Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric

The authorities have respect for R. Dmowski, the active “Polonisator” of national minorities and ardent xenophobe (President Komorowski laid flowers at the monument to him twice in 2013).

In late March, the Lublin City Council decided that “in view of the Christian tradition” of the city to stop municipal finance of “operations and activities that are contrary to public morality or having scandalous content” .

In April, mayor of Wroclaw said that the situation with the forced relocation of the Roma could be regulated by evicting Roma onto the outskirts of the city.

On June 19, leader of a small Polish far-right-wing party “Union of Slavic Empires” Ian Kelb gave an interview to the daily newspaper “Rzeczpospolita daily”, where he stated – “We know who rules Poland – Jews, furthermore – bad Jews” .

The radical change in the political landscape that took place in 2015 –presidential and parliamentary elections were won by the opposition party “Right and Justice”, professing right-wing conservative views – led to the fact that people using xenophobic rhetoric turned out to be at high posts. Thus, in September 2015, Beata Shidlo, who became the new prime minister, said that the decision to admit migrants in Poland was made in defiance of security and public opinion. Leader of the Law and Justic Party J. Kachinsky, who formally does not hold a senior post in the state, but supervises the president and the government, said in October 2015 that migrants are carriers of dangerous viruses. In January 2016, B.Shidlo, speaking in the European Parliament, said that Poland allegedly received about 100 thousand Ukrainian refugees, and therefore cannot accept refugees from the Middle East. However, it was later found out he was not talking about refugees, but about economic migrants.

In July 2016 Minister of Public Education Annat Zalewska publicly stated that she could not say who was the perpetrator of the Jewish pogroms in Yedvabno in 1941 (when fifteen hundred people were killed by their neighbours) and in Kielce in 1946, clearly aspiring to a fashionable within certain circles “substitution theory” – putting the blame for Nazi atrocities on the Soviet special services.

In an August 2017 national television interview, Polish Prime Minister Ms. B. Szydło was asked about the terrorist attacks in Spain. She stated: "Europe - now I quote what I have already said in Parliament - must wake up from its lethargy and start thinking about its own security. (...) It is necessary to rise from our knees and face the truth. (...) Many politicians say that migration policy should not be linked to terrorism. In some cases this is understandable when we are talking about real refugees. But the result of Chancellor A. Merkel's policy of deciding to accept so many refugees is clear - many of those who spread death have won." In November 2017, the Chancellor's policy was to take in so many refugees. It should be noted that in November 2017, authorities did not condemn the racist slogans of the Independence March.

In 2018-19, the hateful rhetoric, while persistent, was generally more moderate. However, there are voices within the authorities and outside the ruling party calling for a stronger response to racism, xenophobia, and radical nationalism. In January 2018, for example, Polish ombudsman A. Bodnar said that over the past two years there has been little or no political response by government officials to the growing problem of hate crimes.

Analogously, Prof. R. Pankowski (The Never Again Association) points out that political elites are fueled by prejudice. As the 2018 European Report on Islamophobia rightly points out, "Poland has no nominal right-wing political party, but a conservative ruling party that nevertheless allows an unequivocally negative image of Islam to circulate in state institutions. The state media seem to carefully select their guests, who spread stereotypical portrayals of Muslims as 'rapists,' 'terrorists,' 'jihadists,' 'sexists,' 'uncivilized,' 'duplicitous,' and generally a 'threat' to European and Christian values."

Many journalists express similar views. For example, M. Pronchuk of the well-known portal www.oko.press said that the ruling party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość ("Law and Justice") has done more than the impossible - it has convinced citizens of the country, where foreigners make up 0.3% of society, that "others", especially foreigners, pose a mortal danger to them. The author of the article notes that since 2015, PIS has launched a campaign of fear of refugees. It also allowed the legalization of nationalist and racist hate speech. This journalist also points out that Ms. B. Kempa, the new vice minister for humanitarian aid and refugees, is afraid of refugees. For example, in February 2019, she said that "the government is not going to put Poles in danger, as other EU countries did when they opened their borders and consequently had problems with terrorism."

Another journalist, M. Mazuy ("Politika," a leading Polish weekly), points out that the Polish government remains indifferent when it comes to evaluating both violence against "Arabs" and ideas for helping immigrants.

AJ Dudek (www.oko.press) argues that negative attitudes toward Muslims are due to three factors: fear of terrorist attacks in Europe, equating Muslims with terrorists and the Polish government's radical migrantophobia, which is broadcast by right-wing media.

Deputy Ombudsman Ms. S. Sporak also notes that hate crimes appear to be underestimated by the authorities. Meanwhile, violent hate crimes have increased.

With regard to the attitude of Polish authorities towards racism and xenophobia, an official statement by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. E. Piebiak, is worth mentioning. In December 2016, a group of deputies submitted a written request to promote fascism by distributing calendars depicting soccer fans of the local team from the neo-Nazi informal group White Pride, which opposes the biological mixing of human races, in elementary schools. According to his response, the sole purpose of the meeting, in which the calendars were handed out to the students, was to promote sports. Minister Piebiak said of the White Pride group, "On the one hand, some circles may be associated with neo-fascists, but on the other hand, there are other connotations (the Celtic cross is a religious symbol)."

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