Omar Sayfo: On Islamophobia and on its beneficial effects

Omar Adam Sayfo is a PhD candidate at the University of Utrecht, and foreign affairs columnist at Hungary’s pro-Orbán Demokrata weekly. His most recent piece, published on the Mandiner website and translated into English below for HFP’s readers, offers a glimpse into the thinking of supporters of Hungary’s Orbán government, when it comes to issues of racism, Islamophobia, liberalism and the West. Mr. Sayfo argues that on the right, many Hungarians believe that Hungary is no longer merely observing the European political discourse from the sidelines, but is now at the very centre of it, with the Orbán government saying what “the few people in the West awakening from the liberal dream rarely dare to utter.” I offer my own comments on some aspects of Mr. Sayfo’s article, directly below his piece. (C. A.)

Omar Adam Sayfo

Omar Adam Sayfo

Within just a couple of years, Islamophobia grew out of essentially nothing in Hungary. Yet there is no credible risk of a terrorist attack and the shuttering of the borders keeps those arriving from the south out of the country. And those already in the West would be insane to come here.

It is important to note: the Hungarian national soul is not racist, antisemitic, nor is it Islamophobic. I am convinced that those who claim the opposite are driven by malice, resentment or, in the best case scenario, by hypersensitivity. Perhaps they just misunderstand the national soul. It is, however, a fact that Hungarian culture–explored from a sociological vantage point–is averse to uncertainty. This means that it sees the unknown and the unpredictable as stressful and as a threat. But this, in contrast to real racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, is easily resolvable.

As soon as the Hungarian is convinced of the foreigner’s harmlessness and of his/her good intentions, the Hungarian welcomes the foreigner with an open heart. This is in contrast to the so-called liberal and welcoming peoples of the West who, on the surface, appear to accept the other, but then effectively divide them based on caste. Only the most determined foreigners can break out of this.

Within a couple of years, Islamophobia grew out of nothing in Hungary. This can, in part, be explained by the exploits of the Islamic State or the migrant crisis, which serves as a shock to society. Yet Islamophobia has little societal relevancy in Hungary. Hungary’s Muslim minority comprises merely 0.1% of the population. Those Muslims who practice their faith make up just 0.03%. As such, we are speaking of an essentially invisible community. There is no terror risk, the closure of borders keeps out all those arriving from the south and those already in the West would be crazy to come here.

There exists, of course, a theoretical possibility that diaspora populations may develop in Hungary. But for this to transpire, one would need a long and unlikely series of chance happenings. Therefore, Islamophobia in Hungary is nothing more than a political product imported from the West. But let’s not forget that the best products only land in the hands of buyers, if it is somehow relevant to the broader community.

The growing Islamophobia in the West can be understood as a natural societal reflex–it is an answer to a whole slew of social, economic, security-related and identity-based problems. But there is something else that forms part of the whole story: the cultural conflict between the majority society and the immigrants has already happened in the seventies and eighties.

The difference, however, was that the in the case of the wayward immigrants, who defined themselves primarily along national lines, the discrimination against them was also based on nationality and ethnicity. The pejorative German term “Kanacke,” which included Muslims and all non-white immigrants, was also applied to African Christians, Greeks and those from the Balkans.

But the memory of the Second World War and the ruling liberal discourse turned the open discussion of problems into a taboo. People took a deep breath and the tension inside kept growing.

This situation continued until recently, when a section of the immigrants began defining themselves along religious lines. This made it easier to solve the problems using politically correct means. Since the secular West began to see religion as merely an ideology, which one can freely choose, criticism became much more acceptable. According to the new PC interpretation, the problem isn’t with Muslims, but rather with Islam.

In the contemporary world, social tensions that have been artificially silenced for decades are now bubbling up to the surface and are packaged in an anti-Islam discourse. The “Islamisation” of the immigration problem, however, leads to the misunderstanding of the diagnosis. Although the terror risk can be seen, almost in full, as being on account of the Muslims, the poor state of public safety in many western European suburbs, where fifty percent of the population is comprised of immigrants who are Christian, or of a different religion, is just as much the responsibility of these demographics, whose sociological and cultural parameters line up almost exactly with those of their Muslim neighbours. It’s certainly true that many of these minorities are now very pleased with the current religious thematization of public discourse, as this way they are able to climb the social ladder.

It remains a fact that if Muslims would–out of an act of magic–vanish from Europe, the suburbs would not become anymore livable for the indigenous population. Moreover, it is also a fact that anti-Islam sentiments have a beneficial effect. Similarly to the days of the Moorish conquest, today too the opposition to the Muslim minorities can effectively build unity among factious Europeans.

But why is all of this relevant from a Hungarian perspective? Perhaps it is relevant because much like in the West, in Hungary the unspoken societal tensions have been bubbling below the surface for the past several decades.

It is noteworthy that the language of the anti-Islam discourse in Hungary is built, in large part, on the tropes normally applied to Gypsies (ie: that they are not European, they are criminals, it is impossible to integrate them, etc.), as well as those applied to the Jewry (ie: they perceive themselves as being superior, they are part of a conspiracy, etc.). Yet it is again important to note: this situation is not usually a result of racism or antisemitism, but can be traced back to cultural, social and economic factors, or those related to intellectual history.

