Editorial: Mayors of fear
One would expect that the municipal candidates, especially in the big cities like Athens, would have a meaningful debate, a discussion with serious…
One would expect that the municipal candidates, especially in the big cities like Athens, would have a meaningful debate, a discussion with serious arguments concerning problems of the city and people.
On the contrary, the debate hosted by Mega Channel on Tuesday evening ended up was spent arguing whether a mosque should be built in the capital for Muslims. This should be a non-issue for a European country that respects its people irrespective of their religious beliefs.
Greece has been lifting a huge burden in the past years, from the unrestrained arrival of refugees seeking a way out from the wars and massacres they face in their countries.
It is obvious that our country cannot support this burden and that is why almost all of the parties are seeking out ways so that the European refugee admission system changes and to find a way to control their illegal entry.
In Greece, especially Athens, tens of thousands migrants live, whether legally after having fully integrated into Greek society or not, all of whom have a right to practice their religious beliefs. Cultivating fear and hatred against these people leads nowhere, aside from intolerant, racist and occasionally murderous practices.
Religious freedom is an essential human right that is not subject to any referendum, ban or limitation, except in anti-democratic and totalitarian regimes. Luckily, despite the problems faced, our country is not one of those.
All those candidates who hope to win a few more votes by cultivating this divisive and antidemocratic rational should se it aside. The mayor’s duty is to defend all people in his city, regardless of ideology or race and not separate them in first and second-class citizens. Our democracy and culture demands it.