Justice

Conservative Polish Magazine Publishes Cover Depicting Immigrants Raping Europe

A Polish magazine is under fire after it ran a cover depicting dark-skinned refugees assaulting a blonde woman wrapped in the European Union flag.

Polish magazine cover

The cover appears on the February issue of the right-wing magazine, wSieci, or "Network," along with the headline, "Islamic Rape on Europe." The title, not to mention the image, encapsulates both literal and figurative fears mostly held in conservative circles in Europe — often rife with racist overtones — about the physical and economic threats posed by immigrants.

Polish magazine cover

European countries have seen an influx of refugees fleeing violence and upheaval from Middle Eastern and North African countries in recent years, with a surge of more than one million last year alone. The struggle to adequately receive and resettle refugees has led to deep political divisions across the continent, with especially strong resistance cropping up in central European countries such as Poland.

The February issue contains articles such as "Does Europe want to commit suicide?" and "The Hell of Europe," which according to BuzzFeed News recounts a rash of New Years Eve sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany. One feature in the issue purports to expose attempts by police to cover up crimes committed by refugees, International Business Times notes.

On Twitter, at least one user drew comparisons between the cover and Nazi-era propaganda displaying crude racial caricatures.

This week, European leaders will convene at a summit in Brussels to address the deepening divide knee-capping a coordinated response to incoming refugees, which are expected to spike in the spring. Some eastern and central European countries favor closing their borders, while other western countries like Germany are struggling to keep open-door policies in place, the Guardian reports.