Nevertheless, uttering an anti-Gypsy or an anti-Jewish opinion is taboo, or at minimum it carries risks. In contrast, in light of the dearth of Muslims in Hungary, the Muslim straw man can be attacked, both in a seemingly intellectual way, as well as in a style more becoming of a tavern. Since the vast majority of the population sees Islam and Muslims through a skewed lens, “Islam” has become synonymous with a cancer in Europe. As a result, anti-Islam and indeed anti-Muslim viewpoints are no longer subject to condemnation–sometimes they are all but duties.

This no-stakes situation has had a “liberating” effect on politics. Those politicians who are prone to this can express strongly-worded views on the situation in the West, as well as on migrants and on the Islamic world. And if it is necessary, they can launch an assault on the migrants. As an aside, one may note that Nicolas Sarkozy bravely, and in a socially legitimate way, took action against the east-European Gypsy camps in France. It would have been worth his while to also do some sweeping in the suburbs inhabited by immigrants.* Perhaps it is not simply a matter of coincidence that governments generally tend to only provide definite opinions on the minorities of other countries, while being endlessly cautious about questions impacting their own minorities, and often speaking only in coded form.

But there is another possible interpretation of the situation as well, namely: the no-stakes anti-Islam discourse allows for Hungarians–but firstly the right-wing–to redefine their European and Christian self-image. The romantic image of the knights defending the last bastion comes back to life. Today, these knights are no longer just battling the Turks, but are waging a two front war against the barbarians invading from the East, as well battling a self-destructive West, which is spinning its wheels in the throes of liberalism.

Without any societal stakes, one can freely entertain the thought of a European-Muslim war, which will probably never materialize on Hungarian soil. What’s more: now Paris has its watchful eyes on Budapest. Hungary, breaking with a century-long tradition, is no longer a peripheral client of western ideals, but is itself the centre, where the official politics represent that which in the West only the few now awakening from the liberal dream dare to speak. And if in the long run, after so many centuries, the nation’s healthy self-image is restored, the burning down of the straw men would already have been worth it.

Omar Adam Sayfo
(Translated from the Hungarian by Christopher Adam)

*The author noted that by “sweeping,” he refers to the removal of the various social problems in these suburbs.



Contemporary Islamophobia is, indeed, a new phenomenon in Hungary. Just a few years ago, nationalist Hungarians could often be seen marching in the black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh, including on anniversaries such as June 4th, which marks the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, when Hungary lost most of its land and population to the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I had long suspected that the use of the keffiyeh in Hungary was not a symbol of authentic solidarity on the Hungarian right with Palestinians in the occupied territories and elsewhere, but was rather a coded form of antisemitism for Hungarian nationalists. In the Manichean allegory to which they subscribed, Hungarians were being oppressed by Jews and by “Freemasonry,” just like the Palestinians, and were therefore fighting the same “darkness.”

The remarkably sudden and essentially wholesale adoption of Islamophobia in Hungary by many of these same nationalists is perhaps the most compelling evidence of a deep-rooted racism and xenophobia in Hungarian society. Islamophobia, which indeed was not obviously present in Hungary even four or five years ago, found such fertile soil in a society so averse to ethnic, cultural and religious difference, that it could grow deep roots in no time.

Mr. Sayfo argues that “the Hungarian soul” is not racist or antisemitic and those who claims otherwise are either hypersensitive or are simply malicious…or perhaps they just misunderstand Hungary and the Hungarians. According to Mr. Sayfo, Hungarians are simply averse to difference, uncertainty and the other, but once they come to realize that the foreigner is “harmless,” the “other” is quickly welcomed by Hungarians with “an open heart.” Mr. Sayfo believes  that the same cannot be said for Western European societies.

The irrational fear of the other forms the heart of racism everywhere, Hungary included. Having an open heart for the docile and “harmless” stranger, and building an image of who does or does not qualify as the docile minority, has long been an important element of racism.

Even the most rabid racist had little reason to fear or to dislike the docile, harmless character of Mammy in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. She represented the image of the African American that racists could tolerate and even like: lowly, kindly, humble, non-threatening, non-thinking–a servant. Uncle Tom, of course, is the other example that comes to mind. Here is yet another non-threatening, docile, subservient “foreigner,” which majority society had no reason to fear or loath.

In Canada, we have the nineteenth and early twentieth century trope of the docile, dead and dying noble savage–the non-threatening, “weird and waning” Native. Duncan Campbell Scott’s “The Onondaga Madonna” comes to mind:

She stands full-throated and with careless pose,
This woman of a weird and waning race,
The tragic savage lurking in her face,
Where all her pagan passion burns and glows;
Her blood is mingled with her ancient foes,
And thrills with war and wildness in her veins;
Her rebel lips are dabbled with the stains
Of feuds and forays and her father’s woes.

And closer in the shawl about her breast,
The latest promise of her nation’s doom,
Paler than she her baby clings and lies,
The primal warrior gleaming from his eyes;
He sulks, and burdened with his infant gloom,
He draws his heavy brows and will not rest.

