‘The Slovakebab’ and ‘Multicultural Pigsty’

Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Slovak Politics

16 December 2020

Aliaksei Kazharski

Visegrad Insight Fellow

The political debate about Islam in Slovakia is part of the broader Central European paradox. The migrant from the Middle East remains a predominantly imaginary figure in the region. However, political battles around “Muslim migration” can be quite fierce.

  • In Slovakia, the Muslim community is tiny and rather well-integrated, but Islamisation is a theme that the extreme right loves to exploit, and sometimes even mainstream parties choose to milk that topic.
  • In the absence of any real problems with the Muslim community, the political conflict over Islam sometimes becomes a symbol of a much broader divide in the Central and Eastern European societies which exists between those who are more open to various forms of diversity and those who tend to be more conservative and sceptical of change.
  • The concomitant fear that the ‘kebab’ may one day replace halušky and pierogi is but a symptom of more fundamental axiological differences.

In the runup to the 2020 parliamentary Slovakia, members of Marian Kotleba’s far-right People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) treated themselves to a Christmas trip to London. They filmed a scary video of local Slovak expats talking about the failure of multiculturalism in Britain.

The video portrayed whole districts of London as becoming no go zones while, incidentally, also not omitting the topic of “perverted LGBT ideology”.

From another video, released by the party, the Slovak voters could find out that Christmas trees are about to be banned by the European Union to favour the inflowing migrants. This attempt to warn the Slovaks about dangers of the Western “multicultural pigsty” was far from being the first or the only one.

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Aliaksei Kazharski

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Researcher at the Institute of European Studies and International Relations of the Comenius University in Bratislava and a lecturer at the Department of Security Studies of Charles University in Prague

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