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German terror spree in focus

July 27th, 2016

Left-wing pundits commenting on the German terror attacks caution against fear mongering and fomenting anti-migrant hysteria. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, think that the events prove the failure of multicultural integration and even suggest that Chancellor Merkel is complicit in the horrible crimes.

Népszava editor-in-chief Péter Németh finds it nauseating that Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó linked the Munich attack to migration. The left-wing pundit thinks that there is no evidence that the perpetrator could not integrate into German society. Instead, Németh thinks that psychiatric problems were the reason for his running amok, with no connection to his migrant background or any lack of assimilation. In conclusion, Németh accuses the government of fomenting fear and hatred in order to ride the wave of anti-migrant sentiments.

In Népszabadság, András Dési also cautions against explaining the German terror spree with migration and failed integration. The left-wing columnist thinks it is absurd to suggest that there is a causal link between the violent acts committed by mentally disturbed individuals and interpret their acts as if they were part of a terrorist plot aiming at destabilizing Europe. Dési fears that unfounded fear mongering could lead to even more violence.

It is time to acknowledge that multiculturalism has utterly failed, Gábor Stier writes in Magyar Nemzet. The conservative columnist also warns against stigmatizing migrants, but thinks that it is utopian to hope that migrants and refugees from the Muslim word can easily integrate into Western societies. As for the future, Stier fears that both anti-immigrant politicians as well as jihadist radicals will use the opportunity to boost distrust and suspicion in society.

In Heti Válasz, István Dévényi finds it irresponsible to suggest that uncontrolled mass migration may not compromise security. Commenting on a statement by Ulrike Demmer, Chancellor Merkel’s deputy spokeswoman who said that refugees pose no greater terrorist threat than any other individuals in Germany, Dévényi notes that the German terror spree indicates the failure of the integration of newcomers. If Germany could not successfully integrate past immigrants, it is even more unlikely to assimilate the hundreds of thousands of recent migrants, Dévényi suggests. He suspects that as anti-migrant sentiments grow and migrants become even more marginalized, refugees with mental and psychiatric issues may become even more violent.

Magyar Idők’s János Csontos goes so far as to accuse Chancellor Merkel of complicity in the terror spree. The pro-government author holds Angela Merkel personally responsible for letting in hundreds of thousands of migrants ‘without any security check-ups’. Csontos also interprets the violent events as proof of the failure of integration and of the ‘Wilkommenskultur’. He notes that some of the perpetrators came through Hungary, and they could have committed similar acts here as well.

Angela Merkel should be held responsible for having encouraged migrants by announcing that they are all welcome in Germany, Zsolt Bayer fulminates in Magyar Hírlap. The pro-government commentator says he will not even bother to react to the argument that not all migrants are terrorists. “If I send you, Chancellor Merkel, a box of chocolates and tell you that only ten of them are poisonous, what would you do? When you sit down in your armchair to watch the news about the victims who died because of you, would you start eating the chocolate or throw the whole box in the garbage bin?” Bayer wonders.

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