If all it takes for Hungarians to embrace minorities and foreigners is to be told that they pose no threat and are “harmless,” then this begs the question: has Hungary’s “brave” and outspoken Orbán government helped, in words and in deeds, Hungarians to be more tolerant and accepting of “the other?” Has the Orbán government built upon the inherently “open hearts” of the Hungarian people when it comes to explaining that Muslims and migrants pose no threat or risk? The answer is pretty obvious to anyone who has followed Hungarian public discourse. Governments have a major role to play in shaping public opinion and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is well aware of this.

It’s a rather sad state of affairs, if the only way that Europeans or Hungarians, conservative Europeans and Christian Hungarians can define and imagine themselves is in contrast to imagined foreign enemies. It is sadder still, if the only way to unite Europeans is through Islamophobia. I don’t think that Islamophobia is ever beneficial to anyone. If a society has no symbols or ideals around which to rally and unify, other than visceral hatred of the imagined other, then that society is hopelessly dysfunctional. It is on the trajectory of disintegration, and no amount of Islamophobia will be of help.

Hungary, thanks to Mr. Orbán’s statements and activities on the topic of migration and refugees, has certainly garnered attention in Europe and beyond. This past week in Washington DC, I presented at a conference on the migration crisis and a young man, who turned out to be a Donald Trump supporter, came up to me (I had presented on the refugee crisis following the 1956 Hungarian revolution) and asked me about what I thought of Mr. Orbán. He was clearly enamoured. Never had I thought that a young man from rural Virginia, and with a limited formal education, would be intimately familiar with a Hungarian prime minister and his policies.

But making mostly negative headlines and being outlandish does not mean that you are shaping mainstream policy and decision-making, or western discourse. It is also easy to assume, from within the rhetorical whirlwind of the pro-Orbán camp, that people in the West are “waking” from a deceptive liberal slumber, that liberalism and the West is dying and decrepit, and that Mr. Orbán’s self-serving brand of anti-western illiberalism is the way of the future and a beacon for the world. It actually isn’t and Hungary, along with its dominant, government-initiated xenophobic discourse, continues to be a marginal and increasingly immature, non-serious player on the political and ideological peripheries of the West, which its current leaders so love to hate.


  1. Quoting from above: “It is important to note: the Hungarian national soul is not racist, antisemitic, nor is it Islamophobic.” Mr. Sayfo you are totally wrong. The opposite is true. Try to live in Hungary not in Utrecht and you will find the true “national soul”.

  2. “It remains a fact that if Muslims would–out of an act of magic–vanish from Europe, the suburbs would not become anymore livable for the indigenous population.” The fact remains their would be less division if that were to happen. True, Europe does have it’s own problems and “refugee” non Europeans will not make things better. Europe does not need them or their problems, they need Europe. Europe gains nothing, in this deal Europe loses and the”refugees” win.

    Why is it the responsibility of any European country to give these “refugees”(most are economic refugees) a better life? Europe has nothing to gain by letting or bringing these people in. Europe, your first and last obligation is to your people. What do the “refugees” have to offer? They bring nothing to the table. Europeans first in Europe, not last.
    Why don’t muslim “asylum seekers” go to Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates , Oman, Saudi Arabia or any of the other rich muslim countries? These are Islamic countries therefore more suitable for them.

    Has there ever been a European country that benefited by opening it’s borders to non-Europeans? If so, name it. Do they make Europe a safer place to live? Have they made Europe great? Are they good for tourism? Do they bring anything positive to Europe? Do they respect the citizens of Europe and the customs? Do they support themselves without burdening the tax payers? Do they burden the judicial system due to high crime rates? Do they love Europe or what they can get from her?

    Do they victimize the European people in large proportions to their small numbers? Wouldn’t crimes against the European people foreshadow their true intentions? Do they trash up the areas they inhabit in Europe? If they victimize the host country’s people and trash up their land after they have been given a new start at life, wouldn’t that be like a direct “screw you”? Do they demand you to change your ways and customs so they can tolerate you? Do they respect the peoples government? Your family? Your people? Your culture?

    If they are guilty of three of these questions then It would be safe to say they should not be in Europe. There is more harm than good for Europe and her people.

    If a country don’t let the non Europeans flood their land they are called “far right” “racist” “Nazis” and “xenophobic”. If they let them in, their country, their lives, their descendants lives will be torn apart. Which one is easier to live with? Which one does the most damage? Which choice is beneficial to the country and it’s people? Hint: Name calling will not destroy a country and it’s people. Europe, wake up and take a stand before it’s too late and you lose everything.

  3. Omar is an ignorant anti Semitic brute- must be his bald pate – your people will never be welcomed in racist Hungary – they slaughtered my people and now the economy in Europe is dead – the intellectuals, the professionals, bankers, “the brain of these countries” was murdered- the rest emigrated in the 60’s therefore it’s pretty damned in these Eastern European countries now –

    • Dear Edith!
      I am sorry for your people. Please let me know why you regard me an anti semite brute.
      Best wishes,

  4. As most humans, we look for what is similar and familiar in other humans. Unfortunately, a large portion of Hungarians do the opposite, especially in the current economic circumstances and under unpredictable political leaders; they look for the differences that distinguish them from anyone, even another Hungarian. This stems from nothing more than nationwide, inherent insecurity. Yesterday was the gypsies, today is the Muslims, tomorrow will be someone else as long as a large portion of insecure individuals can collectively feel energized and temporarily superior.

