“I’m going to lay eggs there.” “Arab bandits”. “Brim with ulterior motives.” These are some of the xenophobic comments related to the dinner in honor of former President Lula (PT) organized by the Arab community that lives in Foz do Iguaçu, western Paraná.
Scheduled to take place next Tuesday (23), the event became the target of harsh criticism, offenses and even threats on Facebook pages with a conservative bias. Without officially confirming the issue of apparent political violence, the organization of the act ended up postponing its realization.
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“The Brazilian-Arab leaders of Foz do Iguaçu who support the Lula-Alckmin ticket for the Presidency of the Republic come to the public to inform the postponement of the campaign event of former President Lula, which would have the presence of his vice, Alckmin, the candidate to the government of Paraná, Roberto Requião, and the president of the PT, Gleisi Hoffmann. The new date will be announced soon”, they punctuate, through a note, when justifying the incompatibility of agendas as the official cause of their postponement.
Also according to a note sent to the regional press, the Arab community that created the dinner presents itself as progressive when asking for votes for the Lula/Alckimin pairing. “We join the millions of Brazilians who believe in a better, fairer, sovereign, prosperous and democratic country, achievable with Lula and Alckmin ruling Brazil, supported by a broad coalition of parties and social forces, of all ideologies and world views, united for the common good of rebuilding our country.”
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Home to the second largest Arab community in Brazil, it is estimated that Foz do Iguaçu has an Arab population of around 25,000 people. “We believe in the correctness of our position and we have proof of this: in the few hours that we offered the 400 invitations to the dinner that would take place after the meeting, almost all of them were sold. We are grateful to these hundreds of people, who represent hundreds, if not thousands , at least their family members who, like us, believe in the strength of democracy, concord, peace, friendship, progress and prosperity.”
On the contrary reactions, the group regretted. “We regret, on the other hand, the very few manifestations that sought to de-characterize the event, promoted in the highest democratic values that guide our people. Political diversity is inherent to democracy, without which it does not exist. Brazilian society is diverse in opinions and preferences. , as well as the various groups that make it up and give it life and strength. And we have a legitimate choice, which is Lula and Alckmin.”
Finally, by highlighting the pro-Lula stance, the Arab community that led the act defended respect for the political divergence necessary for the full exercise of democracy. “Diversity is the oxygen of democracy and progress. Censoring, persecuting, offending, threatening, promoting intolerance and hatred between people and groups, to the point of making some fear for their own safety and integrity, never! life and liberty are above differences and must be defended by all.”
Source: BdF Paraná
Editing: Lia Bianchini