This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of May, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
Date of publication: 30 May 2018
Media outlet: Twitter
Author: Filip Dewinter
About the author: Filip Dewinter is a leader of the Vlaams Belang, Flemish nationalist far-right party.
Tweet: Welcome to #Antwerpistan...look, shudder and realise: this is your multicultural future! #Resistance #AntwerpIsOurs Sign the petition immigratiestop.be
Description of the anti-Muslim content: With this tweet, Dewinter is promoting Vlaams Belang’s campaign to stop immigration from outside the EU. He shares a video of women and men of different cultures, origins, and religions browsing in a market in Antwerp. Dewinter’s intention is to scare the viewer with an ‘excess’ of diversity. He also uses derogatory fabricated words such as “Antwerpistan”, using the suffix –istan after Antwerp to allude to, in his view, to the city’s resemblance to countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan which are, of course, all Muslim countries. The video ends with the politician encouraging people to sign a petition to the council of Antwerp to stop the arrival of non-EU immigrants.
Myth Debunked: Dewinter’s attack on what he calls multiculturalism is a thinly veiled attack on Muslims. Many of the women in the video are wearing headscarves. He is talking about Muslim people and black people when writing the word “shudder” in his tweet. The use of the slur “Antwerpistan” puts non-migrant groups in a position of superiority and also labels racial and religious differences as antagonistic to European identities. It is true that the demography of European cities in changing, but those which deal with integration and diversity using an intercultural approach have better overall citizen satisfaction and quality of life.
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