Hungarian public opinion on the government’s handling of the refugee crisis

Along the Croatian-Hungarian border not much has changed since yesterday or the day before yesterday, and therefore we can turn to Hungarian sentiment, which has been poisoned by the massive government anti-refugee propaganda. Anita Köműves of Népszabadság, who just returned to Hungary after a year as a journalist intern at the University of Maryland, was astounded by the general lack of knowledge about the causes of the refugee crisis and by the xenophobia that Viktor Orbán is generating. As she said, “take it from a Hungarian journalist: Orbán is playing a dangerous game.”

Just today Tamás Ungár, also a reporter for Népszabadság covering the region of southern Transdanubia, came up with a long list of opinions he gathered from Hungarians in a number of cities and towns from Pécs to Kaposvár. A young fellow from Pécs, a Jobbik sympathizer, is convinced that the current flow of refugees is financed by Israel. Where did he get this idea? He was told by others and that seems to be enough. Some Hungarians are convinced that the United States is behind the emigration of Syrians, Iraqis, and others. It wants to weaken the European Union. There is a widespread fear that terrorists are hidden among the refugees and therefore not one of the refugees should be accepted in Hungary. Most of the people Ungár talked to believe that these immigrants cannot be integrated into European society. Those with such decided opinions often refer to state radio or television as their source of information.

Ungár’s reporting was, of course, anecdotal. For more statistically significant insight we can turn to the follow-up public opinion poll by Publicus Intézet conducted this month. In mid-July Publicus polled Hungarians on three related subjects: the erection of a fence along the Serb-Hungarian border, the emigration of Hungarians to western Europe, and the possible immigration of refugees coming from the Middle East. At that time 46% of the population were convinced that the fence would not stop the flow of refugees and 21% were doubtful about the efficacy of the fence. As for the questions on emigration and immigration, by July government propaganda had already made inroads. While in May 57% of the people considered emigration a greater problem than immigration and 23% believed the opposite, by July the situation had changed. Only 42% of the people found emigration to be a greater problem and 44% were convinced that immigration was a greater threat.

Publicus’s September poll shows that the Hungarian government didn’t manage to convince the population about the usefulness of the fence. Today not 46% but 56% of those asked said the fence was totally useless and another 22% thought it was pretty useless. But how then do we explain the fact that when the respondents were asked whether, if they had been in the position of deciding whether to erect the fence, in July 56% would have decided against it and only 34% would have gone ahead with it whereas this month fewer respondents (50%) would have discarded the idea and 40% would have decided to build it. In brief, while today more respondents think the fence is useless, more would nonetheless have decided to build it.

Publicus was also interested in people’s attitudes toward the refugees. The participants in the survey had to express their opinion about the following propositions:

  1. It is our duty to help the refugees. The answer was overwhelmingly in the affirmative. 64% to 30%
  2. The refugees should be treated more humanely. 52% to 38%
  3. Hungary, according to her ability, should accept a number of refugees. 37% to 55%
  4. Too many refugees are arriving and Europe will not be able to handle the numbers. 87% to 9%
  5. If necessary, we must defend our borders with weapons in hand. 41% to 42%

I find this last figure especially troubling. I should also mention here that the majority of Jobbik voters (54%) are quite satisfied with the Hungarian government’s treatment of the refugees, which we know has been quite harsh and unfeeling. In their opinion, it seems, these refugees don’t deserve anything better.

Displaced SyriansPublicus was also interested in what the population thinks of the international reaction to the Hungarian government’s handling of the refugee crisis. Did foreign opinion of Hungary deteriorate or improve? To my surprise, Hungarians do realize that what Viktor Orbán is doing is harmful to the country’s image (66% as opposed to 18%). Why am I surprised? At least for two reasons. One is the oft-repeated claim that the Hungarian government is simply following the prescript of the European Union. In fact, it is only Budapest that observes the letter of the law. All other countries, from Greece to Germany, transgress the rules and regulations, and by their actions they aggravate the crisis. The second reason is that commentators often complain about the Hungarian population’s relative ignorance of the outside world. I read recently that only 12.5% of the population know a foreign language well enough to read a newspaper article or understand television news. Therefore, I must conclude either that the Hungarian opposition media is doing a relatively good job of informing people about the international reaction to the Hungarian government’s actions or perhaps that people extrapolated what this reaction must be from the videos that went viral on YouTube. I should mention though that while on the other questions only a relative small percentage of people had no opinion (2-10%), in this case 16% were unable to give an answer.

The feeling that Viktor Orbán has done harm to the country’s reputation is widespread and uniform. Even Fidesz voters believe that the international community reacted negatively to the policies adopted by the Hungarian government. For example, only 33% of Fidesz voters think that Hungary’s reputation has been enhanced by recent government decisions. And 65% of Jobbik voters realize that the country’s reputation has been seriously damaged in the last few months.

Finally, respondents were asked to grade the performance of the Orbán government in the refugee crisis on a scale of 1 (F) to 5 (A). Only Fidesz voters thought that the government deserved a grade higher than 3 (C ) (3.8). A C average is nothing to brag about.

