In the wake of the tragic events in France at the offices of the French satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo”, voices from the entire international community rose up in protest at the senseless killing of human beings. With them, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam voices however rose as well. It is shameful, but by no means surprising that Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, was once again one of the most vehement political leaders speaking against immigrants coming to Europe, and the cultural and ethnic minorities already living here.
Attending the solidarity march in Paris, on 11 January, Prime Minister Orban was quoted by EUObserver as saying that economic immigration “is a bad thing in Europe [...] because it only brings trouble and danger to the peoples of Europe". Not content to limit his comments on European immigration policies, Prime Minister Orban went on to paint in violent brush strokes his views on what Hungary as a country should aspire to be:
“While I am PM, Hungary will definitely not become an immigration destination. We don't want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary” (emphasis added).
- Quoted in EUObserver
The European Union itself seems to have forgotten its once much-trumpeted motto of “United in Diversity”, and now casts a wary and suspecting eye on those in search of better lives. It prefers to “secure” its borders and while people die trying to reach it, as Lampedusa and similar, continuing tragedies remind us. In these circumstances, Prime Minister Orban appears as the pioneer politician who expresses what his EU counterparts silently put in practice.
It is with great concern and alarm that we, the Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary (MigSzol), receive such developments. We believe that Hungary should be a diverse and inclusive society. We must never forget the Hungarian people’s own history of migration, from the founding of the medieval kingdom by immigrants from Asia to the exodus of its patriotic citizens following the Soviet violent repression of the 1956 Revolution. In its work, MigSzol seeks to help establish a Hungary that does not forget its past. We therefore urge the Government of Hungary not to arbitrarily and systematically put people in detention camps, but instead promote a society that does not cower in the darkened pit of fear and hatred of what is different.
As an answer to Prime Minister Orban’s stance on issues concerning migration, MigSzol will organize a demonstration on Monday, 19th of January 2015, 6 pm in Budapest’s Deák Ferenc Tér. Through this public action we oppose and condemn Prime Minister Orbán's recent xenophobic and bigoted comments, and make a stand for solidarity with all migrants attacked in these remarks. For MigSzol, discourses and policies based on hate and intolerance are not acceptable in Hungary.
Ready for open dialogue,
Migszol, Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary