The Hungarian right and the Manchester terrorist attack

Every time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in Europe, the Hungarian government and Fidesz, besides sending the customary condolences to the appropriate authorities, immediately begin to use it as a political tool. From the statements emanating from various Fidesz quarters in the last two days, I came to the conclusion that the Manchester case has been singled out as an event that is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of terrorism in Europe. Péter Szijjártó’s statement labelled it “the most malicious terrorist attack” to date because young teenagers were likely to attend the concert. The Orbán government also declared the present terrorist threat in Europe the highest ever. European politicians should realize the danger and devote all their energy to making Europe a safe place.

Lajos Kósa, the leader of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation, was more forthright. He accused the European political leaders of blindness. They inexplicably “still don’t realize what’s happening on the European continent.” How many more people will have to die before they wake up? Terrorism doesn’t start with a “suicide bomber.” It starts when “terrorists illegally come to Europe and many people actually assist them.”

Bence Tuzson, undersecretary in charge of government communications in the prime minister’s office, gave an interview this morning on Magyar Rádió’s early morning political program. He emphasized “the close connection between immigration and terrorism.” Illegal immigration should not be “managed” but stopped. In this connection, he criticized Jean-Claude Juncker who, according to Tuzson, said: “Today is still a day of mourning, but from tomorrow on we must fight against those who question European values.” The real battle should be at the borders of Europe. “One shouldn’t preach about European values; the most important question is the security of the people.” Knowing Fidesz’s penchant for not being faithful to the original source, I looked at Juncker’s actual statement. Here is what the EU president had to say: “Today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life. They underestimate ours and [British] resilience—these cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts.”

Members of the Fidesz propaganda media were also appalled by Juncker’s “clichés.” Mariann Őry, head of the foreign desk at Magyar Hírlap, who about a month ago wrote an article titled “Sorosjugend,” was especially upset over the phrase “those who seek to destroy our way of life.” Here is a man, says Őry, who allegedly is fighting against terrorism while he keeps kissing (puszilkodik) George Soros, the promoter of “unlimited immigration,” whose activities present “a significant security risk to Europe.”

Zsolt Bayer also devoted an editorial to the Manchester terrorist attack, in which he stressed the “utter predictability” of every one of these atrocities. People of Europe know what’s coming,“but we don’t do anything. We know that they have launched a war against us and we burn candles like drooling idiots.” The western half of Europe is “condemned to death if the citizens there tolerate it.” East of the former Berlin Wall people still have a sense of self-preservation, but in the West it is called a “violation of European values.” I think it is quite clear from these examples that references to European values or the European way of life get under the skin of far-right Fidesz scribblers and most likely of Fidesz politicians as well.

A third op-ed piece by Levente Sitkei, a journalist who wrote a book on Saudi Arabia, is especially offensive because, according to the author, “Salman didn’t die. He is still walking on the streets of Manchester, Liverpool, London, and Glasgow. He is standing on the street corner, a lonely savage [vadember] devoid of soul with rights but without responsibility and gratitude. No soldier or policeman can stop him because neither his family, fear of the authorities, neither humanity nor love of country can deter him.” These generalizations stoke fear in the hearts of Hungarians, far away from Manchester, living in a country where these “savages” are nowhere to be found.

Tibor Kovács, who works for the government propaganda site 888.hu, agrees with Sitkei. After praising Christian Europeans whose “whole culture is based on understanding and goodwill,” he writes that we must learn to forget about all these Christian virtues if “we want to remain alive.” There is no hope; these Muslim communities will never accept our values. In fact, “the longer they live among us the more likely it is that they will become our enemies, the more likely it is that they will identify with movements that threaten our lives.” And that’s not all. Kovács claims that “those currently peaceful Muslim taxpayers are potential enemies of European Christians, only waiting for the time to unveil their real identity.”

