Last Saturday was Independence Day in Poland – celebrating the 99th anniversary of the restoration of the nation’s sovereignty in 1918. It’s a big deal there and festivities were topped off by an enormous march as upwards of 60,000 patriots strutted through the streets of Warsaw, waving banners that demanded: “Clean Blood!” “Europe will be white!”
The protestors also chanted “We want God” – a line from an old Polish folk song that Donald Trump had quoted during his visit to the country in July. Trump is big in Poland. They like his “no nonsense” approach and his hard line on immigrants that he isn’t married to.
Racists from other countries were invited along and our own “Tommy Robinson” turned up.
The rally was applauded by Poland’s political elite with state approved broadcaster TVP describing it as a “magnificent march of patriots” and the ruling Law and Justice Party’s Interior Minister, Mariusz Błaszczak calling it a “beautiful sight.”
Poland is not just worried about Islamification. It is terrified. The ONR “Radical Camp” party that organised the march believes there is a conspiracy organised by the “Jews and Communists” to bring Sharia Law to Poland and the government plays up this fear – although admittedly in a more muted form. A Chatham House survey earlier this year found that of 10 European countries, Poland was most in favour of a ban on all future Muslim immigration into their homeland with 71% of correspondents saying it should be stopped altogether.
But here’s the startling thing. There are almost no Muslims in Poland – at all. In fact, they make up just 0.1% of the total population. That’s an English market town’s worth of citizens.
Once again we find truth and statistics are at sharp odds with perception. IPsos data shows that Poles believe that there are upwards of 2.5 million Muslims in the country and that the figure will rise to 13% of the total by 2020 when in fact there are only some 25,000 and the numbers are static. Poland, with an almost 99% white population is in fact the least diverse country in Europe. Inward migration is almost negligible. And yet – still the clamour grows for “something to be done.” This narrative plays right into the hands of the right wing, anti-immigration ruling party who can claim that they are doing a great job in tackling the scourge of Muslim immigration, while neglecting to mention – that there isn’t any.
A “common enemy” is the oldest political trick in the book and it seems that the lacklustre Polish government with its right wing agenda is happy to tag along with this dangerous narrative – as long as it serves a purpose.
It’s all oddly reminiscent of that Simpsons episode in which a sleepy bear walks into Springfield and sends the townsfolk into a feverish helix of panic. Soon 24 hour helicopter “Bear Patrols” have been established, taxes are hiked and as no further bears wander into town it is deemed to be a success. However, as the costs hit, everyone looks for a new scape-goat and they turn on the town’s only ‘illegal immigrant’ – Apu.
Unnecessary bear patrols hunting non-existent bears might be funny in a cartoon. In the feverish mood of our times – they are dangerous. For with the lack of actual “bears” how long until the patrols seek to do something else with their time.
In the UK we are already heating up our annual indignation at the invisible bears who are trying to ban Christmas or worse – turn it into a celebration of multi-culturalism. The Christmas Tesco ad caused outrage last week when, in a very brief segment, it dared to include a Muslim family hugging each other on Christmas Day. The very same people, who for years have demanded that “Muslims must integrate and respect our traditions and way of life” are now apparently outraged at depictions of just that happening.
Eagle eyed right wingers were immediately off searching the Tesco shelves for signs that Christmas had been cancelled, that our way of life was under threat, that there were halal turkeys waiting on every corner to enforce Sharia law and put a niqab on Mary in the nativity scene.
The Muslim population of Britain is about 4% of the total and yet this relatively small minority increasingly seems to be at the bulls-eye of all our national targeted bullying. We are told that “they” threaten “our” way of life – that “they” are engaged in some kind of organised plot to abolish Easter, or force us all to abide by Sharia law or make the rest of us eat Halal chicken. If it isn’t them it’s “the usual suspects” or “lefties” or “Sadiq Khan” when really what it is is patent nonsense.
The vast majority of Muslims have no more intention of overthrowing anything whether it be Christmas or the Polish state than anybody else. Even if they did, the numbers simply would not stack up. How on Earth would 4% of the populace of the UK manage to subjugate the other 96%? How can 0.1% of the Polish population pull off “White Genocide” or Islamification of the 99%?
Too many in modern Britain are too ready to leap on the global bandwagon of hate and fear without first checking the facts. And too many are willing to enable them. If it were just a few twitter users then there might be nothing to worry about, but as the politics of the “alt right” makes further inroads into our political landscape and our national dialogue – it is not beyond the bounds of imagination to see a day when 60,000 rabid right wingers march through the streets of London demanding “action” against more than just invisible bears.