  5. “The Hungarian soul is not racist, anti Semitic or Islamophobic” ….on the contrary, as the child of survivors of the Holocaust, since the early age of 6 or so, having been born in Hungary, my dad a survivor of Hungarian forced labor camps reminded everyone of the suffering at the brutal hands of former neighbors, colleagues – Hungarians are weaned breastfeeding anti Semitic feelings, Omar.

    You also write perhaps resentfully how anti Semitism is taboo in Hungary today – it’s a slap on the wrists – I hope the class action lawsuit against the MAV train system will shed even more info to the role the Magyars played as collaborators in pushing my people on their cattle cars to Auschwitz – my own grandparents and cousins amongst them- your people are invading Europe – 90% without professions, not ever wanting to blend in the European culture but insisting on sharia laws of multiple wives, brutal medieval opinions and ways of discipline- no working skills- just invading the continent –

    • “My people are intellectuals and makers of civilization, persecuted by savages.”
      “Your people are medieval undisciplined brutes, deserve to be persecuted.”
      -This is exactly the kind of logic that lead to the tragedy of your grandparents, Edith.

  6. “…when it comes to issues of racism, Islamophobia, liberalism and the West. ”

    I always thought Islam has Europhobia. Otherwise I can’t explain why the Islamic radicals, an estimated 300-450 million of the 1.8 billion of Muslims, are committed to destroying western culture. In Europe there are even demonstrations of sympathy for the rapefugees, officially called refugees.

    And the right-wing and fascist are not even close to the barbarian Islamic radicals either in their methods or numbers.

    And who has womenphobia, if not the brutal rapist misogynist Muslims? Moreover, they are spending all their time even killing each other. Who has islamophobia here?

    Who has phobia and hatred and barbarism here?

  7. So it looks like Omar Sayfo is trying to be the Hungarian right-wing’s Muslim Uncle Tom.

    Unfortunately, Hungary’s government is filled with a fascist, neo-nazi ideology. Muslims in Hungary are at risk of being deported or worse at any time by the Hungarian Fidesz-Jobbik nazis. The two parties are the same. The genocidal instincts are still there.

  8. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Omar Sayfo, indeed you have written a very interesting article and i do agree that Islamophobia in Hungary is very foreign to many true Hungarians, yes this concept of Islamophobia is an imported ideology from the dirty West which has absolute nothing to do with Hungary. Unfortunately yes there is among Hungarians and Hungarian citizens but they dont form a majority of the population. Hungarians are a very patient and tolerant people, the Hungarian history has proved it. Hungarians has been mixing with many people of different ethnicities and religion throughout the history, they still do even today.

    What you forgotten is that Islamophobia is not only foreign but also against the ancient Magyar culture and history. Islam even existed among the Arpad’s Magyar tribes when they settled what we call “Great Hungary”. Islamphobia is actually Anti-Magyar. Anti-Magyarism is very widespread in West and Europe including in Hungary. This form of racism existed ever since the Magyars settled in Hungary from the East of Khazaria. Anti-Magyarism at that time was actually the earliest form of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in Europe. Many of the tribes of Arpad were Muslim Turkic tribes. Boszormeny, Cumans, Alans, Volga Bulgars, Kabars (Khazar muslims), Kaliz (Kalasz), Besenyo (Pechenegs), etc were all Magyar tribes of Muslim identity. Even today in Bashqortostan in Russia where many Mishar Tatars and Bashkirs live are the eastern Magyars of Islamic faith.

    I link you are very interesting history about the earliest Magyars and Islam. Its worth a read.

  9. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    “As soon as the Hungarian is convinced of the foreigner’s harmlessness and of his/her good intentions, the Hungarian welcomes the foreigner with an open heart.”

    So says Mr Sayfo. The problem is, that the harmfulness of certain foreigners – the Jews for example, or the Roma and now the Muslims – has always been overstated by Hungary’s Christian Right, and especially by the weekly that employs him. (The Demokrata) You can’t have it both ways Mr Sayfo – you can’t pretend to be inclusive, while serving as foreign correspondent of a magazine that specializes in the exclusion of minorities, such as the Muslims, the Jews and the Roma. This kind of contradictory behavior has a name – it’s called affinity fraud. I know, Mr. Sayfo, that you don’t like to have this label attached to yourself, and especially not by me, but there is no other name for it in the lexicon. Sayfo’s current piece is further evidence of his skillful practice of this scam.

  10. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Floriska, there is no risk of Muslims in Hungary, majority of whom are Magyar origin, Turkish and Arabs of Hungarian citizenship being deported. These muslim minority in Hungary are Hungarians, their mother tounge is Hungarian. Even those of Turkish and Arab origin, the percententage married to Hungarians are very high, their children are already fully Hungarians since they speak Hungarian instead of Turkish or Arabic. I know what Im talking about since I am a Muslim Magyar of Hungarian citizenship, i know these people quite well. And yes there are many Muslims in Hungary who associate with Jobbik, since many muslims in Hungary are Hungarian nationalist themselves. In the Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard) there were many young Turkish who actually joined. I even met a nice Turkish girl who was part of the Magyar Garda, nobody discriminated her or said bad things to her, Hungarians accepted her loyalty. Even the Jobbik leader Vona Gabor have attended the Budapest mosque many times a few years back, and have few muslim friends from there, are you surprised?
    And Jobbik has nothing to do with Fidesz, Fidesz has nothing to do with Jobbik, they hate each other’s gut. Jobbik is Nationalist, Fidesz is not but copy pasting everything from Jobbik, so that they can earn more votes in the election than Jobbik.

