The Troll of the Month is an incident we choose every month to expose racist and anti-religious haters and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against intolerance in Europe.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary was televised delivering a fear-mongering tirade against Islam on Easter Monday.
On 22 April 2019, Zsolt Semjén, leader of the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) which formed a coalition with Fidesz, was interviewed on the private channel Hír Televízió. The interview focused entirely on besmirching Muslim people living in Europe and ranting about the dangers of Islam. It was later posted on the hirtv.hu website with the title “the defence against Islam is part of the Hungarian identity”.
In the 20-minute interview, the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister stated that countries which for centuries have benefitted most from their colonies are now complaining about migration. In his opinion, these nations have “lost the battle against migrants” but that Central and Eastern Europe “can decide whether they want to surrender to a Muslim conquest”.
Zsolt Semjén also said that Muslims in France live in a “parallel society” and how France can no longer choose to “live with Islam or not”.
This is yet another example of Viktor Orban’s propaganda machine, which has been pushing out unified messages across aligned media outlets. Whether they focus on the narrative of “invasions” or on claims that “Muslims are all antisemitic” or on “the impossibility of integration”, pro-government media outlets have been concertedly scapegoating Muslim refugees and Muslim citizens.
With the European Elections coming up at the end of May, Hungary's pro-government media have escalated their efforts to spread and support the anti-immigration and anti-Muslim government agenda.
Hír televízió is one of the most watched news channels in Hungary and used to be a fair source of news. Recently, it has shifted to the government’s side, broadcasting more and more favourable coverage of the government. The interview was televised on Easter Monday, a holiday observed by some Christian denominations, which makes the interview even more incendiary.