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Jobbik mayor’s stunt to ban the burqa and “homosexual propaganda”

December 1st, 2016

A left-wing commentator dismisses a Jobbik mayor’s anti-burqa and anti-gay decree as a mere stunt, and likens his small municipality to a lunatic asylum. His pro-government counterpart thinks Jobbik voters may be left puzzled and clueless about the party’s ideological direction.

Last week the council of Ásotthalom, a village of 4,000 inhabitants on Hungary’s southern border with Serbia, led by mayor and Jobbik vice-chairman László Toroczkai banned the construction of mosques as well as the wearing of the niqab, burqa and burqini. In the same decree, the council of the border municipality also banned the promotion of homosexuality. The decree, however, stipulated that the above rules were valid only for a single day on November 25.

In Népszava, Péter Szánthó contends (without noting that the decree was valid only for a day) that László Toroczkai’s decree is a ridiculous stunt. The left-wing columnist suggests that the far-right politician of this rural settlement wants to strengthen his anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and homophobic image through those clearly anti-constitutional rules. In a sarcastic comment, Szánthó agrees with Toroczkai that the Trianon peace treaty which dismembered Greater Hungary after World War One should be revised – but only in the sense that the “lunatic asylum called Ásotthalom” should be given to Serbia.

Toroczkai’s stunt accentuates the ideological differences within Jobbik, Péter Szikszai writes in Magyar Idők. The pro-government commentator recalls that Gábor Vona has been trying to rebrand Jobbik as a moderate conservative catch-all party. He goes on to note that Toroczkai’s trick may confuse Jobbik sympathizers by reviving the party’s former extremist ideology.

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