Catholic politician refutes accusation of islamophobia


Southern Europe


People hold posters as they protest against 'hate and islamophobia' in Brussels. Photo AFP, Hatim Kaghat

Marijana Petir, a Catholic politician from Croatia, has defended herself against accusations of islamophobia in the European Islamophobia Report.

She says that the publication is an attack on freedom of speech. The report refers to Petir's speech, held in 2015 at an event for war correspondents. The section asserts that Petir said that "Muslims persecuted Christians in wars and that the current 'refugee crisis' was an attempt by Muslims occupying mostly catholic European countries, including Croatia." The report also criticized Petir for proposing a 1.5 million Croatian Kuna donation to aid Christians who were persecuted for their faith in countries where Islamist militants were in power.

Petir. Photo Twitter

Petir refuted this reading and told Catholic News Agency that the description of her speech is incorrect. "The report on Islamophobia in Europe 2020 contains a statement that I did not make. We can assume that this report is based on false allegations", she stated.

"I have expressed my full understanding for those fleeing the war and said that people whose lives are in danger should receive unconditional help. On the other hand, there are people looking for a better future and therefore going to Europe. Unfortunately, Croatia already cannot provide enough jobs for its own citizens, so we should distinguish between war and economic migrants."



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