The New Crusaders: Contemporary Extreme Right Symbolism and Rhetoric

Ariel Koch's article examines the use of crusader symbolism on the part of right-wing "counter Jihad" groups in Europe and North America.

A new right-wing extremism is on the rise in contemporary Europe and North America. Those who embrace this ideology articulate extreme hatred towards the left, which they consider “treacherous” or “disloyal”, and towards Muslims and immigrants, and eventually are prone to violence against them. In Europe, a new movement known as the Counter Jihad Movement has emerged. It is exploiting jihadi terrorism and immigration in order to gain more support, mobilize people and justify their struggle on the Internet, on the streets and even in war zones like Syria and Iraq. This article will examine one of this new movement’s main characteristics: the use of crusader symbolism as a source of inspiration, activism and even justification of violence as a religious duty in Europe and in the Middle East.