What kinds of conclusions can we draw on the basis of this survey? There seems to be a growing number of people who feel somewhat ashamed of the government’s harsh treatment of the refugees and the callousness of most leading Fidesz politicians. At the same time very few people, one out of ten, would like to have any of these refugees settle among themselves. The reason, I suspect, is the propaganda about the unbridgeable differences in culture and religion between the refugees and Hungarians.

Most Hungarians seem to be convinced that the refugees cannot be integrated into European society. Yet facts tell a different story. There are already a fair number of Syrians, Iraqis, Lebanese, and Jordanians who have been living in Hungary for decades. There is a telling video taken in a village somewhere in the northeast corner of the country where the local doctor is a Syrian. A reporter went around in the village and asked people what they thought of accepting Syrian refugees. They were all dead against the idea. But, said the reporter, Dr. X. is a Syrian. To which the answer was: “Dr. X? But he is different. He is one of us.”

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tappanch
Guest
Asylum requests in Hungary by the [claimed] country of origin: First half 2015 65,485 = 32810+32675, {First, second quarters, 2015} [EU source], 66,788, first half 2015 [HU source] Kosovo: {69.6%, ?}, 35.8% Afghanistan: {12.3%, 41.7%}, 26.8% Syria: {7.4%, 25.8%} , 16.4% Pakistan: {?, 8.2%}, 4.8% Iraq {?,?}, 4.9% Source: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/6887997/3-18062015-CP-EN.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/6996925/3-18092015-BP-EN.pdf http://www.bmbah.hu/images/statisztikak/KIADVÁNYFÜZET_2014_2015_I_FÉLÉV.xls July [August] 2015 July [August] 2015: 31,287 [47,904] Syria 39.9% [49.1%] Afghanistan 32.4% [22.2%] Pakistan 12.2% [13.0%] Iraq 4.5% [4.8%] Bangladesh 2.3% [4.0%] Iran 1.1% [1.0%] Congos [either] 1.1% [0.2%] Eritrea 0.6% [0.4%] Nigeria 0.6% [0.7%] Palestine 0.5% [0.2%] Kosovo 0.5% [0.3%] Cameroon 0.5% [0.2%] Sudan 0.4% [0.2%] India 0.2% [0.4%] Senegal 0.3% [0.4%] Unknown 0.9% [1.3%] Source: http://www.bmbah.hu/images/statisztikak/150915%20Menedékkérelmek%20július.xls http://www.bmbah.hu/images/statisztikak/150915%20Menedékkérelmek%20augusztus.xls
An
Guest

“A young fellow from Pécs, a Jobbik sympathizer, is convinced that the current flow of refugees is financed by Israel. Where did he get this idea? He was told by others and that seems to be enough. Some Hungarians are convinced that the United States is behind the emigration of Syrians, Iraqis, and others. It wants to weaken the European Union. ”

Eva, you don’t understand the larger nexus because you don’t watch Echo TV. If you have 25 minutes this expert explains how all these are connected. Not for the faint-hearted!
🙂

Member

And @T, this is the kind of lunatic channeling one eventually finds oneself sliding into if one allows oneself to get carried away by conspiratorial cognition. It is the diametric opposite of the evidence-based thinking you do so well…

Webber
Guest

Stevan – for me, the saddest part of some of the discussion going on here is the revelation that some Hungarians who speak English and are following Western media have swallowed the (il)logic of conspiratorial cognition hook, line and sinker. Some Hungarians here obviously aren’t touched by it, but others clearly are, even people who are highly critical of Orban’s regime. I wonder: can such irrational thought patterns be infectious?
(I am seriously asking you – it seems close enough to your field: apologies if it is something you don’t want to deal with).

Member

@Webber, Yes.
See “conspiracy theories” and “psychology of rumor” in Google Scholar
comment image

And they are fed and directed not just by force of numbers, but by one’s own wishful thinking, biases, or worse.

Webber
Guest

Thank you very much – very thorough.
I am most interested in the possibility of “infection,” or less pejoratively “dissemination” of this pattern of thought from person to person (as in mass hysteria). I guess there must be a study or two examining that possibility within the Google scholar links you’ve provided.

Yanni
Guest

Conspiracy theories work even on otherwise intelligent people. More than half of the Republicans still think Obama is a Muslim and that he wasn’t born in the US. Echo TV is an important media-ideology tool for Fidesz. I also sense some Russian connections here as Russians are very professional with such theories often really lunatic ones and Echo TV’s owner oligarch Gabor Szeles was in the 1980’s close to certain agencies.

An
Guest

Well, I hoped it was clear that I was being sarcastic.

No, I don’t think that the current refugee crisis was orchestrated by the world financial world elite at a secret meeting in 2010 to create Eurabia, a mixed raced Europe (because Arabs are easier to control than Europeans.. is that a joke?). Similarly outrageous idea is that the US created ISIS to get at Syria and to purposefully bring about the mass migration we see today. And somehow Israel and an the Freemasons are behind all this, too.