Vigyázó!, a fiercely anti-Muslim, pro-Israeli, pro-Trump site, translated into Hungarian an article written by Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist who got into quite a bit of trouble about five years ago when he was caught lifting passages without attribution from other authors. He writes a column for Arutz Sheva, an Israeli media network “identifying with Religious Zionism.” This article is a stomach-turning piece. Europe must learn to respond forcefully to these attacks because “otherwise, Europe will reach the point where the soldiers of Allah will have to be hunted down, from door to door, as in Mosul and Raqqa.”

Meotti in this article repeats a theory that has gained traction of late in right-wing circles: the inability or unwillingness of European leaders to fight the Muslims stems from the fact that most of them have no children. “Is it possible that Europe’s leaders have chosen to avoid fighting because they are all childless? German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, French President Emmanuel Macron, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and the head of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, have one thing is common: they are all childless.” Therefore “they don’t have the most powerful stake in the future of the country they lead. Having children and grandchildren influences the desire to ensure that they are given protection and the best chance to flourish in the future. Perhaps a childless leader is unable to see farther into the future, apart from his own life. Instead of children, Europeans have a weary death wish.”

The Hungarian right-wing media embraced the theory practically overnight. In addition to Vigyázó!, Mandiner, Pesti Srácok, althír.hu, and avilagma.com published opinion pieces on the childlessness of European political leaders. András Stumpf of Heti Válasz decided to counter the primitive argument that childless people don’t care about the future of mankind or the destiny of Europe. I’m sure, however, that the theory will spread like wildfire in Hungary where a decreasing population offers the specter of the possible extinction of Hungarians.

May 25, 2017
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Guest

Putinism is a more imminent threat to Hungary than Islam. Islamic terrorists make attacks in other countries. Krypto-putinists are in power in Hungary.

wrfree
Guest
Re: the Krypto-putinists The Islamist terrorism ‘issue’ continually looks a god-send for VO and Putin as it helps them to wrap more chains around their societies and weld themselves to their one -track problem-solving mind which prefers the simple to the complex in dealing with virtually uncontrollable events. Under the circumstances VO looks to be following his Russian counterpart’s template of battering the concept of European values. As if those precepts themselves provide the causes of uncontrolled violence and the pounding drumbeats which attempt to relegate the statements to the dustbin supposedly can free the world completely of the violence and protect them as they sit nice and cozy by a hot fire. All will be well then in the lands of Candide. What VO and Putin construct within their walls then is all for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Such simplicity is laughable and absurd. Perhaps the only thing to come out of it is to give the Eurasian duo more links to bang into the protection chain of repression. Such a ‘protection’ racket no doubt will be hailed to heaven as the best you can find in all the firmament. These ‘angels’ apparently would… Read more »
Observer
Guest

The idiotic “childless” theory leaves out the fact that the democratic governments are big systems, not ones ruled by fascist quasi dictators who elevate their whims and hobbies into national policies, e.g. soccer.

The statistics show that there are multiple threats e.g. alcohol related, family violence, road accidents, health care deficiencies who claim thousands of victims while the terrorism ones are counted in the dozens at most.

The problems of mass immigration and of insular Muslim or other sub-societies should not be underestimated let alone ignored, and not because of the terrorism aspect alone.

Guest
For the racist xenophobes all over the world these terrorist acts are a gift from heaven obviously – and many people are stupid enough that they don’t realise that it was again someone who grew up in the country. What I don’t know are the real reasons for the radicalisation of this young man – how did this happen? Was it the family’s fault, the environment, the school or? Another question: In this case again we hear that the terrorist and many of his family members flew several times to Libya, Syria etc. Where did the money come for this and what did they do – obviously these weren’t just two weeks holidays. Back to Hungary: I almost have to agree with petofi – Hungary is lost for the foreseeable future, so the way is clear: Leave the EU! And for the EU it should be clear: Stop financing Fidesz! Unless something extraordinary and totally unexpected happens to change Hungarians’ minds – but that looks rather improbable. It would be interesting to see statistics re xenophobia for the different countries in Europe and consider whether and how this had changed during the last years. PS: Muslims are in a difficult… Read more »
Guest

“If they don’t act we really might get some kind of religious cold war.”

