Rezili, kai palin erw, REZILI: Attacks continue on Muslims in Greece

16 Aug

(hat tip to my buddy Aykut for this)

Kathikia.  And I don’t mean the Golden Dawn thugs either; I mean the millions of Greeks who passively support this shit, even individuals that I, personally, used to respect and love.  This, for me, is the definitive end — an end in total failure and shame — of the Neo-Greek project.  This is when you died.  Not when Paul and some other pesky Jews made you Christians and destroyed your supposed Classical purity.  Not in 1453.  Not in 1922.  This crisis, and the ugliness it’s unleashed in so many of the Statelet’s inhabitants is the definitive end.  Because it’s gonna be interment or starting from scratch now.  There’s no gluing this idea back together.

This is the end of your European fantasiwseis (delusions); this is the end of your Ancient Greek fantasiwseis, and how central to Europe you think they’re supposed to make you.  Of course, this is the end of the House-of-Cards economy you built on a folding table, which brought you the consumer culture of late capitalism which, for some reason, you felt entitled to, even though you had long stopped thinking of actually producing anything in order to support it.  It’s not the end of the politicians who kept pulling cards out from under the structure and thought nobody would notice, because you voted those kissers of Frango ass back into power again.  This is the end of all of the rest.  It’s the end of blaming Turkey or America for everything.  It’s the end.  Close the book.  Start looking for another one.

An Athenian fachito wrote me a couple of weeks ago and tried to justify these attacks to me.  “Wouldn’t the Ku Klux Klan,” he asked me rhetorically, “have been voted into office in the United States if it had been flooded by so many immigrants?”  No.  They wouldn’t have been.  I’m from a city where you stop being a stranger the second you arrive, maybe, as many say, because nobody can really be bothered to give you a second thought.  “We may not be very nice, or smile, or say ‘Good Morning’,” wrote Pete Hamill, “but there’s always room.”  But I don’t believe that New York is tolerant just because everybody’s too busy to be intolerant.  I believe there’s a sadness behind New York cynicism and irony and supposed “world-weary stoicism” that few people really understand, but if you feel the city in your gut and it’s not just a cool glamour-spot for you, then you know.  You can hear it in people’s voices, in the accent, in their body language and facial expressions, and in the kindness and blunt bursts of warmth you’ll suddenly get from where you least expect it.  It’s the sorrow of exile — and the wisdom it forces on you.  He may not know a word of whatever it was his great-grandparents spoke or seen even a picture of the land they came from, but every New Yorker carries a bit of that sense of loss in him and an innate knowledge of what drove him and his away and brought them here: the destitution of Ireland, the grinding poverty of Sicily, the fear of just being Jewish in Russia, the terror of being Black in Georgia, the violence of Colombia…  You think it’s romantic; it’s not.  (In fact, there’s lots of research out now suggesting that external experience can and does become genetic information that is then transmitted.)  Every New Yorker just knows it’s the human condition.  So when the next stranger comes along, he nods, says hi, and goes about his business.  Maybe takes a curious interest in where the new guy is from and learns a little something about the world; maybe helps him out if he can.  Of course, it’s now a cliche to say that New York isn’t America; but it’s just as true that it couldn’t exist in any other country.

How Greeks forgot the “sorrow of exile” is beyond me.  Mostly through suddenly thinking they were above and beyond that kinda Third-World thang.  You disdained or hated your neighbours for so long that you forgot who they were, no?  (The quickest way to forget who you are too.)  The Greek diaspora was no longer a motivated, highly creative and industrious group for you to be proud of, adventurers in the best Greek tradition, who went off and spun gold out of thin air while you sat around waiting for Providence to give you a cushy life.  They’re just an embarrassment and an object of condescension for you now, right?  Not for you Astoria and its tackiness — “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” — ha, ha…  You were Europeans now, right?  You didn’t emigrate anymore.  That was just for Cypriots.

Most of all, it’s the end of any sense of honour you might have still had left. You say these outsiders are destroying your “national identity”…pffff…and you declare it loudly without the slightest sense of irony…  You know “stranger” and “guest” have been the same word in Greek since classical times.  And strangers are a strain, of course.  It was a strain for that poor Greek family to feed you like you were a king and give you their beds while they took the floor.  It was a strain for that practically bed-ridden old woman to still get up and give you a lokum and a glass of water.  It was a strain to have a guest express admiration for an object in your house and to immediately make him a gift of it.  But you did it, and if not out of compassion for the poor and persecuted who came among you, you did it for your own sense of honour.

But you’ve now definitively failed that test like you’ve done all the others modernity presented you with.  I don’t know who replaced the Greeks I describe above.  I don’t know who you are any more.  I’ve groped around for decades trying to figure out what you’ve become exactly and mostly come out with a big handful of nothingness.  At best you seem like glib tourists in your own country to me, for whom Greek-ness is knowing the best beach in Melos or a cool baraki in Gazi you go to.  Is that the “national identity” these desperate people are threatening?  Other times you’re more and more starting to seem like mice in a cage who start biting pieces off of each other when there’s no food left.  And now you’re just shitty bullies, who beat up on the world’s most destitute, instead of providing them with pou ten kefalen kline and hoping that maybe you’ll save part of your souls that way — and your last scraps of honour.

And yet you still prattle on about philotimo and all the other ancient virtues you believe yourselves heirs to…  Even to having the unmitigated shamelessness of calling the police’s anti-immigrant round-up “Xenios Zeus”: Zeus Xenios, Philoxenon or Hospites: Zeus was the patron of hospitality and guests, ready to avenge any wrong done to a stranger.” [My empasis]

You were always envious, petty and malicious, the way the impotent usually are; Greece was the only country from where I got gloating “I’m so happy” emails after September 11th.  You were always whiney hysterics.  Flash floods would hit Athens, as they tend to do in deforested, arid-zone mountain basins all over the world; some mud would get on the plakakia of your house’s pylwte — which was built illegally on top of a dry gulley bed anyway — and you’d come out screeching on television like you’d just lived through the bombing of Dresden.  You just seemed ridiculous then.  Now you’ve crossed the line into the unforgivable.  Now you’ve sat Brownshirts and criminals in your Parliament and let them declare themselves your protectors.