  11. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    @ Kalász

    Fidesz-KDNP-Jobbik constitute a continuum within the Christian Nationalist Right’s revival in Hungary. They overlap, and share many ideas in common. They all are rooted in the racist, xenophobe “nép párt” that emerged in Hungary during the late 19th century, under the leadership of the Catholic clerical right, and under the leadership of such anti-Semites as Count Zichy or the Catholic Bishop, Ottokár Prohászka. There were indeed many Jews who participated and supported that movement – they were called the good Jews. Those that did not play ball, were the bad Jews. By 1944, the good, the bad and the ugly – men, women and children – were all sent to the slaughterhouse, and Mr Sayfo’s boss hates nothing more than people who remind Hungarians of this fact. May your Muslim brothers and sisters live in peace in Hungary, but please, don’t try to make us swallow the same kind of bait that resulted in the extermination of tens of millions in the 1940s. Orbán’s regime is an authoritarian, maffia-state. Anyone with any degree of independent and critical faculties can see through the smokescreen. Please don’t try to hoodwink us into believing, that this horse-thief is the Messiah.

  12. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Ottokar Prohaszka wasnt even Hungarian, he was an ethnic Slovak living in Hungary at that time as far as I know. Szalasi’s Arrow Cross party’s Hungarism (fake Hungarian nationalism), was a Pan-Slavicist, anti-semitic, Nazi party mostly inherited from Prohaszka. Szalasi himself was partly Armenian and partly Slovak. To be honest, i dont know much about anti-semitism in 19th century Hungary, but i do know that during 20th-21th century, anti-semitism has became very widespread in Hungary for many political reason. During the Communist revolution of Kun Bela regime, there were numbers of Communist including Kun Bela who were of Jewish origin, thats what actually made anti-semitism much worst in Hungary in 20th to such extent that Hungarians labelled Jewish and Communist inter-changeably known as Judeo-Bolshevism. Hungarians started to hate Jews because of Communism, and the Red Terror. At that time every Red terror the Communist caused on local populations, the Hungarians finger pointed at nearly every Jews for Red Terror because of Kun Bela. Then after when 2nd World War finished, there was another Communist who came to power and was probably even more worst than Kun Bela, was Rakosi Matyas, he was also of Jewish origin from Ada which is today’s Vojvodina in Serbia, anti-semitism in Hungary became even more worst, the proof of it was the 1956 revolution, where some of those Hungarian revolutionaries were actually anti-semitic. Such Revolutionary group, I think the Dudas group was anti-semitic. But Yes i even heard that many Jews even fought against the Communist as well but that part the Hungarians are not interested in. After the fall of Communism, fascism started to rise, anti-semitism came back but at its boiling point. The 2006 riots when the then Socialist leader Gyurcsany Ferenc lied for 2 years, the Hungarians again finger pointed the Jews for it, even if there was no proof for it. But this anti-Jewry which we call anti-semitism today among Hungarians is far much more older than 19th century of Ottokar Prohaszka. Its all originated more than 1000 years ago, when there was a state called Khazaria. As you know, the Magyar state in Khazaria was a vassal of the Khazar king. When the Khazar royals adopted Judaism, many inhabitants including Magyars revolted against the Khazar Jewish king because the Magyars and many other tribes refuse to convert to Judaism. Khazars was a traditional enemy of the Magyars, it was all written in many Hungarian cronicles, Gesta Hungarorum for example. That ideology is known as anti-Khazarism or Anti-Askenazism. The anti-semitism among many Hungarians even today is rooted from that, because they expressed this hatred of Khazars with passion as much as they hate Ottoman Empire with passion. They practiced hatred centuries after centuries. Anyway i dont consider Orban or Vona or any politicians from the Hungarian parliament as the messiah, they are politicians like any other politicians around the world.

    • Avatar Christopher Adam says:

      Kalasz Musztafa,

      There is no evidence that Ottokár Prohászka ever considered himself anything but a Hungarian–his mother’s family, the Filbergers, were very prominent in Nyitra even in the mid nineteenth century, and were originally from Switzerland (but identified with Hungary and with Hungarians). As well, the nationalist antisemites and pro-government supporters who look to Prohászka for inspiration certainly don’t see him as a Slovak.

      In the second half of your comment, you essentially bolster András Göllner’s point. As you write, nationalist Hungarians irrationally pointed to the Jews, because they disliked Ferenc Gyurcsány, even though the former Socialist prime minister is a lapsed Roman Catholic and has nothing to do with Judaism. You also confirm that antisemitism existed and became worse in the mid to late twentieth century, even though–as you write–it is hardly accurate to blame Jews for communism, because many fought against the oppression, just like Hungarians of other religions fought against it too.

      So, as you confirm in your most recent comment, antisemitism/racism is alive and well in Hungary, and it is based on the irrational fear of the other.

