Perhaps this is a decidedly unsurprising development, but I still believe it is worthwhile to point out the lack of serious media coverage related to the potential threats to the upcoming UEFA European Championship. Given that France has been on high alert, it is uncharacteristic that the media coverage has been virtually non-existent, save for the important fact that the alleged terrorist doesn't look the part.
On Sunday, a French citizen was arrested while attempting to re-enter the EU from Ukraine. In his vehicle he had an astounding arsenal - grenade launchers, automatic weapons, and C4. His targets: religious buildings, stadia, offices. The unnamed French citizen is associated with right-wing and ultranationalist groups, according to some sources. Again, this form of terrorism is very much the ideological nemesis of Islamic fundamentalism and is, in large part, the dominant grassroots political movement in Europe.
These groups oppose the acceptance and integration minorities (generally Muslims) and have been responsible for widespread hate crimes, massive violent demonstrations, and the closure of several national borders in the wake of the Syrian crisis. We can now add terrorism to the list of manifestations.
Media reaction has been nearly silent: the views for this YouTube video (which is the most popular) about the arrests has less than 1200 views. The National spoke about it for less than 90 seconds last night. Even French President François Hollande's response was muted (and is difficult to find clips of online). And the event failed to register on Facebook or Twitters trends.
I'm not overwhelmingly intrigued by ''what if'' history, but it's a worthwhile social experiment to consider the headlines, social media presence, and political reaction if the alleged terrorist were to have represented the manifestation of our fears. If this isn't clear evidence of Islamophobia then I am frankly not sure what is.