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Glib Czech Islamophobia Further Lowers Bar For European Vote

Politician Jana Volfova appears in a European Parliament campaign advertisement for the nationalist Czech Sovereignty party.
Politician Jana Volfova appears in a European Parliament campaign advertisement for the nationalist Czech Sovereignty party.
Decapitation. Group sex. Defenestrations.

Frankly, it all sounds like just another night of Danish cinema at Cannes.

So don't let Denmark's "get-out-the-vote" flap over the "Voteman" video discourage you ahead of this month's European elections.

If you're going to hang your head over these elections to fill the European Parliament's 751 seats, let it be because of spots like this one:

WATCH: Euro-Election Campaign Ad For Czech Sovereignty

Candidate Jana Volfova and her nonparliamentary Czech Sovereignty party went completely Kabuki, donning a chador to rail against Muslims and to "defend Euro-Christian civilization."

"Do you really want to have to bow to Allah five times a day?" an announcer asks as a tiny black figure in full fundamentalist Islamic garb emerges from an EU-colored shell game.

"Do you want your daughter or granddaughter to be forced to walk around covered up, for her to be stoned [to death] if she gives her boyfriend a kiss on the street?" Volfova asks from behind a black chador, before assigning the European Commission with responsibility for determining immigration policies. (Never mind that she's campaigning for the European Parliament.)

"We reject the Islamization of Europe," Volfova goes on to say.

"Don't let your own country be stolen, and come defend Euro-Christian civilization," the announcer sums up.

Czech Sovereignty is sufficiently "euroskeptical" for local media to have speculated that it might provide a platform for the post-presidential return to "high politics" of former President Vaclav Klaus.

Chairwoman Jana Bobosikova and her Czech Sovereignty party purport to be engaged in the business of "protecting Czech national interests." Ironically, Bobosikova owes a debt to her supranational foe. She used European elections in 2004 to resuscitate a seemingly moribund domestic political career. She also happens to be an unrepentant former poster child for hated socialist-era Czechoslovak leader Gustav Husak.

Despite their deservedly secular reputation, Czechs have been thrust reluctantly into discussions of two of this century's most disturbing perversions of Islam: 9/11, after which Czech officials (including now-President Milos Zeman) claimed (erroneously) that Al-Qaeda hijacker Mohammed Atta had contacted an Iraqi agent in Prague; and the Tsarnaev brothers' suspected bombing in April 2013 of the Boston Marathon, after which CNN and other media outlets confused the Czech Republic with Chechnya.

But in fact, Czechs' room has been extremely limited for direct contact with Islam -- much less Islamism or other extreme interpretations of the religion. Muslims are estimated to compose less than 0.1 percent of the Czech population of around 10 million, prompting the weekly "Tyden" last year to rank it among Europe's "non-Islamic islands."

Then again, another Czech party with a chance of reaching the European Parliament is the Dawn of Direct Democracy of Tomio Okamura. That movement is at once run by a Czech-Japanese-Korean entrepreneur who is a senior member of the Association of Czech Travel Agencies, and at the same time campaigning on a platform that would curb immigration.

In a country where the absence of that towering figure of 20th-century humanism, Vaclav Havel, is still felt, it is all enough to have convinced the Czech weekly "Respekt" that some of the campaigning for these European elections "has exceeded even the normal scope of Czech political marketing."

-- Andy Heil

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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