Η Ελλάδα που φοβάται τους Έλληνες

 

 

 

Γιώργος Δημακόπουλος

Μέχρι πότε οι Έλληνες θα φοβούνται τους Έλληνες;

Υπάρχει μια μεγάλη ελλάδα που ζει στα 131.957 km2 της και καλύπτει όλους όσους πολίτες της θέλουν να ζουν και να δημιουργούν εντός και εκτός της. Χωρίς να ελέγχει το χρώμα σου, την ιθαγένεια, την υπηκοότητα, το φύλο σου, την φυλή, την τσέπη, τις επιλογές σου, τις αρρώστιες σου. Που για να σε πολιτογραφήσει Έλληνα πολίτη δεν χρειάζεται να γίνεις αστέρας του ΝΒΑ, για αυτήν την Ελλάδα ήσουν και είσαι Έλληνας από τότε που έπλενες παρμπρίζ στα φανάρια. Που δεν στέλνει tweet μόνο όταν είναι να μπεις στην 5αδα του all star game, αλλά που διεκδικεί μαζί σου να σου αποδοθούν τα δικαιώματα σου στο σχολείο, στην δουλειά, στην καθημερινότητα. Που στέλνει tweet ώστε κανένας πολιτικός να μην σε κόβει από το δικαίωμα του Έλληνα πολίτη.

Και υπάρχει μια άλλη μικρή ελλαδάρα που φοβάται τους έλληνες πολίτες. Που βλέπει εχθρούς, εφιάλτες, προδότες, μειοδότες. Που βαπτίζει κάποιους ως εχθρούς, εφιάλτες, προδότες, μειοδότες για να πάρει μερικά ψηφαλάκια από τα εθνίκια στις εκλογές. Αυτή η μικρή ελλάδαρα ποζάρει με φουστανέλες και κοστούμια ανάλογα την περίσταση. Από κυβέρνηση σε αντιπολίτευση, ανάλογα με την καρέκλα ανάλογο και το ένδυμα.

Στον Έβρο οι Πομάκοι, οι μουσουλμάνοι, οι αποκαλούμενοι «τούρκοι» ζούσαν για χρόνια με μπάρες και «διαβατήρια» γιατί κάποιοι τους φοβούνταν να μην γίνουν τούρκοι. Σηκώσαμε τις μπάρες μόνο όταν καταλάβαμε ότι έτσι θα γίνουν «τούρκοι». Όχι γιατί είναι έλληνες πολίτες με δικαιώματα ίδια με εμάς, αλλά γιατί φοβηθήκαμε μην γίνουν όντως «τούρκοι». Στην Φλώρινα ζουν περίπου 6-8χιλ μειονοτικοί «μακεδόνες» ομιλούντες την «μακεδονική» και το ελληνικό κράτος φοβάται να τους αναγνωρίσει τα δικαιώματα τους. Και ας τρώμε καταδίκες στο Ευρωπαικό Δικαστήριο για τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα (ΕΔΔΑ). Δεν υπάρχει λέμε μακεδονική μειονότητα επειδή δεν είναι αναγνωρισμένη μειονότητα από τις συνθήκες. Γιατί υπάρχεις μόνο όταν σε αναγνωρίζουν οι συνθήκες! Και αυτοί οι 6-8 χιλ συμπολίτες μας εκεί πάνω τι είναι; Προτιμάμε να τους λέμε γυφτοσκοπιανούς παρά έλληνες πολίτες μακεδόνες. Τους φοβόμαστε χωρίς λόγο. Τους θέλουμε να γίνουν ελληναράδες που θα φοβούνται τις άλλες μειονότητες. Δεν τους θέλουμε Έλληνες να σέβονται τους άλλους Έλληνες. Με την Αλβανία είμαστε επίσημα σε εμπόλεμο από το 1940 γιατί και εμείς και αυτοί βάζουμε εμπόδια, είτε για την ΑΟΖ, είτε για το «ανύπαρκτο τσάμικο» (ένα υπαρκτό πρόβλημα από το 1924), είτε για την ελληνική μειονότητα. Κρύβουμε τα προβλήματα κάτω από το χαλί της ακινησίας, και αφήνουμε το χρόνο να περνάει εις βάρος όλων. Δεν κερδίζει κανένας. Όλοι χάνουν. Πρώτοι χάνουν οι έλληνες μειονοτικοί. Αν εκλέγεσαι στην Β΄ Αθήνας και στα studio των παπαδακηδοαυτιάδων χέστηκες για τον Έλληνα της Χιμάρας, χέστηκες για τον Έλληνα της Φλώρινας και τον Πομάκο της Ροδόπης. Ό,τι είναι ξένο από εσένα, δεν υπάρχει.