The sad thing is, that although his ideas are very incoherent, they seem to appeal to a lot of people who want to see some dark force at work behind everything.

LwiiH
Guest

I like this sentence “He offers ready-made answers in a confusing world”. You can substitute “He” for quite a few of the right wing leaders around the world.

OT, there was an anti-OV/Fidesz rally in the castle district yesterday. The police were filming everyone leaving the area.

Tamas Egri
Guest

Orban is happy, he is triumphant.

His strategy is working out as always, and the liberals are losing because their weakness became apparent to everybody.

Orban’s most successful policy achievement to date is the handling of the refugee crisis (compared to education, the economy etc.), not counting the building out of a reliable national (nemzeti as opposed to foreign) oligarchy.

Fidesz bounced back, nobody will stop him. He is already working for the history books.

http://444.hu/2015/09/20/vs-orban-diadalittasan-ertekelte-kormanya-menekultpolitikajat/

Member

b>Turul Triumphalist Trolling

Aside from its sinister side, a lighter (down)side of pseudonymous, unaccountable trolling is that the puffed prognosticators are perpetually shielded from come-uppance when the facts come out. One would have loved to at least give the “@Tamas Egri’s” of this (under)world a wink once it turns out to have been jubilatio praecox (q.v.).
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Member

That should have been: Turul Triumphalist Trolling

But now I can add: History casts a long shadow, especially in the open online age, when local demagogues’ attempts to re-write it to their taste are over-written in the inescapable glare of global scrutiny.
comment image

Member

Europe’s Hungary Problem: Victor Orban Flouts the Union R. Daniel Kelemen, Foreign Affairs

“Just as one rotten apple can spoil a barrel, one brutish autocrat can spoil a political union. As Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has consolidated power and built an increasingly authoritarian regime, he has thumbed his nose at the European Union—and mostly gotten away with it. Over the past few years, Orban has been a mild embarrassment for the union, but in his callous and shortsighted reaction to the ongoing refugee crisis, he has become a disgrace.”

“This needs to stop. While many on the Center–Right may agree that tougher border controls and less inviting asylum policies are needed, they need to make it clear that Orban’s treatment of refugees is beyond the pale. Leaders of the EPP, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, and Council President Donald Tusk, should begin by denouncing Orban’s actions and announcing that his party will be ejected from their Center–Right coalition if his regime does not change course. Then all of Europe’s leaders should stand together to publicly condemn Orban’s rhetoric and policies. If they fail to do so, the rot will only spread.”

Webber
Guest

Hungary is not unique in this respect. People anywhere can be helped to hate or to care. All it takes for either is an intimate knowledge of a given culture and people, and formulation of messages by those in power through the media to achieve the desired goal.
In a normal country, Echo TV wouldn’t even exist because the market wouldn’t sustain it. In Hungary, it gets both direct and indirect subsidies from the government, both (such as advertising revenue from govt. firms; funding to Zsolt Bayer and others to produce certain things)
Similar madness and widespread conspiracy theories were disseminated through the media in Serbia throughout the 1990s.

segesvári
Guest

Index.hu is pushing the idea that Orban will be a major European leader and saying he has been very successful so far in his efforts to handle the refugee crisis.

Orban is a smart winner-type secretly adored/supported by the Germans themselves and liberals will soon acknowledge that.

Orban will be a real Hungaricum himself, somebody who was born in Hungary and became world famous and successful. The leftist-liberals are naïve and are goners, no need to deal with them. The future is Orban’s time.

http://index.hu/belfold/2015/09/21/orban_viktor_keresztes_hadjarat_europa_kulpolitika/

Webber
Guest

segesvari – Either you don’t speak Hungarian, in which case you are a liar (you don’t know what the article says), or you do speak Hungarian and you are a liar about what the article says.
I quote from that article: “Magyarország akkor tényleg gyors tempóban haladt a nemzetközi elszigetelődés felé.”
In English
“So, Hungary has truly moved at a fast pace toward international isolation”

Which sort of liar are you?

segesvári
Guest

But that was then, since then circumstances changed – please finish the article before commenting.

Szabolcs Panyi the author is a self-described conservative who like all young conservatives is at awe of the political genius of Orban and looks down on the irrelevance/impotence of the leftwing.

Webber
Guest

It appears you do read Hungarian, just not very well.
The end of the article is a vision of what Orban might do to become acceptable in Europe with no factual basis whatsoever in what he has actually done. It is a suggestion, if you like, or a prophecy based on nothing if you prefer.
Anyone who reads the right, left, or center press in English, German or French can tell you what Orban’s image is right now. It is worse than it has ever been.
He is the pariah of Europe – and that is not an exaggeration. He has stepped into the spotlight in the way that Meciar once did.
But go on telling English speakers what a hero Orban is…

Member

Dear Webber, I think you are again taking our trolls far too seriously! Didn’t you notice that this “segesváry” (a doubly ironic moniker!) is singing almost the same triumphalist tune, verbatim, as “Tamas Egri” just was? Is all he/she/it/ need do is pull another sock over his/her/ fist to merit having another go? For him/her/them this puppetry is a paid profession: but is it really worth your time?