Neither religious nor cold. We are in the middle of an asymmetric war, between Koran inspired terrorists and the societies they live in. It is not Islam against Christianity. The islamists don’t care about the religion of those they kill.

Guest

“War” imho is more than a few terrorist attacks imho!
As has been said several times many more people are killed for non-religious reasons and the Isis/Daesh movement is rather isolated in Islam afaik.
Of course our fascists in Europe see this differently – but they also are dreaming of a war against the “left liberal extreme green feminist Zionists …” (you can add more swear words for them) represented by Soros …

Totally OT:
I just read very positive critics of a new tv series “The Handmaid’s Tale” based on the famous novel by Margret Atwood (written more than 30 years ago) and some people see connections to the “Trump alternate reality” in the USA!
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/may/25/the-handmaids-tale-on-tv-too-disturbing-even-for-margaret-atwood
The future depicted there might even come from a dream of Hungary’s rulers …

e-1956
Guest

I would tweak my comments in a different way.

The Russian rulers have been turning the Islamists to terrorism.

Ordinary Muslims are similar to ordinary Hungarians. They can not fight their extremist leaders.

The Russian regime is the hidden dynamite in the worldwide terror. The regime openly shelters hezbollah, hamas and iran.

daesh is just another allied player in this game.

Let us refrain from tearing up Trump, and direct our anger at Moscow.

Istvan
Guest
In an odd way President Trump’s characterization of Salman Abedi and his fellow self imploding jihadists as “losers” actually has a relatively deep truth to it, especially from the perspective of entrepreneurs in a highly competitive capitalist economy. Abedi dropped out of a business management course at university. One of the two brothers who bombed the Boston marathon in 2012 was facing expulsion from his college. There are many other examples of alienated Islamist residing in the West who are competitive failures. Trump is an entrepreneurial role model not because his ventures have been overwhelmingly successful, but because he kept coming back from fiscal destruction and maintained his arrogant self assured public persona. But the truth is, many of Trump’s own supporters here in the United States are too losers. Because our market based society so heavily values the massive accumulation of wealth, the failure to succeed in the competitive market place causes a profound rejection of our society and for Muslim youth an attraction to a group like IS. For many Trump supporters here who are financially losers the right movement I the USA inclusive of talk radio, Fox TV, Brietbart etc., provides numerous scapegoats for their own failures.… Read more »
Guest

Istvan, thanks for these very succinct observations and the classification of these “losers”!
It has always been kind of astonishing for me that these groups share so many preconceptions or rather hate against the same groups:
Foreigners, women, LGBT people, other religions, non-believers – the list could go on …
The feeling of being thrown to the side of the road (or on the scrapheap of history …) seems a good description of them and maybe even of the whole of Eastern Europe which is turning to “Illiberalism” – in the hope of what kind of success?

PS:
And the typical reasoning of (not only …) many Hungarians when something goes wrong:
It must be someone else’s fault!

Member

@Istvan

A.
What about the ultra-rich “losers” like Osama bin Laden ?

Isn’t it Saudi Arabia that spread the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam all over the world?

Can we change the Quran, which is the word of Allah for a believing Muslim?

B.
Rex “Big Oil” Tillerson: “[If] we solve the Israeli-Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region”

Really?
What do the civil wars in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc have to do with Israel ?

e-1956
Guest

I support the ideas of Istvan.

Tappanch should detect the lies in the mega disinformations flowing from Moscow.

Member

Neither question A nor question B came from Moscow.

Sources:
A:
Quran, especially the 9th (chronologically penultimate) sura
B:
Tillerson’s briefing aboard Air Force One on May 24, 2017.

