This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of May, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
Date of publication: 8 June 2018
Author: Thanos Tzimeros, leader of centrist conservative party Dimiourgia Xana (Creation Again)
Facebook post: “The only thing we disagree on is ‘may’. What do you mean by ‘they may be deported’? The correct word is ‘leave tomorrow at dawn’ with a life time ban from the country. That is what we would do if we were in government. Mass deportation. With a complimentary one-way ticket to the Muslim country of their choice. Our islands would be clean in one month at most. I have had enough of the organised invasion by Islam, the cancer of humanity”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: Thanos Tzimeros shared an article by the online publication Athens Voice on his page about the possible expulsion from Austria of a few dozen foreign-funded imams to tackle political Islam. When sharing the article, Tzimeros agrees with the Austrian Chancellor’s announcement and adds that, if his party was in power, it would carry out compulsory “mass deportation” that would “clean” Greece of Muslim people and Islam. Tzimeros uses very strong language against Muslim people and Islam which was reminiscent of Nazi terminology.
Myth debunked: When talking about Islam and Muslims, Tzimeros chooses words such as “cleaning” and “cancer of humanity”. In doing so, he is dehumanising people by reducing them to a disease. A cancer, as a disease, is something that needs to be removed, to be killed. By using this rhetoric, stronger measures, such as “mass deportation” and violence seem justified. Mass deportation is the expulsion of foreign nationals as a group, on the basis of their ethnicity, religion, or nationality. The European Court of Human Rights states that, unless such a measure “is taken on the basis of a reasonable and objective examination of the particular case of each individual”, collective expulsions are prohibited. Under international law (Art. 4, Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, 1950; Art. 12-5, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, 1981; Art. 22-9, American Convention on Human Rights, 1969), each person is entitled to an individual decision on their expulsion as some people might be entitled to special protection, for example asylum seekers. What Tzimeros is advocating for is in breach of human rights conventions and discriminates against a group on the basis of their religion. Furthermore, studies have proved that mass deportation are not only impractical and expensive, but also ineffective.
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