Monday, 20 January 2020 11:13

Bonn's St Martin's Day Islamophobia - November MMH

Saint Martin's day celebration in Germany is a traditional German festival, where children walk through town with colourful lanterns, singing songs about the saint. According to local news in the town of Bonn, a Muslim mother wearing a headscarf was watching the festival line with her children when the performer of the Saint Martin character reportedly stated emphatically to her that Saint Martin’s day is a Christian tradition. Later, the mother’s sister-in-law took to Facebook to state how the comment made the mother feel unwelcome and excluded. Both Junge Freiheit and Compact newspapers insinuated in their reporting that the Muslim women were overly sensitive, and then ironically raised doubts that “this neutrality” will also lead to a “de-Islamising of the Muslim Ramadan festival in order not to offend the (still existing) Christian children.”

The articles implicitly perpetuate stereotypes about Muslims being a danger to Christian and/or Western cultures, claiming that they slowly try to erode customs under the pretence of a factitious call for inclusion. This is where anti-Islamic sentiment begins, and when these ideas are left unchallenged in the media, it can then be seen as factual by members of the population.

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