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MP Eva Irgl notes with sadness: The history of death threats is repeating itself

In her note entitled “Hate as a political method”, SDS MP Eva Irgl reminded of a text about hate speech she had written eight years ago, noting with sadness that “in all these years, even my efforts and warnings in this area, nothing has changed in the minds of many.” As she pointed out years ago, the lack of condemnation of such acts will only give this “political method of hatred” more power in the future. As she observes in line with what is happening in the parliament, the media, and on the street, her observations at the time are coming true.

“Given the expressions of intolerance and hatred, as well as the actions we have witnessed in recent days, it is necessary to reiterate that in all segments of society we should strive for a zero level of tolerance not only to any violence, but also to incitement to hatred and intolerance to those who think differently.” According to Eva Irgl, the greater responsibility lies with the institutions that monitor human rights. As she wrote at the time, and it turns out to be a correct assessment today, the representatives of the SDS party are the most affected.

As MP Irgl notes in a text from eight years ago, representatives of the left are allowed to do almost anything, and those who belong to the more right-wing positions are not even allowed to criticise such statements. However, if criticism already exists, it is usually ignored by the mainstream media. Additionally, the whole thing escalates to such an extent that all those who try to draw attention to hate speech or other acts of violence are first misinterpreted and then disqualified or even demonised. In a note from eight years ago, she cited the speech of Prime Minister Janez Janša at a meeting of the Assembly for the Republic in 2013, when he spoke about certain phenomena in society that have clear signs of fascism due to historically known approaches. “Given the ideology that has been abused by individuals due to daily political goals, we can actually talk about left wing fascism. This works on the principle that the goal justifies the means. The term left fascism was first used by a British journalist when he spoke about the ideology of the philosopher Slavoj Žižek.”

We can be seriously concerned about the phenomenon of left wing fascism in society: Is our historical memory of the horrors of the 20th century still alive enough?
“It is necessary to condemn all kinds of extremism, especially those phenomena which selfish goals and interests do not work for the common good of citizens, but only for the overthrow of disturbing, otherwise democratically elected representatives.” It is clear from history that such methods only worsen the situation in society and deny the decades-long European fight against such phenomena.

“Any criticism is necessary for the existence of democracy, but only if it is objective. In recent years, alarming trends can be found that should not exist in modern democracies. It is a matter of achieving political discrediting of those who point out violent acts and hate speech.” As she has noticed, such trends have been observed since the statement made years ago by the former President of the Republic, dr. Danilo Türk. He said that the killings in Barbara Rov after the war were a “second-rate topic”. In addition, she noted the ease of blurring the line between hate speech and freedom of speech. “The right of an individual ceases, where the right of another begins,” Irgl wrote, stating that our constitution defines hate speech in Article 63, and a so-called Penal Code in Article 300 clearly defines the criminal responsibility of the one who spreads intolerance. The conditions for effective prosecution of this type of speech exist, but the question is why it is not carried out. “Without effective recognition and action in the face of such phenomena we risk that extremism in all its forms and phenomena, including left wing fascism, may become permanently entrenched in our consciousness and society in general,” wrote MP Eva Irgl eight years ago, which has – given today’s developments in the country – proved to be accurate. According to Irgl, an inscription appeared in a public place in Ljubljana at that time, which read “Kill Janša, Zoki kill Janša”. Moreover, only a few days ago in Nova Gorica we were able to read the record: “Janša, foiba is waiting for you!” Such records must be condemned without delay, regardless of who they refer to.

Institutions did not condemn the events in time, even more so, the ombudswoman at the time even said: “In hate speech, the socially stronger deprives the weaker of dignity, and persons in public office are not socially weaker.”

The goal of the left opposition then and today was to overthrow the government of Janez Janša and not to fight hate speech
“In December 2012, we also proposed measures that would enable more direct democracy within the framework of democratic constitutional standards. However, the response from both the media and other political parties was rather lukewarm or non-existent. Another proof that the content is not important, but only the goal, which in this case is the overthrow of the government of Janez Janša,” the MP recalls in a note from eight years ago.

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