Scare tactics: The coming of an Islamic Europe

Reactions to the election of Sadiq Khan as mayor of London depend on people’s attitude toward Islam and multiculturalism. Those who are optimistic about the integration of the newly arrived refugees from the Middle East welcomed this tremendous victory by the son of Pakistani immigrants. It capped a distinguished political career over the last ten years or so. Khan served as minister of state for communities and minister of state for transport in Gordon Brown’s government.

Yesterday Khan gave an interview to Time Magazine in which the name of Donald Trump came up in connection with the presidential candidate’s anti-Muslim sentiments. Back in November Trump told Yahoo News that he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register and mandate that they carry special identification cards. By December he was calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. Although Khan would like to meet with the mayors of New York and Chicago, he said in the interview that “if Donald Trump becomes the President, I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas. Conservative tacticians thought those sorts of tactics would win London and they were wrong. I’m confident that Donald Trump’s approach to politics won’t win in America.”

Trump’s answer to Khan came yesterday in an interview with The New York Times. He said that “there will always be exceptions” to his proposed ban, and naturally Sadiq Khan would be exempt. He hoped that Khan will do a good job “because I think if he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.” As you will soon see, Trump sounds like a raging liberal in comparison to the Hungarian right’s attitude toward Muslims in general and the election of Sadiq Khan in particular.

To illustrate the hate campaign being waged in Hungary against Muslims I’m turning today to an opinion piece written by one of the shining lights of Fidesz journalism, János Csontos. On paper he looks terrific. Since 1991 he has published 13 volumes of poetry and 22 volumes of prose, has produced five theatrical productions and at least two dozen documentary films, and has received 11 prizes, most for his documentary films on architectural monuments. However, he also received a couple of prizes for “journalistic excellence” from strongly right-leaning groups. His only literary prize came last year from the Orbán government, which considered him worthy of the once prestigious Attila József Prize. I managed to read only one poem by Csontos, “A sentence on lie,” which calls up Gyula Illyés’s famous poem written in the 1950s, “A sentence on tyranny.” Csontos’s alleged masterpiece is about Gyurcsány’s speech at Balatonőszöd.

His article, “Londonistan,” is full of factual errors, as an article written by Elek Tokfalvi, a pen name that is a mirror translation of Alexis de Tocqueville, points out. First of all, Csontos wants his readers to believe that the municipal election in London was not a battle between the candidates of the Conservative and the Labour parties but a “desperate struggle … between the child of a penniless [csoró] Pakistani immigrant and the rich Jewish child of a Rothschild,” which, by the way, Goldsmith is not. Csontos, following Samuel P. Huntington’s thesis, considers the outcome of the election a victory for Islam over Christianity.

For Csontos it is especially galling that the people of London could overwhelmingly elect a Muslim because, “after all, London is not a small town somewhere in one of the Benelux countries but it is the second largest financial center of the world whose first citizen will frequent mosques in his spare time and will ask the help of Allah against the faithless giaours [non-Muslims].” Surely, Csontos writes, it would be time to stop talking about Christian anti-Semitism. Instead, “in the spirit of the Scriptures, Christians and Jews should unite against Muslim expansion.” Csontos is obviously trying to set Jews against Muslims and minimize the political fallout of anti-Semitism, which in his view is no threat to European Jewry.

Let’s not abandon the Jewish theme in this nauseating article so quickly. Csontos describes a horrid future for both Christians and Jews, but Jews have more to worry about than anyone else. Jews are wrong in thinking that “everything will be politically correct in Eurorabia, whose leaders will be worried about the proper way to deliver speeches at Holocaust memorials.” He continues: “Do you think that a Muslim Tarlós [the mayor of Budapest] would allow György Soros’s private composer, Lajcsi Lagzi, to slink around on Vörösmarty tér in the hope of a tip?”

