Monday, October 20, 2008

This makes me ill

Here. "Given Haider's anti-Semitic and xenophobic views, and taking into account that he represents a rallying point for Europe's radical right, it was an astonishing show of political solidarity as Austria's heads of state and political parties paid tribute to him."

I spent a year in Joerg Haider's Austrian stronghold of Klagenfurt as a student, 11 years ago now. I recall his stridently racist views, which in those days were mainly directed towards Slovenian immigrants. I don't remember him expressing openly antisemitic views at the time. The fact that, after his death, he drew plaudits from across the political spectrum, makes me sick. I hope, I really really really hope, that Austrian Christians took the opportunity to be different and to distance themselves from his odious views. God does not rejoice in the death of the wicked and neither should we, but we should also strive to avoid even the appearance of evil: and feting an openly racist politician as a hero is most certainly that.

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