Of course it hasn’t viewed the programme: These are talking points fed them daily by their bosses. And a few of our pop-sockets (though not their names) have been with us for a long time…

Guest
Re: “The future is Orban’s time” Yes I believe he has promulgated that conception. But I’d suggest that he said something else in that famous speech of his regarding his new illeberalist vision for the country and that was as it enters the future ‘anything can happen”. Time will tell if Hungary’s position which apparently does send the country into seeming isolation and withdrawal was based on ‘sound’ decisions To protect himself I’d think he should get up on the podium and reiterate to his country that regardless of the way he views the world ‘anything can happen’. But he looks a man on an illiberalist vision. He really thinks he’s got the answer democracy be damned. He appears to be blind in his philosophy that it’s the only correct way. We’re no doubt going to see if he’s got the answer in directing Hungary forward in a wildly transitional world with his troublesome orientation to ‘the way, the truth and the life’. Hungarians perhaps will be just waiting to get hit by a two by four and they won’t see it coming before it’s too late. All in all it will be fascinating to see how this Prince Prospero… Read more »
Guest

Not too much OT:
The German paper Die WELT published a comment by right wing former Czech president Vaclav Klaus who thinks on the same lines as Orbán:
http://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article146615320/Merkel-erweist-Europa-einen-Baerendienst.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A1clav_Klaus
“… his views on the Ukrainian crisis, his hostility to homosexuality, and support of European far right parties.”

Klaus is another discredited figure – or should I say lunatic?

JGrant
Guest
Ignorance is a powerful tool. I have some middle class, educated friends who are not Fidesz supporters, but who cannot comprehend the facts of the refugee crisis, because they have never met a Syrian, (not knowingly at least!), have never been to Syria, show no interest or time or energy to read up on it, speak no foreign languages to listen to news from abroad and therefore make up what they think PROBABLY is happening with ideas from within their reasonably narrow terms of reference. One particular couple whom I am very fond of asked me what I think caused all these thousands of refugees getting going in these number now. I answered with the facts as I know them and which, as far as I can see, are true and accurate.1. the 4 year civil war; 2. the sudden realisation of it not getting any better any time soon; 3. the immediate urgency of ISIS gains; 4. the messages from others already in the West representing a much better life there; and I also tried to hit the myth of the US or Isreal financing it on the head by insisting that most of the refugees from Syria are… Read more »
Guest

Of course those conspiracy theories always are based on you know whom – the New World Order, the Bilderbergs, the Rotchilds, etc …
The correlation between antisemitism and xenophobia is still strong in Hungary – add to this those (in)famous Christian family values, and voilà!

ert543
Guest

Isolated, desperate and confused people populate Orban’s Hungary.
They may produce a gang war like Milosevich’s Yugoslavia.

trallala
Guest

Orban couldn’t be happier with such a war.

gdfxx
Guest

You missed two:
– the deteriorating economy in Turkey
– the worsening of the fate of ethnic minorities in Turkey

gkadar
Guest
Turkey is being squeezed with all the refugees and migrants. I don’t blame them for encouraging/permitting people smugglers to order and buy up incredible numbers of inflatable dinghies and facilite the arrival of thousands and thousands on the Greek Islands. Why on earth would Turkey, a relatively poor country, want to play host to hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants stuck for what could be years in camps? Ultimately, it is the actions of Turkey which will be responsible for any change in the middle east crisis by flooding Europe with migrating peoples. The social pressure and difficulty in accomodating all of the people will help to encourage some resolution in the MIddle East. Building fences, blocking borders: this is all political posturing. The people who are on the ground having to deal with hundreds and thousands of migrating people behave in a different way: they help to move them on. Going on and on about the law, the this the that, forget it. What needs to be done is being done: pragmatic facilitation of people movement. I laugh when Serbia complains that Hungary fired (what water?) into its territory or when Croatia complains and then Hungary complains….. honestly,… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Here is a Serbian reporter’s eye-witness account of a certain incident on the Hungarian border:
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2015&mm=09&dd=17&nav_id=95464

Döme66
Guest

The undecided voters are becoming convinced Fidesz is the future and the solution for their problems.

300.000 more voters now support Fidesz, which is getting stronger by the day. No wonder Orban is confident and triumphant. His opponents in Hungary are irrelevant.

Orban is the new Hope of Hungary.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20150921_Ipsos_A_Fidesz_a_nyar_egyertelmu_nyertese

Guest

You mean like Horthy and Szalasi?
You know how it ended the last time?
Why does Hungary always choose the wrong side?

ert543
Guest

Confusion has been ruling poor Hungary.
Generations of liars destroyed any integrity left.
How many Hungarians are able to conduct an educated and truthful conversation with you, Wolf from Tubingen?