In order for non-Hungarians to understand this sentence I have to give some linguistic and cultural cues. Of course, Soros’s private composer is Iván Fischer, conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, here thinly disguised as Lajcsi Lagzi, a musician who had a couple of popular programs on TV2 until he was arrested in September 2015 for fraud. “Lagzi” is the familiar form of “lakodalom” (wedding). So, we are talking about a musician who plays at weddings. Now we can move on to the verb I translated as “to slink.” The word is borrowed from the Romani language, “bazsevál.” It describes a Gypsy violinist who has focused on one of the guests, playing his favorite song in hope of a tip. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that Csontos uses another Gypsy word, “csoró,” to describe the penniless state of the Khan family.

Mayor Sadiq Khan and Chief Rabbi Mirvis. They seem to be getting along fine

Mayor Sadiq Khan and Chief Rabbi Mirvis. They seem to be getting along just fine.

Back to London (and reality). As Elek Tokfalvi noted in his article, the very first official act of the new mayor of London was to pay his respect to the millions of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. A detailed description of the event can be read here.

But in Csontos’s view of the future, in the center of which is an Islamic Europe, little Prince George will be forced to marry an Arab girl one day. It will be politically incorrect to teach the French Song of Roland or the Hungarian Eclipse of the Crescent Moon, a twentieth-century novel popular among young readers. What a juxtaposition! Instead, Hungarian kids will have to watch a film about Suleiman the Magnificent from which they will learn that the depraved Hungarians deserved what they got in the Battle of Mohács (1526).

I assume Csontos is relieved that this apocalyptic future is not here yet. Hungarians can still assert their superiority here and there. Turks have complained about a children’s song, taught in Hungarian kindergartens, about a stork’s bloodied leg that was cut by a Turkish boy and healed by a Hungarian child. A French woman living in Hungary also had objections when her child had to learn the song. Not to worry, Hungarian psychiatrists responded. At this early stage in a child’s development, any anti-Turkish message the song might send will not plant any seeds of prejudice. I don’t know, but I wonder whether the children will ever ask how it can happen that the stork’s leg is healed by a pipe, drum, and a violin-shaped instrument (nádi hegedű) made out of broomcorn. I had to look up the last instrument, the description of which I found in the Hungarian dictionary of folklore available online.

Kindergarteners might not comprehend the message of the ditty about the Turkish and Hungarian boys, but the readers of Csontos’s piece will get the message just fine. After all, the Hungarian parliament just approved the referendum on unwanted immigrants.

May 10, 2016
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Guest

If the UK behaved in the way Csontos does, the government there, in line with their policy of anti racism and anti-hate speeches, would have every right to resettle all Hungarians (about 600,000?) living and working in the UK, and send them packing back to Hungary.

And since Csontos despises the notion of multiculturalism so much, then surely he would not want want Hungarians to be sullied by living right in the midst of a country which is one of the most tolerant and liberal in the entire world.

Or is it that he welcomes the taxes from wages earned in the UK (and which then get syphoned off by Orbán and re-directed into pockets such as Csontos’) to continue flowing in from London, Muslim mayor or not.

Such an arrogant, boorish, downright rude and crude rabble as Orbán’s country bumpkins, including this Csontos chappy, just never cease to amaze me.

webber
Guest

Csontos and most Fideszniks would be delighted, I am sure, if all Hungarians living in London were to be sent back to Hungary. That they would be unemployed would be a minor problem for him. Let them starve, as long as they are in Hungary.
They also would be even more delighted, I am certain, if all Hungarian Jews were to pack up and move to Israel.

Guest

I doubt that Orbán would be happy to have 600,000 Hungarians returned to Hungary, since the reason they left in the first place was because they have had enough of living in a mafia state, and they would most certainly not vote for the man who is behind the corruption.

Guest

And many say how it is so much more pleasant living in a society where people smile and have a joke – even at the most humble positions .