  13. Sayfo, so you live in Hungary and became a Fidesznyik and a “foreign correspondent” while being domestic. Dr Gollner clearly described you!

  14. OT (slightly): Regarding Mr. Sayfo’s esteemed paymaster:

    Orban’s March 15 Triumphal Tirade from the bowels of the Carpathian Basement, cloistered with his Polish rent-a-crowd behind a barricade safely sundering him from his less-admiring fellow-citizens…
    (sample, then forward to near the end of the 98-minute video):

    …calls to mind the swan song of the Genius of the Carpathians:

    Herzliche Grüße aus dem Karpaten Keller!

  15. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Christian Adam,

    Anti-Semitism and racism do exist in Hungary, thats no doubt but they dont constitute among the majority of Hungarian citizens. Like i mention earlier to Omar, that Hungarians are really patient and tollerant people, expecially patient. The anti-semitism in Hungary doesnt poised serious threat unlike France for example. Anti-Semitism in France is way more serious and threatening than Hungary. The anti-semitic incidents in Hungary like vandalizing jewish synagogue, jewish cemetery, jewish owned shops or physically assaulting jews on streets are a very rare case in 21st century Hungary. Whats actually happened in France few years back when French, Arabs and Africans of French citizenship or even immigrants looted jewish owned shop, set it on fire, lynching jews on the streets, etc, like the anti-semitic incidents in France was so serious that its probably correct to label it as French anti-jewish pogroms. Its was so serious that the French Jews (I dont know how much number of them left France) had to catch the first plane to Israel. That is the most serious form of anti-semitism, if we compare it with Hungary. Anti-Semitism in Hungary is nothing but mostly verbal discrimination rather than physical. Hungarian nationalist and Hungarian fascist-Nazis are mainly focus on Roma gypsy issues, Roma minority causes far too much trouble in Hungary not only to the majority Magyar populations but also to Hungary’s other minorities as well, Croats, Slovenes, Svab-germans, even to their fellow Roma gypsies. Racism in Hungary is mostly based on Anti-Roma sentiment than anti-semitism. The stabbing and assaulting Hungarian populations to death by gypsies is what actually cause the most serious form of racism in Hungary. The shooting of 6 Roma people from village to village by a group of Football ultras was according to them was an act of revenge, even if its was wrong. The incident in Gyogyospata was also a similar incident caused by Gypsies terrorizing the local populations there, of course the first people to get involved in this were the Far-Rights group, the police did nothing when the gypsies attacked the local population before the far-right group got involved, they only responded when the situation between Gypsies and Hungarians was sparked into a conflicts. Apart from that, these cases doesnt happen everyday in Hungary, probably not even once a year or 2. Majority of Hungarians are very patient people and live their everyday lives like anyone else, even if serious situation like this happens.

  16. Avatar Nathaniel L. says:

    I honestly don’t understand Omar Sayfo. What’s he saying in this article? Is he condoning the Orban regime’s illiberalism and neo-nazism? Is he SERIOUSLY saying that Islamophobia or racism is a good thing, because it’s uniting white Europeans against a common enemy and helping to form a strong Christian, white identity in Europe? I know that Sayfo writes for a fascist, extremist paper (Demokrata), but maybe now he is having a gradual change of heart and is just confused.

    Because his article is totally confused and conflicted, that’s for sure.

  17. Dear Nathaniel,
    Please try to forget what you believe to know about my affiliation and Demokrata’s assumed ideologies. Try to read again the article as a piece written by an author of mixed background and no ideological affiliation. You will surely find the answer.
    Best wishes,
    Omar Sayfo

  18. Hoppácska, kedves Á.C.–mi van itten, fasizálódunk???!!!

    Dr. Ádám Christopher, what is happening to this site? Liberalism and free speech does not mean that the democratic side’s news sites, like the Free Press or your Hungarian KMH site, need to turn into a forum for Omar Sayfo, Bencsik András, Vona Gábor, Pax Hungarica, the Magyar Gárda…Do I need to go on with the list? You have not read the articles about Omar Sayfo’s past. How come? There is even one in English!!!

    Why are you translating O.S. when you could spend the same time translating the articles from Hungarian to English of the democratic side’s writers, so that finally the whole world will see the hell in Hungary???

    We don’t need an English version of the Demokrata, which is almost like the printed edition of So maybe we are going to be reading translations soon too, when Omar goes on vacation and there is nothing to translate from him?

  19. Avatar Attila Kovacs says:

    The reality is completely different:

    Muslims are asking villagers on the Hungarian country side to use their bathroom or oven and in return they are robbing and beating the elderly owners

    Muslim group of young males are harassing and grooming Hungarian females in the town of Szeged and remote villages.

    More than 100 Hungarian girl aged bellow 14 have been kidnapped since the flow has begun

    Muslim boys and girls acting on camera and also threatening locals

    Muslims are buying up land and businesses all across the country

    All migrants are fully armed up to their theeth with knifes and axes and u can name it.
    Videos have been found on invaders mobile phones showing how the young Muslims have been beaten back in the middle east to prepare them to war and pain that waits for them in Europe.

