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Czech Interior Ministry says ultra-right is being pushed out of the public space by Islamophobes using same rhetoric

2.11.2015 0:27
The mock-ups of gallows that were brandished at a demonstration  on 1 July 2015 in Prague against immigration and quotas and in favor of the Czech Republic leaving the EU. (PHOTO:
The mock-ups of gallows that were brandished at a demonstration on 1 July 2015 in Prague against immigration and quotas and in favor of the Czech Republic leaving the EU. (PHOTO:

The topic of the so-called migration wave has created fertile ground for various extremists in the Czech Republic since the beginning of this year. Various populist and xenophobic entities have frequently pushed ultra-right entities out of the public space by exploiting this specific issue.

The ultra-left scene has partially used that development for its own mobilization, which is oriented not only toward events held to protest displays of Islamophobia and xenophobia, but also toward organizing various charity collections and support projects for migrants. Those are the findings of the situational report about extremism for the third quarter of 2015 published by the Czech Interior Ministry.

Ultra-right takes advantage of the migration wave

According to the analysis, ultra-right entities attempted during the third quarter to mobilize their adherents in relation to the migration crisis and to gain public support. The National Democracy (Národní demokracie) and Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) especially tried this and were irregularly supplemented during their demonstrations by representatives of Generation Identity (Generace identity), mobilization platforms that have grown out of the no longer existing Autonomous Nationalists group, Pavel Matějný's new project called National Revival (Národní obroda) and the Republican Party of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

"The activity of these groups directly incites hateful, xenophobic speech in society. The result, therefore, is a growth in crime perpetrated especially through the Internet and by extension through social networking sites, frequently in the form of defaming ethnic, racial and religious groups, and, to a lesser extent, in the form of calls for violence against these groups," the Interior Ministry's report states.

Islamophobic populists pushing out the ultra-right

These ultra-right entities, according to the Interior Ministry, are being pushed out of the public space by populists with the initiative "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" (IvČRN) and its political platform, "Bloc against Islam". The Islamophobes have established close collaboration with the Úsvit - Národní koalice (Dawn - National Coalition) party, which is seated in the Czech Parliament.

"Their organized events and rhetoric have been similar. With the aim of winning electoral support, information that has frequently been taken out of context, generalized, or misinterpreted has been intentionally, tendentiously used by them," the report reads.

The ministry also points out that alternative news websites exist to serve these groups. "Their apparent aim, like these populist, ultra-right entities, is primarily to disseminate and spark fear and panic in society. The main websites include the Czech edition of SputnikNews and the Aeronet website (AE News)," the report states.

Ultra-left joins charity collections and refutes hoaxes

The ministry says the ultra-left has also responded to the topic of refugees, especially the anarchist scene. "[Anarchists] organized public assembles and various charity collections. They attempted to bring information to the broader public and to refute reports that were disseminated by the Islamophobes," the report says.

According to the Interior Ministry, smaller numbers of people attended such leftist events, which did not win such big support among the public. "While abroad it is customary for so-called blockades or protests against hatred (i.e., events held by right-wing extremists and populists) to be attended by the broader public, in the Czech Republic attendance at these events is comprised primarily of civic activists or persons active within the framework of the anarchist and generally the ultra-left movement," the report reads.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Immigration, Interior Ministry, Populism, Xenophobia


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