Wave of Horrific Islamophobia in Athens
by Sara (via. her website: Neocolonialism and its Discontents)
I just got back from a study trip to Athens, Greece, and it was definitely an interesting experience. Although my specialization is gender, the trip ended up being more about migration and race-relations in Greece.
Before we went there, we had no idea that Greece is having a huge immigration problem. Some things we found out while we were there:
–Mosques are not allowed to be built in Athens, which means that there are only informal mosques in basements.
–Over the past few years, right-wing Greek people have trapped Muslims inside these informal mosques and then thrown petrol bombs inside, killing everyone.
–The second day we were there, a Greek man was robbed and then killed by 3 “dark-looking people” who were assumed to be immigrants. Later that night, neo-Nazi TV channels (yes) and blogs called for Greek people to go out and attack and beat immigrants.
–The next day over 17 immigrants ended up in the hospital after being stabbed.
–There was also a clash between the left-wing and the police, who are overwhelmingly right-wing (surprise, surprise).
–There is a huge back-log in terms of applications for legal status as a migrant, and some have to wait up to 20 years. Thus they can be arrested at any time, and they are kept in 2-by-2 cells with no toilets, little food, and no dignity.
–There are reportedly 2 million undocumented migrants in Athens, who are now at risk of being attacked.
While Athens is certainly extreme, these discourses can be found all over Europe now, including the Netherlands. Anti-Islam rhetoric has become so widespread and acceptable, it is no surprise that in some countries, like Greece, it has led to violence.
Some feminists criticize porn because they say it leads to violence against women, since it objectifies and dehumanizes them. The same can be said about discourses on Islam in Europe today. By dehumanizing, stigmatizing, and insulting Muslims, violence is only a few steps away.
And why exactly is Greece allowed to have a neo-Nazi channel if it is a member of the EU? Honestly, the EU needs to stop criticizing other countries when it has members who 1) have neo-Nazi media outlets, and 2) do not allow Muslims to build places of worship.