I only understood what they meant when I experienced the unexpected rudeness of supermarket checkout staff – in Tesco’s! And CBA and in general retail. The lying cake-shop owner and the dreadful hygiene.

And how lawn-mower repair shops and car spare-parts shops really do fleece you.

And the general un-smiling population.

You really do appreciate the contrast when you visit Londonisztán! (Stop it!).

So many visitors have commented on it when they visit.

And I have noticed it from the other end of the binoculars.

And a few have said they won’t ever return because of it.

webber
Guest

“Csontos, following Samuel P. Huntington’s thesis, considers the outcome of the election a victory for Islam over Christianity.”

I’m not a fan of Huntington’s “Clash” book, but that is a grotesque misreading on Csontos’s part of Huntington’s thesis (n.b. In a t.v. interview after the event, Huntington said the 9/11 attacks were not part of a clash of civilizations because Al Qaeda represented the anti-thesis of all civilizations, including Islamic civilization).

Member

This Janos Csontos character also received a ministerial appointment to the board of the National Fund for Culture’s committee on literature. In western Europe or the US/Canada, I cannot imagine that anyone who wrote an article such as the one Eva describes above would be allowed to keep his position.
http://www.nka.hu/rolunk/nka

tappanch
Guest

Despite the Fidesz rhetoric, the Orban family are eager sell prime Budapest real estate (which they obtained in dubious ways) to Arab investors.

Look at the Budapest downtown real estate deals of Orban’s son-in-law with Jordanian and Saudi businessmen.

http://444.hu/2016/03/23/egy-szaudi-olajmagnas-allhat-a-tiborczhoz-kotheto-ceget-felvasarlo-jordaniai-uzletember-mogott

tappanch
Guest
bidnis
Guest

@tappanch: Those are not “Arab investors”. Mostly the buyers are Strohmen (wired into the Hungarian state security agencies) who have been living in Hungary for long, behind whom Orban, Rogan, Habony etc. are, who launder money through these “Arabs”. They are Hungarian citizens from whom certain officers ask some favors from time to time.

webber
Guest

Kaya Ibrahim x 10!

Observer
Guest

No, no! I won’t have that:

Kaya Ibrahim X 1000
We are talking billion here, not millions.

tappanch
Guest

Orban is the ultimate anti-Robin Hood. In the 2017 budget, there will be much less money for the orphans, the widows, the handicapped.

http://www.vg.hu/gazdasag/ezermilliardos-megszoritasok-kovetkeznek-469914

Bowen
Guest

Related to Tappanch’s post … Orban is very happy to court the “right” Muslims.
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor (owner of the Ritz-Carlton in Budapest) has just been given a Hungarian state award “in recognition for his investments in Hungary”. http://tradearabia.com/news/MISC_306490.html

And Orban is happy to pose with Mr. Al Habtoor on his Facebook page.
comment image?oh=5679c026478210f5d781e39bb7fdd9bb&oe=579B0807

gerd
Guest

“Muslim” – in everyday language -simply refers to “poor dangerous Arab”. Nobody wants them that’s clear.

Rich people, however, have no religion or race so they can come at any time.

Observer
Guest

What about those rich who finance radical Islamists or even terrorists, say, like Bin Laden?

füge
Guest

It seems politicians have no big problems with such people. They are rich, have oil, and money to spend and purchase a lot of expensive stuff from us so they are OK (they are also few, whereas there are an awful lot of poor bastards).

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/twenty-eight-pages

Andrew J Chandler
Guest

Thanks for writing about this. An interesting perspective, especially as Sadiq Khan is so pro-EU (his Conservative opponent is in the OUT camp) and his campaign stirred up Islamophobia.

Mariana
Guest

Actually in France the reform of Middle School approved last year has already made important changes to the way French teenagers learn history. It is no longer mandatory to teach them the Medieval Catholic texts (among which La Chanson the Roland is one of the main representatives), instead learning the History of Islam is now mandatory. Why is that more relevant to French children than their own past and history? Maybe the future is not so far from where we are now, and maybe Csontos is not so deluded in his predictions after all….

