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Quo Vadis, Europe? – Hungarian Press Reactions To Paris Attacks

Tamás Székely 2015.11.18.

Comments on the Paris terrorist attacks continue do flood the pages of Hungary’s dailies and analysts agree that the failed integration of masses of immigrants is the main cause that drives young people to espouse radical Islamism, press reviewer budapost.eu reported. Right-wing columnists believe that the Paris terrorist attacks struck a lethal blow to liberal, pro-migration ideology. Liberal and left-wing pundits, on the other hand, caution against fomenting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments and accuse the Right of playing into the hands of terrorist organizations. Left-wing commentators also fear that their consistent efforts to encourage a friendly attitude towards migrants have suffered a huge blow after the Paris terror attacks.

In left-wing daily Népszabadság Gábor Horváth points out that Europe is weak and divided over migration issues, but stricter security measures are now bound to follow and he also expects efforts to put an end to the war in Syria to intensify. Although he does not explicitly blame terrorism on unfettered immigration, in his closing remarks he says “peace is necessary to keep Afghans and Syrians at home”. After the Paris terrorist attacks, anti-immigrant sentiments will become ever stronger, András Dési predicts in Népszabadság as well. The left-wing columnist suspects that populism and law and order politics will inevitably become more attractive to the European public. The terrorist targeted our way of life, Márton Gergely writes in the same daily. As a result of the increased threat of terrorism, Europe faces a paradox, he continues. European countries can only protect themselves from terrorist violence by introducing harsh anti-terrorism and security measures that are alien to the European way of life, Gergely thinks.

We must learn to live with the threat of terrorism, Márton Bede comments in anti-government, radical liberal 444.hu. Bede thinks that the Western world has been at war with radical Islam since 2001. He goes on to point out that while this war against a harmful ideology cannot be won, terrorist attacks have also so far not achieved their aim of transforming the free world. Western states, however, will have to tighten security – including the screening of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Europe, Bede adds.

In left-wing Magyar Narancs, Péter Urfi finds nauseating what he sees as pro-government efforts at what he calls “incitement and vote hunting” in the immediate aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. The liberal columnist accuses right-wing politicians and pundits of hate mongering, by suggesting a link between terrorism and migration. Urfi finds it sickening that the anti-immigration Right tries to blame the terrorist violence on asylum seekers who are trying to escape from the very same Middle East terrorist organizations that carried out the Paris massacre. In conclusion, Urfi goes so far as to claim that Fidesz and Jobbik as well as their intellectual hinterland “are not only lying and using the French tragedy to garner votes, but also offer a helping hand to terrorists” as, Urfi argues, the anti-immigrant hatred they incite will further alienate Muslims and immigrants.

In Heti Világgazdaság, György Balavány finds it disappointing that on social media many link the terrorist acts to migration and suggest that asylum seekers are a threat to Europe’s security. Balavány thinks that terrorist organizations have plenty of followers among homegrown radical populations in Europe, and do not need the recent migrants, most of whom are trying to escape from Middle East terrorism anyway.

Without mentioning Hungary’s leaders explicitly, radical left-wing Népszava’s Péter Somfai suggests that those who have always opposed Muslim immigration, would be wrong to feel vindicated by the Paris terror attacks. He says building new fences would be the wrong answer, because it would feed the kind of hatred which is at the root of terrorism itself. He admits however, that after what happened in Paris, the temptation is difficult to resist.

“Closing the borders of Europe, racism and religious war is not a solution to terrorist threats,” Zsolt Kellner claims in 24.hu. The liberal commentator goes on to suggest that European countries need to do more in order to integrate migrants, as Muslims living in suburban ghettos without proper job and education opportunities become easy targets for radical recruiters. In a separate opinion column in the same media outlet, Sándor Jászberényi also thinks that the perpetrators of the Paris massacres were unintegrated and marginalized French citizens from the banlieues. Jászberényi thinks that the main aim of the Jihadist terrorist organizations with the Paris massacre was to entrench and perpetuate anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe. He predicts that “Muslims will become Europe’s niggers” as anti-Muslim sentiments surge. This will play into the hands of Islamist radicalism, since the higher anti-Muslim feelings and prejudice become in Europe, the easier it will become for them to recruit new members from alienated and excluded Muslims in Europe. In his concluding remark, Jászberényi expresses his sympathy with asylum seekers who can now “only count on the mercy of God”, as Europe will be unlikely to offer them any further help.

“In addition to liberalism, European leaders have also failed,” József György Horváth comments in 888.hu. The pro-government blogger accuses European leaders including Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Jean-Claude Juncker of being ‘despotic’ in trying to force EU member states to take in migrants. Horváth suggests that the proponents of mandatory refugee quotas do not understand the fears and concerns of everyday European citizens, because they live in safe, ivory towers. “They must go, Europe needs new leaders,” Horváth concludes.Writing in the same blog, Dániel Bohár predicts that “liberal brainwashing will be over now.” The right-wing commentator thinks that after the Paris massacre, “pro-immigration and pro-terrorism liberal journalists” cannot claim any more that all migrants from the Middle East are wretched refugees.

In conservative daily Magyar Nemzet, Csaba Lukács thinks many second and third generation immigrants living in ethnic enclaves in France turn their frustration into hatred of the majority. „We are already in trouble, as things stand today”, he writes, but the current wave of massive immigration that kind of frustration may take even greater dimensions within two decades at the most. „Something must be done against it,” he warns.

source: budapost.eu


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