Αν σε ψηφίζουν οι πατρίς θρησκεία οικογένεια χέστηκες για τα δικαιώματα των ΛΟΑΤΚΙ+, των μεταναστών 2ης γενιάς, τους ασθενείς με HIV τους τοξικοεξαρτημένους, τους Ρομά, τους άθεους, τους Εβραίους. Τους φοβάσαι, γιατί τους «φοβάται» μια δράκα ψηφοφόρων σου. Θα υπερασπιστείς το δικαίωμα κάποιων νοικοκυραίων να σαπίσουν στο ξύλο κάποιον γιατί μπήκε στο μαγαζί τους και δεν τους άρεσε η φάτσα τους, θα υπερασπιστείς το «δικαίωμα» κάποιου να πυροβολεί τους αλβανούς μπάτσους και θα καταθέτεις στεφάνια στον ήρωα του παροξυσμού σου (το θύμα της πατριδοκάπηλης προπαγάνδας σου). Δεν θα υπερασπιστείς κανένα κοινωνικό νομοσχέδιο που αναγνωρίζει τα στοιχειώδη δικαιώματα τους γιατί αυτοί δεν είναι σαν και εσένα, γιατί η «κοινωνία δεν είναι έτοιμη», γιατί εσύ θες η κοινωνία να μην είναι «έτοιμη».

Τα προβλήματα δεν λύνονται αν δεν τα αντιμετωπίζεις. Ο φόβος δεν επιλύει. Ο φόβος πολλαπλασιάζει τον φόβο, κτίζει οχυρώματα, ανοίγει αποστάσεις. Μέχρι πότε οι Έλληνες θα φοβούνται τους Έλληνες; Δεν υπάρχουν έλληνες προδότες και μειοδότες, δεν υπάρχουν πολίτες άλλοι με υψηλό εθνικό φρόνημα και άλλοι πεμπτοφαλαγγίτες, κανένας δεν μπορεί να φοβάται να αναγνωρίσει κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα σε κοινωνικές μειονότητες, κανένας δεν μπορεί να φοβάται να αναγνωρίσει το δικαίωμα του θρησκευτικού γλωσσικού εθνοτικού αυτοπροσδιορισμού σε άλλους γιατί τους φοβάται. Ο ρεαλισμός, η λογική, η εμπιστοσύνη και ο αλληλοσεβασμός θα κλείσουν όσα αγκάθια μένουν ανοικτά. Δεν υπάρχουν δικαιώματα αλά καρτ μόνο για τους δικούς σου. Τα δικαιώματα δεν μπαίνουν στο τραπέζι των διαπραγματεύσεων. Τα οφείλεις. Δεν τα φοβάσαι. Το μέλλον θέλει τόλμη.

* Ο Γιώργος Δημακόπουλος είναι μέλος της ΜΕΣΥΑ

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Humanists remind European Parliament that human rights can only be secular

ehf

Humanists remind European Parliament that human rights can only be secular

Posted on the 12/12/18

Poster of the event organised by the European Parliament

On 4 December, the European Parliament organized an event entitled Dialogue seminar with churches and religious communities: Religion and Human Rights within the EU – A shared responsibility.

