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Expert says Czech society's discussion of Islam is the worst in Europe

26.2.2015 0:25, (ROMEA)
Followers of the group
Followers of the group "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" gathered on 16 January 2015 in front of Prague Castle. (PHOTO: Jan Čonka,

"The discussion [of Islam] in the Czech Republic is not substantive, we are deceiving ourselves," says Miloš Mendel, an Arabist and Islamologist at Masaryk University in an interview for news server Aktuálně.cz. When asked what bothers him so much about the Czech discussion of Islam, he answered as follows:

"After several weeks of demagoguery, hysteria and lies, whether consciously or as a result of a lack of relevant information, the Czech discourse on Islam needs to calm down already, and mainly it needs to start using correct terminology that draws the right distinctions.  

We must stop talking about our Western civilization, or about Judeo-Christian civilization, swearing by our roots and our values, talking about globalization, Islamization and similarly insubstantial clichés. What civilization are we even talking about here? What are the MPs here talking about when they haven't the slightest idea what the concepts of globalization and multiculturalism even mean - to say nothing of Islam?

For a long time in this society we had to listen to clichés that were devoid of meaning about the fight against international imperialism, about socialism as a great big camp, as the shield of peace, about the working class as the vanguard of socialism. The rhetoric today is equally as empty and will be emptier still unless we begin to provide some concrete content or place it in the context of the correct historical facts... The Czech discussion of Islam is unlike anything else taking place in Europe." 

Aktuálně.cz, translated by Gwednolyn Albert
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