Member

“Clearly the Marxist, and collectivist alternative to our market economy has been an absolute failure.”

Most countries in the world mix “market” economy, “top down” state intervention and “bottom up” collectivist ideas.
[Think of Scandinavia or Kadar’s Hungary]

The question is : how optimal is the mixture ?

Is Orban’s Hungary a market economy ? Of course, not.

Istvan
Guest
Janos Kornai’s work on the economics of Kadar’s time I think shows the mixed model did not work. Kornai in my opinion was very supportive of the New Economic Mechanism and objective in his analysis. His 1988 book, “The Socialist System, The Political Economy of Communism” really takes apart the Kadar model and shows how it failed along with its internal contradictions. In saying that tappanch I am not declaring modern market economies are cheerful happy places leading to wealth for all. I am an anti Trump Republican and do believe in markets. But I also accept the reality that a highly competitive economic system can be harsh and crush many. It also helps to have a powerful military to leverage unfair market advantages to the extent possible in this world. Bin Laden also was a failure tappanch, or as my President would put it a loser. Steve Coll’s book: The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century discusses that failure within the powerful construction bussiness of his family. The success of the bin Ladens was tied to their connections and access to the King and his close associates, and the ability to anticipate and carry out, whether… Read more »
Member

You raise excellent questions about oppressive competition, Istvan, I need time to give deep enough continuation of thought.

The basic idea of “community” is not to leave anyone behind.

Andrew James
Guest

Watch out, watch out, there’s an Ottoman about! All these pronouncements neglect to point out that the perpetrator of the atrocity grew up in Manchester, part of a Muslim community which has been in the city for almost half a century. Interestingly, the Left in Britain also seeks to ignore this, in seeking to justify the event by blaming it on the Iraq War conveniently forgetting that El Quieda and 9/11 had their origins in the 1990s. These are both narratives based on historic tropes of Ottoman invaders and mercenary crusaders. Both are wrong… and dangerous to European unity, far more so than Brexit.

Member

StupeTV – “Soros would have killed his own mother”

Summary of the Orban propaganda

(poem created from TV2 news headlines, performed by J Gálvölgyi)

Member

NATO Spousal summit

comment image

Mrs Turkey is not too happy, Mr=Mrs Luxembourg is elated.

Zsuzsa
Guest

Lots of unfortunate events are blamed on terrorism and yet most perpetrators are homegrown and come from the mentally ill. Terror organizations may of course use them, but in the majority of cases they are acting out violent delusions. Halting immigration is a useless exercise if Johnny next door stops taking his meds and fixates on something he reads on the Internet. The interesting thing is Canada admits 250000 immigrants annually and so far the only “terror” activity has been perpetrated by the mentally ill. IMHO if you want to curb terror, stop bombing and dislocating people, don’t sell guns to every tom dick and harry and start taking mental illness and its causes seriously. Our illustrious leaders and their weapon making friends love all this terror. It gives them the chance to tighten the ropes on all of us and to militarize. All in the name of keeping us safe.

Member

In 2011, 3.2% of the Canadian population were Muslim.

Greater Manchester.
2001: 5.0% Muslim
2011: 8.7% Muslim

2017: 10.9% (?) Muslim by linear extrapolation

Zsuzsa
Guest

No, that is the 2016 figure. Although the percentage is growing. Canada has the room and the willingness to welcome refugees. At the same time England’s Muslim population was at 5.02% in 2016. But that is largely due to Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi Muslims. The Arab contingency was a mere 2.6%. And yet all Muslims are scapegoated. Islam is a widespread religion and is not restricted to Arab countries.

One more thing I would like to add to the Canadian experience, the terrorist act was perpetrated against a mosque and not the other way around.