    Did you know that George Soros has financed the distribution of leaflets in the middle east and elsewhere to invite millions into Europe? proper instruction, routes, contact numbers to human rights lawyers and promises

    Did u know the Sarkozy said that white European women will be forced to cross breed with other races, whenever they like it or not?
    Did u know that Sarkozy, Soros, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Goldman and more is under international arrest warrant issued by Russia and the G77 on march of 2015? this is all part of the NWO, we fight or we die its either them or us: we wont be able to accommodate 50 million ppl within the next 25 years, no mate its not gonna happen.

    • Merkel another “A” class criminal is still walking free with the Kalergi prize pushing the Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan-Europa plan through to produce a mixed bred of subhumans that are best for slavery. As “Sarkozy said that white European women will be forced to cross breed with other races” … but why Muslims?

      Here on answer.

      “Half of world’s Muslims are inbred due to generations of incest”

      I didn’t want to attach too many URL but that piece does it among others to UK’s environment minister Phil Woolas piece printed out in dailymail of UK.

  20. Christopher, szerintem jol csinalod munkadat. Papad buszke lenne rad, a mamad az boldogan csillogo szemekkel beszel rolad, es van miert. Gratulalok neked!

  21. Avatar Attila Kovacs says:

    70% of Pakistanis are inbred.
    67% of Saudi Arabians are inbred.
    64% of those living in Jordan and Kuwait are inbred.
    63% of Sudanese are inbred.
    60% of Iraqis are inbred.
    54% of Muslims in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are inbred.
    25-30% of those in Turkey are inbred.
    In England, at least 55% of Pakistani immigrants are married to their first cousins.
    In Denmark the number of inbred Pakistani immigrants is around 40%.

  22. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Attila Kovacs, what you mean muslims are inbred? Im a muslim magyar of islam religion, so am I inbred for you as well?
    You claiming that 60% of Iraq are inbred, does that include our relatives, Iraqi Turkmens?
    Turkey 25-30% are inbred, does that include our Turkish relatives?
    What about our Bashkirs (Magyar) of Bashkiria/Bashqortostan, Uygur (Ugor) of China, and Madjars (Magyars) of Khazakstan, our eastern Magyar relatives of whom majority of them are muslims, are they inbred for you as well?

    “Muslims are asking villagers on the Hungarian country side to use their bathroom or oven and in return they are robbing and beating the elderly owners”

    “Muslim group of young males are harassing and grooming Hungarian females in the town of Szeged and remote villages.”

    Thats why Im one of those muslim Magyar that doesnt agree with such large numbers of muslims from many country coming to Hungary, they most likely wont assimilate. I only accept those muslims that will assimilate in Hungary and become Hungarians/Magyars.

  23. Avatar Nathaniel L. says:

    Omar, what I know about your affiliation and ideology is what I’ve read. How can you say that you have no ideological affiliation, in light of this article?:

    • Well, the article of Népszabasdág, a newspaper of close links to the Socialist Party (MSZP) -which this article is based on- was written before the parliamentary elections of 2014. It was a politically motivated attempt to somehow connect Fidesz with this horrible case. I sued Népszabadság, Népszava and the Socialist Party and won in the first rounds in 2015. The second round is to come. After reviewing some confidential documents, the judges in the cases of Népszava and the Socialist Party decided that the accusations were baseless. However, the judge in the case of Népszabadság decided that even though the accusations are baseless, as a “public figure” I have to tolerate even such an attack based on carefully-worded accusations. I provided the editor of HS with some confidential documents to prove the decision of the court, asking to remove the English article. However she was not interested in my point at all.

  24. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Nathaniel L, you seriously believe in that sort of crap regarding Omar?

    In my family, there’s a frequent saying…”Don’t read Nepszabadsag, Nepszava or any other komcsi (a nickname for Communist in Hungarian) crap, or you end up being an idiot.”
    My family is right.

  25. Kalasz Musztafa,

    So as a Muslim you don’t like reading “komcsi” papers, but you like to get your information from Islamophobic papers like Demokrata? It’s a little strange, no?

    Nathaniel–don’t believe anything they say here in the comments! This is turning into an extremist, far-right news site, because the editor is a naive liberal who misunderstands freedom of speech. If you understand a little Hungarian, all the information you need on Omar is here:

    • It is always wonderful to have such a balanced, openminded and insightful person like you on the board, Szocdem. 🙂

  26. Avatar Attila Kovacs says:

    Read the comments one of `em includes this link mate:
    Argue with the scientific facts not with me:

    “Half of world’s Muslims are inbred due to generations of incest”

  27. Avatar Attila Kovacs says:

    Brigitte Gabriel Gives Fantastic Answer To Muslim Woman Claiming All Muslims Are Portrayed Badly

    There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course, not all of them are radicals the majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15% to 25% according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75% of them peaceful people, but when you look at 15% to 25% of the world’s Muslim population; you’re looking at the 180-million to 300-million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big of the United States. So why should we worry about their radical 15% to 25%, because it is the radicals that kill, because it is the radicals that behead and massacre.

