is stupid, this so incomprehensible”, he said.
Mayor Aboutaleb, a former journalist, said that the actions of extremists meant that “well-meaning Muslims will now be stared at”.
London Mayor Boris Johnson praised the comments by his Rotterdam counterpart as “straight to the point”.
In a column for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson said that it was imperative that Muslims such as Mayor Aboutaleb lead the struggle against the spread of radicalization among Muslim youth in Europe.