D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

Orban is the new Hope of Neo-Nazi Europe.
That is what you really meant to say but were too polite

petofi
Guest

An expression of great power is worshipped by the downtrodden and powerless; and is the last refuge of a people’s free will before acceptance of total mental subjugation.

Webber
Guest

To those who think Orban just reflects some Central or Eastern European historical heritage (Istvan) take a look at what the Croatian government is up to today – quoting from news soures:
“If Croatia’s policy towards refugees was not already welcoming enough, on Monday the country’s interior minister, Ranko Ostojic, went on board two buses in Opatovac to welcome the new arrivals, a Guardian contributor in the country writes. Ostojic told them they will be fed and looked after ‘’and, in 24 hours, taken to Hungary’’.

The minister later told reporters that the refugees would not have their fingerprints taken ‘’because it scares them’’.”
and
“Croatian authorities have opened a new tented camp with space for 4,000 refugees in Opatovac, about seven miles from a previous, more basic facility in Tovarnik, which had been struggling amid heavy rain.

At Opatovac, arrivals are fed and registered, and given medical treatment as needed.”

Same region. Similar historical experience, up to a point (Croatia, actually, experienced war much more recently than Hungary) – yet WHAT a difference!

István
Guest

I guess I would see the interior minister’s quote somewhat differently. Effectively saying we will feed and shelter the bulk of Islamic refugees for 24 hours and then ship them to reactionary Hungary. A solid social democratic policy I guess.

Webber
Guest

Social Democratic policy? Only in the formulation – the execution seems party-neutral. For instance, let me put it in Christian Democratic terms for you:
“The refugees need help. The refugees don’t want to stop in our country. We also don’t want them to stay where they don’t want to be. So we will help them travel on to their desired destination.”
Not a hint of Social Democracy in that, is there? It’s something any EU-hating r-winger could happily embrace.

gdfxx
Guest

“The minister later told reporters that the refugees would not have their fingerprints taken ‘’because it scares them’’

What a stupid statement. Scares them why?

Webber
Guest

I disagree. It was a very clever statement, whether true or not. Not fingerprinting them saves an enormous amount of time (and money). Logistically, things are much easier this way.

gdfxx
Guest

Logistically it is simpler. Not checking them at all is even simpler. When the next 9/11 happens, try to find them.

Webber
Guest

They will surely be checked in their country of destination. If not, is that Croatia’s fault?

After Croatia, are they being checked by Hungarian authorities? (Not now, there are too many of them, they are being sent straight to Austria, says the news in Hungarian).

Were they checked when they passed through Serbia? (I doubt it).
Were they checked when they passed through Macedonia? (perhaps not).
Were they checked when they passed through Greece? (some of them, they say)
Were they checked when they arrived in Turkey? (most likely, given Turkey’s security concerns, but who knows?)

tappanch
Guest

The Ipsos poll , sample size = 1000, personal interviews,
taken from September 7 to 15. [June result]

Fidesz 24% [20%]
Democratic opposition 16% [14%] = MSzP 10% [9%] + DK 4% [4%] + Egyutt 2% [1%]

Jobbik 14% [15%]
LMP 3% [4%]

other parties 5% [3%] – which parties ?
no party 38% [44%]

http://ipsos.hu/hu/news/erosodott-fidesz

Tibor Hargitai
Guest

Intuitively I would argue that the main reason so many Hungarians would not want to see non-Hungarian/European peoples coming into Hungary is the fear for even more economic uncertainty. There is an incredible amount of people who seem to me to be been disillusioned by the lack of improvement of their well-being, after 1989 and after EU-accession. Fear of the unknown I believe would further exasperate that, despite the potentially highly beneficial effects on the Hungarian economy from absorbing these peoples.

Hungarians are not innately more radical, at least not more than any other nation.

István
Guest
There significant numbers of conspiracy theorists generally on the right in the USA too. We have a movement called the peppers or survivalists, who are stock piling weapons and food for the end days. Which some them believe is starting now with a massive influx of non- white refugees, others who do not see it in racial terms. President Obama is seen by this movement as an agent of the alien invasion. There even ecologically based survivalists who are more left wing that see resources on a world scale declining and argue we are well beyond the tipping point now. A former sergeant under my command is one of the former and he sends me emails regularly with adds for dehydrated foods and cheap 5.56 ammunition. There is even a survivalist web based forum, see http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=405332 Hungarians aren’t alone in the the madness of conspiracy theories. In response to Eva’s post above I would say simply there is also the underlying history of the Ottoman occupation of Hungary and other Central European nations that is a driver here. The educational systems in most Central Eurpopean states discuss the liberation from Ottoman rule. Many raised in the Middle East are taught… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Istvan – Then the question still arises, why Hungary?
The Serbian lands were under Ottoman occupation much longer than Hungary, there was a recent vicious war in Bosnia, yet Serbian politicians have spoken in a more humane manner about these refugees than their Hungarian counterparts, and Serbia is not even considering raising a fence
Croatia has about the same experience with Ottomans as Hungary, and Croatia also recently had a brief war with the Bosnian-Muslims, yet Croatian politicians are speaking in a much more humane manner than their Hungarian counterparts.
Ottoman domination explains nothing here.
You’ll have to find some other explanation, I think.