Free Wheeling
Guest

Hear! Hear!
Indeed those communities that have a widespread reluctance to acknowledge the advance of psychology (or sometimes any social science) you will find that they will have a much greater likelihood of these ‘lone wolf’ terrorists. Add in the ‘traditional’ upbringing of males confers upon them humiliation and ‘great power’ and they will either end up terrorizing their own communities, but sometimes they operate against the larger community. It just so happens that in many of these communities many are afraid to engage in the possibility that one of ‘their own’ might be unhinged. Doesn’t matter if it is in Manchester, Ottowa, or Blacksburg and you will see this common thread.

Orionpax
Guest

Great another day in that miserable hellhole in which they claim to speak behalf of Manchester. I am muslim of bengali origin who lived most of my life there and we have good relation with everyone. It is an university based city with strong academic background and has been strong multicultural center in north of Britain. We had English and islamic extremist tried to devide us yet most of us work and commute together regardless of our background and there is great community vibe from most people who live in that city. As far as i can remember in Budapest they were massacring jews by the river danube during ww2. The hungarian have far more blood of innocent than millions of muslim minority who reside now in Europe. We do not accept radical islamist doctrine as a true Muslims but hungarian do accept their fascist past as glorious period by erecting fascist bust for miklos horthy. Hungarian are not innocent of their current treatment of gipsies and jews.
Orionpax from Manchester.

Zsuzsa
Guest

I cannot comment on Manchester, but Orionpax you are absolutely correct about Hungary past and present.

Guest

Orionpax, thank you for the comment. We rarely get acquainted with muslim viewpoints here. Go on.

Guest
Still it is very difficult for us to understand this kind of development as decribed in today’s Guardian: Salman Abedi seemed, on the face of it, an unlikely jihadi: a quiet lad from a well-known family, a “fun guy”, according to friends at school, who loved football and was good at it, supported Manchester United and enjoyed a game of cricket. Others said he was a bit of a party animal, who drank vodka and smoked weed daily, was popular with girls and “always clubbing or at house parties”, listening to rap and grime music. A young man, in other words, like so many others in Manchester: unconcerning, unremarkable. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/26/salman-abedi-manchester-arena-attack-partying-suicide-bomber? In a way this reminds me of the German terrorists of the RAF (Red Army Fraction) which came out of the 60s student movement (of which I was a part …) – in the end they turned all our ideas of freedom and independency from authority on the head! Obviously there is something seriously wrong with these people – just look at one of their representatives Horst Mahler who wanted asylum in Hungary right now but was too much even for Orbán’s right wingers. From one extreme of the political… Read more »
aida
Guest
I could never understand what the gripe was that gave rise to the 60s student movement. At the time it seemed to me like half baked Marxist nonsense. I cannot understand what the jihadi gripe is either. When I was a student my ambition was to earn to pay the rent and to put a meal on the table three times a day. Then better things followed because I got lucky when I worked. It never occurred to me to join a student movement or to blow up my neighbours. Why is it that no one seems to want to ask, let alone answer the question what makes healthy young men want to destroy themselves and others at the same time? Not much point in achieving utopia if all that is left of you is bleeding body parts. Maybe the prospect of a heavenly existence? Pretty speculative prospect. Clearly, nothing that has been tried works to stop terrorism. The label changes but the crazy people just carry on. Maybe the cause is not for us to know, but like with other forms of criminal conduct no research has produced any answer why humans behave as they do. Most people do… Read more »
Guest

Aida, most of the participants in the students’ revolt were peaceful – some of my friends went into politics, maily the Green party. You shouldn’t forget that the ruling class in those days were the CDU (Clerical fascists, extremely conservative or reactionary …) and in Germany like in Britain eg abortion was illegal, same sex relations got you into prison etc – remember Turing? One of the greatest mathematicians who was essential in the British war effort killed himself because after the war he was persecuted as a homosexual – chemical castration was en vogue …
Those 60s resembled very much the illiberal ideas of today’s extreme right wingers!

A very small minority of those students went into the RAF – as I remember most of the RAF members weren’t even students but went directly from being workers to being killers …

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