I don’t know you any more.  And I’m not sure I want to.

Here is the article from “Demotix: News by You.”  I’m ripping off the whole text from them and a couple of pictures, and hope that they’ll understand why.  Read about fifty attack in six months, a rate that definitely outdoes any ten-million-inhabited section of the nineteenth-century Jim Crow South.

And see the rest of the excellent photos; with Eid approaching, the way they capture the beautiful military discipline of Muslim prayer couldn’t be more timely.

Muslims in Athens continue to attend services and pray despite continued attacks. By Christos Stamos

Over 500 foreigners have been attacked in the last 6 months in Greece.
A 19-year-old Iraqi died in an Athens hospital on Sunday after being attacked late on Saturday night in Athens center, (Anaxagora street), by five unknown persons riding motorcycles, police said.
A statement said the young Iraqi, “died in hospital of injuries sustained from a sharp object”.
The attack came after a huge police operation to clear cities of illegal immigrants.
For this Police operation under the code name “Xenios Zeus”, Jezerca Tigani, who is Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director of Amnesty International, has said on Wednesday, 08/08/2012:
“While Greece has the right to control migration, it does not have the right to treat people in the street like criminals purely because of the colour of their skin.”

INTERVIEWS:

Pashtoon Mirues, aged 23, has come in Greece from Agfganistan some years ago, and now he is working on a restaurant.
He shows a stone with signs of blood, a few meters away from where the young Iraqi was murdered , on Sunday dawn, in Athens center.
An eyewitness told him that he saw someone hitting the young Iraqi on the head with this stone.
__________________________

Umar Vakas from Pakistan, aged 23 has come to pray for Ramadan in the private underground place they have rented for gathering and speaking about their culture in Piraeus area.
Athens is the only European capital that does not have a mosque yet.
Last Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. about 15-20 people, attacked the place and threw smoke canisters at the entrance. At that time Umar and four other Pakistanis were inside. Umar went up the stairs and one of the attackers hit him with his fist, throwing him down the stairs.
Umar shows the marks of the wounds caused by the attack.
__________________________

Shabaz Ahmad from Pakistan aged 26, was attacked by a group of about 25 young men two years ago in the street.
He remembers it was again the month of Ramadan .
He was beaten in the face with an iron object, a knuckle duster, while he was walking for his home, after the prayers at about 8pm.

He was taken to hospital with a fractured bone in the eye.
While speaking, he shows to the camera, where in his face he was beaten.

__________________________

Nazir aged 36, is from Pakistan and he is living in Greece for the last 14 years having all the legal documents.
He asks me: “Why do these attacks take place?”

“Now people are afraid of the attacks and do not gather here…
My family is in Pakistan.
I have two children 2 and 4 years old. I earn 720 euros every month from my job, where I work as a warehouseman. I cannot bring my family in Greece. I pay all my bills here, and any money left over, I send them to Pakistan to live my family.
Vast majority of Pakistan people, cannot afford having their families here, life is expensive and salaries are going down as Greece has economic crisis.
Many Pakistanis take the way back home because of the crisis.”

_____________________________________________

Javied Aslam is the President of the Pakistan Community in Greece and the President of Migrant Workers Union.
He is speaking to me in an appointment we have in Thiseio, a neighbourhood in downtown Athens, northwest of the Acropolis:
“Over 500 foreigners have been attacked in the last 6 months in Greece.
Migrant workers are transported to hospitals with broken bones.
Previously the attackers had bats and knuckle dusters.
Over the past two weeks the situation has evolved: the attacks are made with knives.

Police operation under the code name ‘Xenios Zeus’, is a racist operation.

Racists get power from this operation. Now on the streets many fascists hit us, they curse on us, they spit at us.
Greece must not become a jungle. Greece has to show respect for each every employee.

What we ask for, is the implementation of laws!
We believe that the police shows tolerance to the racist attacks.

Police do not care for immigrants who are under attack.
Quite the reverse, they do not want to hear that you will file a lawsuit.

If a migrant tries to sue a Greek, then police puts the immigrant in jail for two days at least, to make the migrant fear and force him not to file the lawsuit.
When we go to the police station and we say that we want to sue a Greek, policemen beat us.
This is fascism.
Police can beat you and commit crimes on you, while you are innocent and asking for justice and no one can protect you.

On June 23rd, about 45 Greeks attacked 3 immigrant houses in Marconi area in Athens, and the police have not arrested anyone of the perpetrators.
Quite the reverse, they arrested the victims of the attack, the Pakistani migrants.

Within the police departments, the followers of the far right party “Golden Dawn” have access, where they come and they curse on us, and they threaten us.

The attacks against places of prayer are very dangerous.
Because our culture imposes on us, that places of prayer, are more valuable than our lives.

We can not have bats.
For this reason we they beat us
Whoever can not beat us by himself, he sends the police to beat us.

We ask the Greek Government and Greek Police to implement justice and to protect us.”

 

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

One Response to “Rezili, kai palin erw, REZILI: Attacks continue on Muslims in Greece”

  1. istanpolis August 17, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    “Stranger” and “guest” have been the same word in Greek since classical times.”

    If Neo Greeks does not mean rejection of thousands years of Hellenic legacy than i can say those Neo Greeks are simply betraying to their Greekness.

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