Webber
Guest

and PS Istvan
Nobody even remotely implied that Hungarians are alone in holding conspiracy theories.
What is unique, however, is that the nuttiest of such theories in Hungary are disseminated on a government-supported television channel (Echo t.v.).

That’s putting nuttiness at the level of Putin’s Russia or Milosevic’s Serbia.

István
Guest

The tone of Orban is based on the internal politics of Hungary, the tone of the Croats which is to execute a policy of massively expelling refugees to Hungary is based on their own internal realities. The Croat position is also smarter because it achieves the same purpose as Orban’s policy has in limiting acceptance of Islamic refugees without becoming a target for the media.

Both nations however share a similar educational perspective on the history Islamic invasions of Europe. But the nuances of how this general anti-Islamic sentiment manifests itself is different only to a degree in the current context.

tappanch
Guest

@Istvan

“cultural achievements of the Ottoman occupation in Spain ” – Spain was NOT occupied by the Ottomans.

The Muslim occupied [and partly settled] Spain (711-1212 & 1212-1492) had its ups and downs, culturally too. Its height was perhaps in the 929-1031 period.

István
Guest

Spain is treated by Said as part of the advanced nature of Islamic rule in Europe. Spain was a major thread of his line of thought on this issue. I sorry for the historical simplification. His argument encompasses several Caliphates.

tappanch
Guest

You can read criticism about Edward Said’s scholarship at several places, e.g.

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/enough-said-false-scholarship-edward-said

do56
Guest

The Palestinians have produced quite a few Orban/Lazar type leaders, and Szakaly like historians:

Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi.

We should question their credibility.

The whole Muslim, Arab world sorely needs decent honest enlightened historians.

They should stay away from any Maria Schmidt like ones.

tappanch
Guest

The nicely bearded fatherly refugee who was tripped by the the journalist close to Jobbik had been an al-Qaida affiliated fighter !

PYD [Syrian Kurds] : Syrian refugee tripped by Hungarian journalist was member of radical al-Nusra Front [al Qaida affiliate]

“Abdul Mohsen had fought alongside the Nusra Front before leaving Syria with his family in the spring of 2015.” He “was involved in the violent suppression of Kurdish riots in the city of Qamishlo in 2004 following a football match where more than 50 Kurds were killed by the Syrian security forces.”

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/20092015

tappanch
Guest

“The PYD published a picture of Abdul Mohsen from his Facebook page before closing it down earlier this year where he identifies himself as a member of the Nusra Front, adding that he had fought the Kurds near Amudeh, Serekaniye and Afrin.”

Reality Check
Guest

@Tappanch, you are being less than objective. This is an allegation by a Kurdish political group. I would wait for some independent objective analysis before declaring: “The nicely bearded fatherly refugee who was tripped by the the journalist close to Jobbik had been an al-Qaida affiliated fighter!”

The Syrian PYD is associated with the Kurdish PKK, a group listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US. Who are we to believe at this point?

tappanch
Guest

I quote a source. Why do you question my objectivity? Do I have anything against this nice-looking guy? Nope.

Why would the Kurds single out a refugee, if he were not a well-known enemy of theirs? They obviously did not forget his role in the 2004 massacre in Qamishli.

tappanch
Guest

“The Syrian PYD is associated with the Kurdish PKK” . This could be the case. But it is also associated with the US effort to defeat Da’esh.

Reality Check
Guest

Yes, my point is that we do not yet have independent verification.

Reality Check
Guest

I question your objectivity because you make a strong statement of terrorist association based on an unverified report. He may have an association, but I await an independent objective verification.

LwiiH
Guest

So, the question is, how are the Germans (well everyone for that matter) going to weed out the bad guys from the good ones. Well, they will most likely rely on information they can gather from the refugees themselves. This is when things get funky because if there are old scores to pay back it’s a perfect opportunity to do so. As for this guys involvement with any group. He was obviously a public figure in Syria pre-war days and who knows who would say what against any public figure. Why would the Kurds single out a refugee, I don’t know. I don’t know what motivates the Kurds. We don’t know the veracity of the claims, we don’t really know anything. I’m sure that the “bad” guys will eventually be identified and if these claims are true he’ll be in that group. But it’s going to take time to sort all of this out.

gdfxx
Guest

He is probably one of those afraid of being fingerprinted…

Reality Check
Guest

And his son was likely a cleverly disguised bomb….

gdfxx
Guest

I’ve got news for you: even terrorists have children (unfortunately).

Webber
Guest

There have been a number of similar stories that have proven to be false.
The story that a Kurdish group is sending the information has also been used before.
There’s a brief report in Hungarian here about faked photos and claims that refugees were terrorists:
http://index.hu/tech/hoax/2015/09/15/menekultellenes_kamukepek_arasztottak_el_a_netet/

In this particular case, there are certainly a few people out there who would be happy if the victim of the kick were a terrorist.

