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Sept. 11: One year after

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Uneasy with immigrants, elbowed aside by America, Europe looks inward

By Mort Rosenblum, Associated Press

PARIS A year ago, Europe watched America's calamity, stunned and sickened but still an ocean away. Now, dusted with Sept. 11 fallout, Europeans grapple with a new kind of world.

Fearful of foreigners in their midst, voters have shifted to the right. Muslims with roots generations deep in European societies find themselves excluded in a mood of us-against-them.

At the same time, many Europeans who regarded the United States as both an ally and an economic model now feel elbowed aside and are deeply skeptical about U.S. policy on Iraq.

These twin effects of Sept. 11 confound national leaders whose European Union, newly fortified with a strong common currency, was designed to convert the Old World into an open globalized society.

Now they face a new reality. Those who watch closely, from political scientists and economists to psychoanalysts, see a troubled Europe that is looking inward.

Barry Goodfield, a California-based therapist who has worked in Europe for 30 years, sees deep conflict among people who want to believe in a multiethnic national culture but now fear its effects.

For him, the Netherlands typifies Europe's dilemma. The traditionally outward-looking Dutch rallied behind the anti-immigrant rhetoric of populist politician Pim Fortuyn. Assassinated in May, Fortuyn is now a martyr to his followers.

In July, a new conservative Dutch government said it would impose harsh new restrictions on immigrants. The new immigration minister tried -- unsuccessfully -- to deport a Rotterdam imam convicted of hate crimes even though he had Dutch nationality.

The far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen's showing in France's presidential election, and the gains by anti-immigrant parties elsewhere in Europe, show that the Dutch aren't alone.

"The anxiety is incredible," Goodfield said. "People who are strong liberals wake up in the morning and want their country back. When even the Dutch get their jaws tight, it is time to worry."

Goodfield believes the specter of terrorism raised by the Sept. 11 attacks was the final straw for many people who have long worried about large neighborhoods of immigrants who did not integrate into the local culture.

"People aren't anti-Muslim, they just don't want them to live on their block and take over their country," he said. "They want the old sights and smells, a countryside with cows and windmills."

Those sights and smells are still there and going strong, but some urban areas are being transformed. Rotterdam, for instance, is 43 percent immigrant.

Beyond the perhaps 13 million immigrants -- mostly from Africa, Asia and the former Soviet bloc -- Europeans are having to reexamine their relationship with America.

David Morrison, an American lawyer who advises corporate executives in Paris, blames much of Europe's malaise on what he says is a belligerent new mood in Washington and on Wall Street.

In financial circles, he says, the collapse of Enron and Worldcom added to hostility over what, since Sept. 11, are increasingly seen as the America-first policies of President Bush.

"The Ugly American is back with a vengeance," he said. "U.S. investment bankers and diplomats worked for 15 years to build up confidence in the United States. Now that's all down the drain."

European investors have pulled billions of dollars out of U.S. markets, he said, weakening chances for a strong comeback.

Morrison said European executives whose companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange were furious at having to swear by their financial statements, along with U.S. corporate officers.

After he spoke, Wendelin Wiedeking, chief executive of Porsche AG, publicly excoriated the requirement and put on hold his plans to issues shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Altogether, 24 German companies including Daimler-Chrysler objected to the ruling, and a spokesman for Confederation of German Industry warned that U.S. capital markets were losing their appeal.

Sophie Body-Gendrot, a French sociologist, notes that in the first weeks after Sept. 11, most Europeans felt an overwhelming sympathy for Americans. Within a month, much of that had faded. Soon after, growing hostility set in.

"There has always been a certain anti-Americanism in France and Europe," she said, "but this time may be different, and we could see a lot more."

Body-Gendrot and other experts see growing crises, but are not sure how they will play out.

At a summit in Spain, governments agreed to close ranks against illegal immigration and strengthen cross-border police cooperation. Still, officials said privately, little would change.

Despite the threat of terrorists slipping in among them, immigrants are crucial not only for manual labor but also skilled jobs.

Long before Sept. 11, immigration was a touchy issue. Now it is nearing a flashpoint, and some municipalities find their own extreme solutions -- like the French city of Douai, which built a high iron fence around its immigrant slum.

Today's news:
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Mass. remembers victims
Silence, tears mark day at Logan
Under alert, Mass. carries on
Bush faces day with resolve
World remembers attacks in US
Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
Updated wire coverage

Photo galleries:
Families mourn, remember
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Ceremony at the Pentagon
Ceremony at Pa. crash scene
Remembrances worldwide
Remembrances in Boston

NECN RealVideo:
Moment of silence observed
Ceremony at State House
Gettysburg Address read
Procession at Ground Zero
A somber travel day at Logan
Images of Sept. 11, 2001



Preparing for the worst
Security has become the new norm in Greater Boston.


Fear and children
Children's responses may shed light on human anxiety, resiliency.


Muslim minds
The US effort to win over Muslim hearts and minds is failing.


Science vs. terrorism
New chemical, biological threats spur nation's top minds.


For those deported after Sept. 11, the losses are wrenching.


A special Magazine issue
A Sept. 11 narrative by former Massport chief Virginia Buckingham, plus an essay by Christopher Hitchens.

A special Arts section
How culture has changed since Sept. 11, including a gallery of art inspired by the attacks.

A special Focus section
A look at how the lives of six Americans were altered.

Everywhere USA
Terrorism comes to God's country.


Where is Al Qaeda?
How have bin Laden and his terrorist group eluded US forces?


Two cities
New York and DC one year later.


America remembers
The US looks back at the terrorist attacks.

Victims and survivors
A year later, still hurting.

A time for bells and remembrance
A clash of views on terror
Limited damage to the economy
Families build support system
NYC's healing process
Finding comfort in the kitchen
Bailey: A day of atonement

From the Associated Press:
Tribute paid with tattoos
Charities changed by 9/11
White House calls home
9/11 stole innocence, love
Man escaped earthquake, 9/11
Update on 9/11's famous faces
Firemen still burying dead
A mother's note to a lost son
9/11 created heroes in death
Voice mails bring comfort
Little things hold memories
87th floor survivor copes
Sampling of 9/11 memorials
Pentagon survivors move on
Moments of silence on Sept. 11
Survivors try to move forward
Families cling to chances
Sept. 11 widow trying to forgive
Widow becomes an advocate
Workplace response varies
Graphic: Funds offer relief

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