Krishnan Guru-Murthy, a presenter for publicly-owned broadcaster Channel 4, left the Hungarian prime minister’s spokesman “stunned” after asserting that Christianity is “not really a fundamental of Europe”.
The journalist began his interview with Dr Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, in a decidedly hostile fashion, asking him “what it is about migration that he’s afraid of”.
“It’s an uncontrolled and apparently unstoppable form of migration,” the minister explained.
“It’s illegal migration, per se. We’ve seen altogether almost two million people arrive into Europe in less than two years, and that’s an alarming issue especially if it’s related to those areas and events which are surrounding Europe–”
“Do you mean Muslims?” the journalist interjected angrily.
“No, I mean civil war areas from where potential terrorists are coming, and as a matter of fact we all know that the perpetrators of the Paris and Belgium attacks did come through the illegal migration way,” replied the Hungarian.
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Guru-Murthy, who is from a Hindu background himself, continued to push his guest to admit it was Muslims “you most object to”.
Dr Kovács said frankly that his government believes that “the large-scale migration of a different culture into the European continent is a problem,” prompting a furious response.
“Why? What do you mean, ‘a different culture’?” Guru-Murthy demanded.
The journalist was incredulous when the Hungarian began to elaborate on the role of Christianity in shaping European civilisation.
“For Europe? I mean, that’s not really a sort of a fundamental of Europe, is it?”, Guru-Murthy asserted.
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“It was stunning, really,” Dr Kovács wrote when recalling the interview.
“To listen to this interview is to behold the yawning gulf that has grown between the Western media elite and the people of Europe, particularly the citizens of Hungary and Central Europe.
“For example, when I spoke of our opposition to the large-scale migration of a different culture to the European continent and that Christianity is the core of European culture, Guru-Murthy said this: ‘But Europe? I mean, [Christianity] is not really a sort of fundamental of Europe, is it?’
“Stop and let that sink in for a moment. ‘Christianity is not really a sort of fundamental of Europe.’
“Never mind that it’s historically false. Put aside for a moment all of European history … Even today, that view expressed by the Channel 4 journalist is completely at odds with the view of many, many citizens of Europe.”
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Dr Kovács also clashed with Guru-Murthy at length on the subject of Hungarians who travel to Britain for work legally, with the journalist repeatedly insinuating that they are no different from the illegal migrants Hungary is holding back with its successful border wall.
“The Freedom of Movement is for European citizens. It’s not for third-party citizens, or those who are trying to come to Europe as illegal migrants,” the Hungarian insisted, branding Guru-Murthy’s efforts to conflate the two “disturbing”.