But sure, it could be true – let’s just wait and see. You can be sure that a lot of intelligence agencies are looking into it.

gdfxx
Guest

If you (or anyone else) imagine that there will be not one terrorist among the hundreds of thousands of migrants from all these Muslim countries, all I can say is that you are naive.

But let’s wait and see, what else can we do?

gkadar
Guest

There may be dis-enchanted ISIS followers as well. Apparently, it’s not an Islamic paradise/caliphate.

But to be fair, and I realize it’s orders of magnitude different in regards to damage potential, but there were Hungarian criminals emigrating to Canada back after the 56 revolt as well. And as then, there are probably numbers of common garden variety criminals among the migrants now in Europe. It’s to be expected. Just I’d be concerned, once things settle down a bit, that unemployed, frustrated gangs of young thugs will be roving about the cities of Germany and Sweden. The way they boarded the train in Croatia was somewhat perturbing.

Orban using the excuse that Hungary is a Christian country (do the majority of people REALLY attend church?) and that Muslims don’t assimilate is a crock. What about the upwards of 30,000 Chinese who live in Hungary? They are not Christians, do not assimilate and work and bribe hard to not pay taxes. They are okay? Now, puhleeeze….

gdfxx
Guest

All your examples are valid, with one exception: none of the groups mentioned had people that were part of major terrorist crimes.

Reality Check
Guest

I’ve got news for you. You have poor critical thinking skills. You jumped from an unverified allegation to a completely made up statement about him avoiding fingerprinting. You even managed to get into his mind and discover his motivation for something you have no evidence he did.

Webber
Guest

In English, on false claims that refugees are terrorists being disseminated on the internet – see these stories:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/kleinfeld-refugee-memes-debunking-846

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-34176631

tappanch
Guest

One thing is clear. The Syrian Kurds do not care about Hungarian politics. They have NO interest in besmirching an innocent man. The Kurds disclosed this info, because seeing him on television, they realized that they know this man’s past.

Webber
Guest

Sure, it could be true.
Earlier there were revelations that the fellow was a somewhat famous coach in Syria, and that he had been tortured by the Assad regime.
Was that true? False? Are both claims true?
Certainly, there are plenty of people who want the man to be discredited (Assad’s people, one or two Hungarians, lots of extreme r-wingers – a little money here, a suggestion there, you know…)
But it certainly could be true.
Clarification ought to come through, either way.

Whatever the case, we’re not going to get to the bottom of it. I’m sure it will be all over the intl. press soon enough.

tappanch
Guest

Now, this IS “conspiracy theory”.

Do you assume that journalists of a Kurdish online journal publish a false accusation because Hungarian Jobbik paid them?

Perhaps, Iran was the intermediary … 🙂

Webber
Guest

Yes, it IS a conspiracy theory!
🙂
But then the whole story is one, isn’t it?
It’s all so bizarre.
(thank you for suggesting Iran – which seems to fund that Rudaw website, and I guess the US does too – when will Mossad be implicated??? Martians?)

Guest

The football coach’s arrival in Spain was all over the media – if there’s any truth to the allegations we’ll hear about it, I’m sure!

PS:
I’m sorry to see that this is not the first time that some commenters here “work together” with the right wing loonies …
Really sad in a way.

On the other hand it’s also known that there is not much of a difference between extreme conservative right wing Christians, right wing Jews and right wing Muslims re xenophobia, ideas about their supremacy, homosexuality, the role of women, the death penalty and so on …
The only real difference I see is that they pray to different (expletive deleted) …

tappanch
Guest

@wolfi

“commenters here “work together” with the right wing loonies ”

I hope you do not allude to me.

Do not kill the messenger for the message you do not like to hear – this is such a “right” wing attitude to follow. 🙂

By the way, this will be in the Hungarian news only if Hungarian journalists follow Eva’s blog or if they read my favorite Kurdish news source.

LwiiH
Guest

I’d be careful here. Like I said, we don’t know the Kurdish motives and this guy was in the public eye.

Tyrker
Guest

tappanch –
it’s not just the Kurds. This story was first posted by a Facebook group called ‘This is Christian Syria’ that also provided a link to the bearded guy’s Facebook page on which he clearly expressed his support for the al-Nusra Front. (The Christian Syrians nevertheless made it clear that Petra L’s deeds were not justified by this, given that she was not aware of the old guy’s past.) He subsequently deleted his Facebook account. Interestingly, the story was only picked up by extreme right wing media outlets in Hungary – that is, until the Kurds re-posted it, which drew the attention of Russia Today. Now you can read about it on index.hu too, albeit the Hugarian editor basically thinks it’s a hoax:
http://index.hu/kulfold/2015/09/22/menekult_fociedzo_an-nuszra_al-kaida_hoax/

Tyrker
Guest

Here’s the original post by the Syrian Christians who broke the news more than a week before the Kurds: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsChristianSyria/posts/415808071949012