Observer
Guest

Some confusion here:
The Song of Roland is not “Catholic” texts, but part of the literature course. The subject is a historical event, but the emphasis is on the then propagated virtues of camaraderie and chivalry.

Why the “more relevant” than their own past and history? Do they teach less French history now?
History of the world, i.e. other peoples, continents has always been part of the curriculum. Now that more people of Arab origin live in the place, there is more info on the Arab/Islamic nations’ history. This is contrary to the Hungarian tradition* and the Orban regime policies, but, hay, we are not all that bad …

* There was not a single Slovak language school in the Slovak populated territories of Hungary before WWI. Analyze this.

Observer
Guest

Sorry, too fast a spellchecker:

“Hey”, I am not that illiterate.

Guest

Mariana
A concern for the extreme actions of Muslims who use their religion as a weapon, rather than a source of comfort and faith, should be a conern for everyone.

But the likes of Csontos, who advocate, in a most rude and boorish manner, hatred and intolerance, is certainly not the answer.
The question is how to work together to find a solution.

And only by cooperating, and working together within Europe will there be a concerted effort to sort it out.

Orbán and Fidesz’s isolationist and nationalist notions are totally conterproductive and most certainly will not end the violence perpetrated by crazy thugs who pretend to be Muslims.

Guest

London Calling!

I never thought I’d see London Spectrum on here, Eva!

London will continue on its multicultural easy way – completely ignoring the faith of its mayor after the initial buzz.

That’s London. That’s England.

I can understand the xenophobia of Hungary as “the ‘enemy’ gets nearer”.

Xenophobia is Institutionalised in Hungary:

“A French woman living in Hungary also had objections when her child had to learn the song.

Hungarian education is oblivious to it – and yet Wass is also institutionalised into the syllabus – with sub-liminal messages edmanating from dubious ‘initiatives’ in erecting Horthy and Holman statues.

It never ceases to amaze me how Hungary is obsessed with events in the UK – as I’ve mentioned before – Kisalfold regularly paints a black picture of the UK with negative articles about us.

Whilst Hungary has problems with our way of doing things we will continue on our usual independent path.

And Hungary?

Where’s that? Who?

Who cares.

Regards

Charlie

Guest

And Londoners are getting fed up with the so-called ‘Londonistan’ ‘joke’. I bet Csontos believes he invented ‘Londonisztán’ – and many Hungarians too no doubt.

It was a jibe originating from the French Security at least ten years ago because they were concerned at the number of immigrants arriving in the UK.

Ironic when you consider the recent terrorist events in France and the connection with terrorists in Belgium.

It is wearing thin in London – as it becomes prevalent again with UKIP enlisting it in their ‘Leave’ (the EU) campaign.

So very clever Csontos! Ha! Ha!Ha!

Observer
Guest

Orban, Bayer, Csonos and the other lying hate mongers play their dirty games on a basic feature of the human nature. They had guaranteed a short term win on the migrant issue.

BUT, they have been using running this hate mongering business for almost two decade now with disastrous social result in Hungary. A society divided and then subjugated in a cold civil war manner, has no chance to prosper – never happened anywhere. The regime still peddles the poisoned fruits of hate every day, e.g. the articles in question.
While there has been no foreign terrorism at all, Hungarian fascists murdered 7 gypsies and plotted to bomb, beat and murder political opponents and others (see verdict in the Budhazi trial).

Having said the above and more, based on my years long experience in the Arab world I am very pessimistic about the integration of or the co-habitation wit these people (mainly because of the critical mass of their numbers and it’s effects of their socialization).

