This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of September, 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: 14 September 2019
Media Outlet: In.gr, one of the most read online news platforms in Greece
Author: Andreas Andrianopoulos
Headline: “There are no further limits”
Description of the anti-Muslim and xenophobic content: This piece was written by Andreas Andrianopoulos, a well-known figure in Greek politics. He served as a minister during the 90’s and was the mayor of Piraeus, the major city port of Attica. In this article, Mr. Andrianopoulos shared his views on immigration, commenting on recent developments in immigration in Greece over the last few months. The main focus was the increase of immigrants coming to Greece. Mr. Andrianopoulos commented: “Τhey are all Muslims. On the contrary, it is Christians who are the ones facing persecution back in their countries. For them everyone turns a blind eye. Why then do they come to the West? It is because the Quran obliges it in 93 of its verses. To conquer the ‘infidels’ from inside. This is what Islamic State claimed in 2015. Since then we have observed endless flows of immigrants.” He then claims that most Muslim migrants are young and ready to go to combat, ''undermining our status quo''. The article ends with a series of options proposed by the author, among which is a complete direction change in border control. He ends claiming: “If Europe refuses [a change in border control], let it have them [immigrants]. We won't feel bad about this.”
Myth debunked: This opinion piece by Mr. Andrianopoulos uses strong anti-Muslim and xenophobic language. He describes all immigrants as Muslim people who come to Europe with violent intentions. He describes their arrival to Europe as an ‘invasion, this kind of rhetoric contributes to cementing stereotypes and anxiety in Greek society about Muslim people and communities. Mr. Andrianopoulos tries to equate the intentions of immigrants coming to Europe with those of Islamic State, essentially comparing all Muslim immigrants with terrorists. This is not only extremely demeaning and false, but also dangerous. Mr. Andrianopoulos has chosen to share these views during challenging times in terms of migration. Instead of progressing the dialogue, this article instead fuels citizens' fears by claiming that all Muslim immigrants are terrorists. The narrative used by Mr. Andrianopoulos is unfortunately not new to Greece or indeed Europe. The continued hateful rhetoric serves to exacerbate an uneasy situation and risks fragmenting social cohesion in the country.
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