Edith
Guest

Stop obsessing about “terrorists”. To say that an Arab refugee is a potential terrorist is no better than saying that any Hungarian gipsy is a potential thief. Or an American black person is just another crack dealer on welfare. This is ridiculous. Christianity and Judaism will not be supplanted by Islam. Stop being terrified. There is no 100% safe world, innocent pensioners get murdered for 200 forints in rural hamlets all the time in Hungary, there’s no system which can prevent that — except for totalitarian regimes.

petofi
Guest

@Edith

The real fear is this: the Muslims will subvert the democratic system simply by,
a) their far superior birth rate;
b) the ingrained cultural practice of a patriachal society where the male figure decides for all, and that means where the group’s votes will go en masse…

gkadar
Guest

Hm, petofi, your point b) reminds me of my Hungarian father. Was he unique? A freak of the ethnic Hungarians? His brothers were the same way. Beat the wives and kids because getting beaten themselves as children according to them, did them no harm. So patriarchy has existed in other than Muslim families. The Hindus are the same btw. Wives need to ask permission for all manner of things most of us take for granted as freedom to choose for ourselves.

I wish Europeans would get off their ‘civilized high horses’ and deal with reality. It’s tiresome.

And how does democracy get destroyed if people vote? Isn’t that what democracy provides? Based on the involvement in political discourse around here, and it is a heavy duty Muslim area, what is going on is what is supposed to be going on.

fehervari
Guest

@tappanch

Said a Palestinian Arab is usually criticized by people obsessed with purported conspiracies against Israel. Said was University Professor at CU and one of the most influential cultural theorists of the second half of the 20th century, certainly in the US. But he got too much recognition and sympathy for right-wing jewish lobbyists.

Guest

@Fehervari
September 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Duh??

tappanch
Guest

The affairs Orban wants us to forget while the refugees keep coming

Quaestor & its connections to the Fidesz leadership
Affairs of his son-in-law
Rogan and his apartments

and others

http://444.hu/2015/09/21/kellemetlen-ugyek/

tappanch
Guest

The debt of the central government has increased by about 3 billion euros in the first 8 months of the year.

http://www.kormany.hu/download/1/d6/70000/%C3%81HT%20m%C3%A9rleg.pdf

petofi
Guest

@tappanch

How about…the role of Szijjarto in farming out government monies to a private investment firm..?

István
Guest

My reference to the late Professor Said was used as an example of how different in general Central European perspectives and the perspectives in Islamic nation states are on the period of occupation. When Said spoke at U of Chicago many years ago he was asked several times about this idea that Islam was an enlightening force for Europe and that Islamic rule was progressive in the sense it allowed us (Central Europeans) to emerge from our backward state. He did not back off this position one bit as I recall.

An
Guest

Another eyewitness account of what was going on at Roszke. From an Australian journalist on the scene.

http://budapestbeacon.com/featured-articles/counter-terrorism-police-ratcheted-up-violence-at-roszke-says-photographer/27778

Member
Guest
@wolfi September 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm Wolfi, I am not quite sure what exactly you mean by saying: — “On the other hand it’s also known that there is not much of a difference between extreme conservative right wing Christians, right wing Jews and right wing Muslims re xenophobia, ideas about their supremacy, homosexuality, the role of women, the death penalty and so on … The only real difference I see is that they pray to different (expletive deleted) …”. — Whatever may be the case regarding “extreme conservative right wing Christians” and “right wing Muslims” (duh??), your attribution of the above attitudes to right wing Jews is quite mistaken on a number of counts. Politically, right wing Jews are generally Israelis, though there is a relatively tiny, though quite influential right wing Jewish segment in the US too. Yes, they are Jewish nationalists, but supremacist rhetoric or xenophobia is very, very rare to nonexistent among them, even though in Israel their very existence is under constant, unremitting threat from the Arabs and the wider Muslim world. Homosexuality and the role of women are furthermore of no more concern for them than for Western Europeans: LBGTQ is in fact… Read more »
Guest

OK, so I should have written “the ultra-orthodox cults” in Israel …
My main point was that all these groups have very rigid and similar rules – though of course they are not identical …
And another similarity:
They often believe in a higher power that tells them what to do and what is right or wrong …

spectator
Guest

“They often believe in a higher power that tells them what to do and what is right or wrong …”

It must have been Orbán, all along!
I have anticipated it, even subconsciously!
Hence the reluctance..!

You are right wolf!
There is no significant difference between one or the other fundamentalist, nothing at all what makes one of them better than the other one!

According to G. Carlin – in my opinion he is/was an authority in this question – perhaps all in all:

“ My God’s dick is bigger than your God’s dick.”
It must be just that..!

Otherwise just how many Gods are we talking about?
Still the “one and only”?

Then – if we just leave out the possibility of one God with multiple personality disorder – all the religious conflicts just about the same way justified than a conversation about why do we talk on different languages?

Or back to the basic and most essential question of all – why aren’t we all Fidesz supporters, what’s wrong with us anyway?
Are we believing to Orbán, or to our eyes?

You see, this is a pretty hard question!

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