    When you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history most Germans were peaceful, yet the Nazis drove the agenda and as a result 60-million people died, almost 14-million in concentration camps, 6-million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

    When you look at Russia most Russians were peaceful as well, yet the Russians were able to kill 20-million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at China for example most Chinese were peaceful as well, yet the Chinese were able to kill 70-million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

    When you look at Japan prior to World War II most Japanese were peaceful as well, yet Japan was able to butcher its way across Southeast Asia killing 12-million people mostly killed with bayonet and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

    On September 11th in the United States, we had 2.3-million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers 19 radicals to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3,000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

    So for all our powers the reasons and us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I’m glad you’re here, but where are the other speaking out and since you are the only Muslim representative.

  28. Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or
    “The major work of Bat Ye’or is Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (2005/2011), and this is the subject of this essay for the Council of European Canadians…….

    In this book she explains that the Euro-Arab Dialogue (EAD) was established by the European Economic Community (EEC)……….

    Several immigration policies were also enacted by the EEC, like the 1978 Damascus Declaration, which gave immigrants the right to retain their cultural traditions and not integrate into the secular European culture of their host nation………..

    Muslims have also insisted on the “partial incorporation of shari’a into European civil law”; since the early 1980s Islamic Sharia Councils founded in Europe have created “a parallel unofficial Islamic legal system”……..

    On top of these developments, Ye’or points out that host populations have been required to “satisfy” and adapt to the “religious, cultural, and social requirements” of Muslims immigrants. ……….

    Ye’or writes that the Anna Lindh Foundation “seems to be designed to condition the minds of Europeans and mold them according to guidelines imposed by the Euro-Arab network” and has aimed: to retain exclusive and totalitarian control on everything written and taught about the Mediterranean area in EU schools and universities. The report outlines a program to control the intellectual life, thoughts and activities of the whole Partnership area through guidelines given to the press, the schools, the universities and NGOS; through the arts, films, publications, and political pressure; and through the expurgation of history, reworking of school syllabi and other means — all in order to create a new mankind according to the Dialogue’s standards ‘in the spirit of and in support of the EU’s neighbourhood policy’ ………..

    The notion of European alignment with the Mediterranean countries to the south (and east) as an integrated geopolitical bloc to counter America was an idea that was first disseminated by the Austrian politician and activist, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, in the form of Eurafrica and Pan-Europa and was supported by a wide-range of leading European and American elites from the 1920s onward…..


  29. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:


    “So as a Muslim you don’t like reading “komcsi” papers, but you like to get your information from Islamophobic papers like Demokrata? It’s a little strange, no?”

    Actually most Islamophobic papers expecially during the times of Gyurcsany are coming from the Left-wing komcsi papers than right-wing papers. But who cares, I dont follow left-wing nor right-wing, i believe they both stupid as the other. My political view is based on Pro-Monarchist Magyar nationalism, which means Im of a view that the Hungarian monarchy should be restored in Hungary again since for 1000 years, monarchy was the only most successful political system for Hungary, while communism-socialism, fascism-nazism, and todays democracy doesnt work well for Hungary at all, rather those political ideologies destroys Hungary. And no, i dont read Demokrata, i dont see the difference between Demokrata and Nepszabadsag crap, all based on lies, provocation and propaganda.

  30. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Attila Kovacs,

    “On September 11th in the United States, we had 2.3-million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers 19 radicals to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3,000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.”

    The September 11 attack was actually an inside job, even Putin claimed it was an inside job.

    But as for the rest of your comment about muslim radicals, that’s true. There is a radical muslim sect out there funded by Saudi Arabia, those sects are called Wahhabi or Salafist, all those terrorist attack are caused by them. These sects claim they are Sunnis, but their doctrine and belief doesnt based on mainstream orthodox Sunni doctrine and belief.

    “So for all our powers the reasons and us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I’m glad you’re here, but where are the other speaking out and since you are the only Muslim representative.”
    Attila, by de-facto there are many muslims (mostly Sufi-Sunnis) including me out there that is everyday fighting against this radical Wahhabi sects out there, in facebook, in forums, etc,etc. You and others in the west just dont see it. You think those majority of muslims just gonna sit down and let those radical ones to take over our muslim community? nope this not gonna happen, no matter how much those Wahhabi sects want to take over, its wont happen. But if USA and her allies stops being an idiot by buying all the oils from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, then the outcome maybe different.

  31. Omar Sayfo! Don’t give up your day job with the fascists for stand-up comedy, OK? You are one of the worst racists in Hungary. Shame on you.

    Ádám Christopher! You are so blind, you don’t see what is happening here and what Sayfo is doing to your website. The same thing already happened to KMH and now here too!!

  32. Avatar Kalasz Musztafa says:

    Szocdem, you have a very famous Communist or left wing style rhetoric of calling or labelling those who opposed or staunchly opposed Socialism-Communism as “racist”, “extremist”, “fascist”, “Nazis”, “naive liberal”, etc, etc and therefore asking Christopher Adam to impose censorship on his free speech website. Isnt its strange that majority of Socialist and ex-Communist members of the Hungarian parliament are actually anarcho-reactionaries? Yes I know this political games, majority of Hungarians like me learned from that mistake and tricks which those Communist been playing with our lives for years and years. Expecially those Hungarians who had been sent to Siberia in Gulag camps and majority of them never returned to home to Hungary. Majority of them were sent there because they didnt agree with Communism-Socialism-Marxism ideologies.

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