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May 24, 2022



Commentary: Czech Interior Minister's praise of President echoes communism

30.10.2015 18:46
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (2015). (PHOTO:
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (2015). (PHOTO:

The main thing we need is peace and quiet for our work, and we won't let any of these "elements" disrupt it. That used to be a favorite phrase of communist functionaries during the previous regime.

We will not allow the republic to be subverted, they used to say - and Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has now organically continued that spirit in relation to the refugee crisis. In an interview for news server Aktuálně.cz, Chovanec says:  "I have a message for the Czech public:  We are doing all we can so this country will be safe. It is secure here. This doesn't have to always be to everyone's liking - such as the UN, Madame Ombudswoman Šabatová and others… I understand the world view of those people, but for me, security is first and foremost, and while it does have to go hand in hand with human rights, in some situations security for me is simply priority number one."

Is that clear enough? "Optimists" like his colleagues in the cabinet such as Czech Human Rights Minister Dienstbier, Czech Justice Minister Pelikán, or Šabatová, or organizations like the UN, or politicians such as German Chancellor Merkel, can say whatever they like about human rights.

For us in the Czech Republic, though, security - alias "peace and quiet for our work" - is what it's all mainly about. The Czech President even said recently that Muslim refugees, if they were to be received, would introduce sharia law here, which would involve stoning unfaithful women to death and chopping the hands off of thieves.

Chovanec believes that when the President said this he was not disseminating panic, but just describing what people themselves believe. "I am concerned that people do have those opinions, but the President is just describing what the vast majority of people believe. I don't think he's disseminating panic. Wherever you go today in the Czech Republic, migration is topic number one. You're right that the inflows are avoiding the Czech Republic for now. I don't know if that's because we behave more harshly than other countries do or because we are not naturally part of their transit route. However, in any event, the President is speaking in a language that people understand. The topic of the migration crisis has once again increased the public's trust in him," the minister says in the interview.

In other words, a correct politician speaks the language of the majority. He thinks like the majority does.

He gets it that his task is to protect the majority. No refugees will be subverting our republic!

The majority is not interested in abstract human rights, but in their own concrete security. How far are they willing to go to protect it? 

Michal Komárek, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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