The event was organized in the framework of the European Parliament’s dialogue with churches and non-confessional organization under Article 17 of the Treaty on the European Union. It was chaired by Mairead McGuiness, Vice-president of the European Parliament in charge of this dialogue.

The event was composed of two panels: the first one focused on “Evaluating the EU’s Framework for defending human rights in the EU” while the second one was dedicated to “Human Rights challenges and solutions in the EU”.


Humanists advocate for secularism as it is the only democratic principle that provides a framework for the effective realization of human rights.

By separating the state from religious organizations and by committing it to full neutrality, secularism ensures that everyone is treated on equal footing. Secularism therefore is by definition a necessary condition for the implementation of fundamental freedoms.


Among the speakers, Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency emphasized that when it comes to human rights, the role of churches is often seen from a negative angle although many positive contributions to the implementation of human rights by faith-based communities exist. He called on efforts to increase religious literacy in public debate in order to better grasp the role of churches and religion in this domain.

Birgit van Hout, Regional Representative for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reminded the audience, among other elements, that Human Rights cannot be subjected to religious norms.

Virginie Rozière, French MEP and co-chair of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics acknowledged the role that religious organisations play in the implementation of certain human rights. She however also mentioned many others where the role of many religious organizations is detrimental.

She reminded the audience about the issues encountered in the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul convention. She mentioned for instance that in Slovakia, religious groups openly campaign against the convention spreading lies about its content and trying to impose a traditionalist vision of society stemming from religious dogma.

Giulio Ercolessi, President of the European Humanist Federation confirmed the analysis of MEP Rozière. He praised religious organizations for having made a long way since much darker times where most of their actions and doctrines were in full contradiction with human rights. He however also warned about continued positions and practices of many churches, including the Catholic Church, that directly undermine and threaten a number of other human rights. These particularly concern the health and safety of women and LGBTI people, end of life dignity and indoctrination at young age.

He also called on EU institutions to show the same determination in standing up for Bangladeshi humanist bloggers stabbed to death by Islamist groups or jailed for “blasphemy offence” as for rightfully helping Asia Bibi (a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for ‘Blasphemy’ and threatened by Islamists) and her relatives to find asylum in Europe.

The EHF is glad that such a debate took place in an event that was initially organized only with religious organizations. Despite the many areas where certain churches are at odds with basic human rights, we rejoice at the contribution they make in putting certain other ones in practice.

We however have to assert firmly that standing for human rights is by no means only a religious virtue. We feel compelled to remind that there cannot be any hierarchy between human rights, that Freedom of Religion or Belief does not supersede any other human rights.

This is why humanists advocate for secularism as it is the only democratic principle that provides a framework for the effective realization of human rights. By separating the state from religious organizations and by committing the state to full neutrality, secularism ensures that everyone is treated on equal footing. Therefore, secularism is by definition a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the implementation of fundamental freedoms.

Will European Parliament truly stand up for all people persecuted worldwide?

Euractiv

Will European Parliament truly stand up for all people persecuted worldwide?

The role of Special Envoy Jan Figel is currently under discussion by MEPs. [EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET]

On 6 December, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee will vote an important report for people who are mistreated, discriminated or persecuted for their beliefs worldwide, writes Giulio Ercolessi. At stake here is whether the EU will step up for everyone whose human rights are violated worldwide, including non-believers.

Giulio Ercolessi is the president of the European Humanist Federation.

It all started in 2016 after strong lobbying by the Catholic Church urging the EU to take a stand against the persecution of Christian minorities in the world. The response was the creation of the position of EU Special Envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU.

Ján Figeľ, the first such Envoy, former Commissioner, Slovak politician and convinced Christian, was appointed by Jean-Claude Juncker at a special ceremony in the Vatican, in presence of Pope Francis. The tone was set.