Istvan
Guest
Interesting reference by Eva to The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order written by Samuel P. Huntington. For Eva’s Hungarian readers who may not be familiar with Professor Huntington he is primarily known as a scholar of the US military state relationship. He died in 2008. I studied his book, The Soldier and the State, at the US Army War College in the late 1970s. In part, “Soldier and the State” was inspired by President Harry Truman’s firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur – and at the same time praised corps of officers that in history remained stable, professional, and politically neutral. In January 1989 I attended Huntington’s lecture at what is commonly called West Point, the US Military Academy. His lecture was on the education of strategists. His lecture style was very poor and he appeared hunched up, blinking and squinting. None the less his content was thought provoking. Even more interesting here before all of us dressed in our uniforms adorned with combat ribbons was the picture of liberal academics dressed in a tweed jacket who was telling us about ourselves and knew more about the US Army officers in the room as a culture than… Read more »
Jon Van Til
Guest

Two recent and highly informed articles on the struggle for contemporary global domination:

Andrew Sullivan: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html#

Noam Chomsky:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/09/noam-chomsky-who-rules-the-world-us-foregin-policy?

Guest

Very interesting reading. Much food for thought in both. Sullivan’s piece appears to bring to the forefront and privides probing questions on what a Trump presidency will develop into. Still reading through to explore and understand the possible ramifications that would course through in our democracy.

kabóca
Guest
Zsigmond Móricz (a very respected Hungarian author) has a funny little poem about A török és a tehenek (The Turk and the cows). Yes, one could argue that it’s not politically correct just as the children’s song with the stork isn’t, but it would be a huge overreaction to police these traditional songs, poems. This is exactly what conservatives mean when they talk about about the tyranny of politically correctness. The bigger problem may be that kids don’t really think about these texts, they just say them out loud (after all they are “mondókák”). The kindergarten teachers don’t start conversations about the texts. Why does the poet say this and that and what does he mean? In my childhood Attila József’s Altató was a very famous, often-heard poem and I never realized the strangeness in it: “vadakat terelő juhász”. (literally meaning: The shepherd herding wild animals). Why would he say this (probably the rhythm dictated it). Móricz Zsigmond: A török és a tehenek Volt egy török, Mehemed, Sose látott tehenet. Nem is tudta Mehemed, Milyenek a tehenek. Egyszer aztán Mehemed Lát egy csomó tehenet. Csudálkozik Mehemed, Ilyenek a tehenek? Én vagyok a Mehemed! Mi vagyunk a tehenek! Számlálgatja Mehemed, Hány… Read more »
Guest

A few years ago after landing at Heathrow we ascended the stairs to the city of London. We will never forget the polyglot view of of all mixes of people that we were beginning to get surrounded by. It is that scene that must terrify the ‘bonehead’ Csontos and raise the hair on the back of his neck as he looks on what a world could look like.

This appears to be not a world fit for Magyarorszag namely too too ‘downscale’ and harboring possibly destructive germs to eventually overcome and destroy the nation. It bears questioning how a country can accomplish anything constructive as it exists on the earth when its leaders present themselves through asinine dialogue more appropriate in whipping up the anger, hate and vitriol in the Magyar ‘streets’. Such a waste of energy. The anger produced must have a vengeance one day. Magyarorszag’s leaders are making its sad sad bed.

PALIKA
Guest

I did enjoy your thoughts on Trump. Also those on the reasons behind the election of the new London Mayor. Let us see how they both get on, seperately or tougher? I would not want to waste word on the balderdash produced by Csontos. Khan is a pro EU Muslim.
Goldsmith is an anti EU Tory. He was rejected by the voters in a largely pro EU London. Goldsmith had not much reason to be anti Muslim, if ever he was, since his sister had been married to Pakistani Muslim. His second mistake was to allow Downing Street to orchestrate his campaign along the absurd lines that Khan was associated with extreme Islam.
I reflect almost daily on the wasted opportunity since 1989 of the Hungarian political classes in not persuading the country to leave behind its often inglorious past and to grow closer to the Western and European mainstream. It is not too late perhaps but the task grows daily more daunting.

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