Say no to racism

Shehzad´s murder and the “good fellas”

Read the article Shehzad´s murder and the “good fellas”, of Dimosthenis Papadatos from, in English.

Shehzad´s murder and the “good fellas”

Children in Greece stay at their parents’ home until their 30s, which is why we keep calling them “children”. We buy them presents, we give them pocket money and, if they do something stupid, we act as if nothing has happened. Children are children.

Shehzad was twenty-seven years old, i.e. a child. In other words, last night, in Petralona, a child was murdered. It’s just that, for children like Shehzad, things are more complicated. Time doesn’t count the same. Shehzad wasn’t exactly a kid – as no worker is a kid. He wasn’t even “a child from Pakistan.” He was just Pakistani. Therefore, last night, in Petralona, a Pakistani was murdered. And in order not to dramatize the situation, let’s just put it the way NET did and say that “the 27-year-old Pakistani died”.

Shehzad didn’t certainly die from stray fire or in a car-crash. Shehzad was murdered by two other children, twenty-one and twenty-nine years old – these children are normal, they’re ours: they have their jobs, their scooters, plus they are politicised.

The latter, under any other circumstances, wouldn’t matter that much. When talking about human lives, it is advisable for the political parties not to get involved, because this is petty politics, that is to say, disrespect to the memory of the deceased. Nikos Dendias, thankfully, pointed it out. Addressing SYRIZA, however, he failed to explain what kind of benefits can be expected from children like Shehzad since, as it is known, these kids do not vote.

So, the political parties intervene whenever and wherever they shouldn’t do so, which, to everyone’s surprise, the Police admitted, in the press release about Shehzad´s murder. These children -our own, the normal and politicized ones – had in their possession “50 electoral leaflets of a political party”, along with bullets, air guns, brass knuckles and daggers. And at this point, again, although the police reported the many booklets of the “political party” as finding, their political boss rushed to depoliticise the debate; probably, out of respect to the memory of the deceased.

However, “50 leaflets of a political party” are a lot, even for leaflet collectors. Even if these leaflets had sentimental value, since they were electoral, even if they were still up-to-date, such as the Goebbels’ speeches, either way or not, you cannot possibly collect 50 leaflets from the street for six months. It is too much. You may take four or five at the metro stations, just in case the guy that distributes them finishes his work an hour earlier. But that’s it.

So, these parties are a bad trouble. However, the police are being tactful and do not mention further details, in coordination with their political boss, who wants to prevent political exploitation at all costs.

In other cases, the police would upload the photos of the two children (our own, the politicised ones) on their website, for security reasons; poorly done, in my opinion. If it were someone else, the political boss would rush to name the party, even if the perpetrators of the incident had nothing to do with it. In this case, however, they do have. If it were someone else, the same political boss would rush to warn people that the extremities of this political party constitute a threat to democracy and they will be confronted as such. And the thing certainly wouldn’t end there.

The Prime Minister, if he weren’t who he is now, would ask from the party in question to finally stop fostering terrorism and act in the extremes of politics. And the government spokesman, if he weren’t who he is now as well, would name one by one the members of the parliament that belong to this party and have taken part in such atrocities. Broadcasts would be aired based on his statements, while academics would try to explain which extreme expressions arm the hands of the obsessive. However, the theory of the extremes suddenly ceased to apply.

So, these things do not happen in Greece. Violence is violence, i.e. a social phenomenon – but this only applies to a certain expression of violence, namely the racist one. As a social phenomenon, it is, of course, impossible to be utilized for petty purposes – not even for political ones. In any case, the political life of the country cannot be poisoned, neither can the public debate be degenerated nor the parliamentary parties be treated as criminal organisations. Besides, the political party in question, whose fifty election leaflets were found at the residence of one of Shehzad´s murderers, is known for its devotion to democracy and equality. If it weren’t, of course, it wouldn’t represent the country in the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Council of Europe. And if it didn’t hold its credentials as a fighting party, some of the prime minister’s executives wouldn’t invite it to join forces; neither would the 1/3 of the members of the parliament support its proposal for an inquisitorial committee. And, of course, Nikos Dendias wouldn’t refuse to associate it with serial criminal acts – although they are done unabashedly, even in knowledge of the international information networks, sometimes being celebrated on Facebook or recorded.

Children are children. And playing this hideous game they have been playing for so long without disturbance, last night, in Petralona, they did something that was a matter of time to happen. It wasn’t just a bad moment. Even Amnesty International, which no one would accuse of petty politics against the government, charges Shehzad’s murder to the authorities, knowing that violent games like the one in Petralona are played on a daily basis: in the streets, in police stations, in detention camps. Therefore, what happened was a matter of time to happen: the first racist murder to be openly associated with a “political party”; namely, the Golden Dawn. And all of a sudden, the theory of the extremes ceased to apply.