Two years on, there has been no reporting or evaluation of the work of the Special Envoy. The priorities of the mandate have never been clearly defined despite several requests by MEPs. Tireless efforts of non-confessional organisations to raise awareness about the reality of humanists, atheists and freethinkers persecuted for their beliefs worldwide resulted in more attention being paid to the matter by the Special Envoy, at least in words.

However, at the political level and especially within the European People’s Party, the understanding that the EU cannot only focus on the protection of Christians but has to stand up for the protection of all people discriminated for their beliefs, whether religious or not, is still far from being secured.

This lack of recognition was confirmed during a meeting held on 5 November by Polish EPP (Christian-democrat) MEP Andrzej Grzyb, the rapporteur of a report asking for the strengthening of the Special Envoy’s mandate.

In an offensive and particularly rude speech, one member of the EPP Working Group for Interreligious Dialogue requested that the mandate be limited to the protection of Christian minorities only, insisting on the need to raise Christian values as European ones.

He even questioned the usefulness of discussing these issues with non-believers – “those people who believe in nothing”.

Across Europe and worldwide, humanist, rationalist, atheist, laïque organisations work on the field and with decision-makers to build a better society and make sure that everyone is allowed to believe or not.

They work with their Home Offices, pleading the cause of atheists, humanists and freethinkers at risk in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mauritania or Sudan. They work with migrants and asylum-seekers in Europe, ensuring they are sheltered, fed and treated with dignity.

They work in school with pupils and children, giving them the tools to become responsible and critical-thinking adults. They campaign for non-discrimination and equality, trying to advance women’s and LGBTI’s rights. They offer humanist counselling for people in hospitals and prisons and provide humanist ceremonies for people’s major life steps.

Drafted and endorsed by the EPP group, the Grzyb report, in its original form, excluded all issues related to non-believers and completely ignored the work of non-confessional organisations. It praised the role of churches, religious communities and faith-based organisations in a wide range of areas (peace building, fighting radicalisation and humanitarian work) and invited them to collaborate further with EU institutions.

Now, after fierce discussions, compromises seem to have been found to take into account the persecution of both believers and non-believers and recognize the work performed by humanist organisations worldwide. However, issues do not stop here.

First, given prior experience, one can rightfully have doubts that intentions will be followed by deeds.

For instance, one would expect the same energy in standing up for Bangladeshi humanist bloggers stabbed to death by Islamist groups or jailed for “blasphemy offence” by their own government since 2015 as for helping Asia Bibi (a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for ‘Blasphemy’ and threatened by Islamists) and her relatives to find asylum in Europe.

The latter case was – and we praise that – championed by MEPs Antonio Tajani and Peter van Dalen, the co-chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Second, the report currently discussed in the EP Foreign Affairs Committee foresees an institutionalization of the EU Special Envoy into a Special Representative for Freedom of Religion or Belief serving a multi-year mandate. A Special Representative, who in the mind of the drafters, would have solely spoken up for Christian minorities.

Even if now it seems that other beliefs or non-beliefs will also be included – the compromises still have to be confirmed by the vote on 6 December – many rightfully question why there should be a Special Representative dedicated to this specific human right and not to other ones.

Especially, the mandate of the representative, if this position is to be institutionalised, must in our opinion explicitly include discriminations based on any possible cause for individual non-conformity with religious groups’ pressure and pretensions, including sexual orientation and gender. And what will be the relation between this person and the existing EU Special Representative for Human Rights?

At the European Humanist Federation, we stand for the protection of all human rights. While it will potentially contribute to effectively help certain persecuted people, appointing a Special Representative focusing on only one human right seems to have a lot to do with the intention to voice a political affirmation on the roots of Europe.

Beyond debating the missions of a Special Representative, what is capital is that people persecuted throughout the world for their beliefs, their life stances or their differences systematically find in EU officials a reliable source of effective support, both in words and deeds, whether they are Christian or not.

With the European elections approaching, more than ever, the European Humanist Federation will keep drawing the attention on the imperative need for EU institutions to be fully neutral when it comes to their relationships with confessional and non-confessional preoccupations.