This article part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of August, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
Date of publication: 17 September 2018
Media Outlet: Compact Magazine, a far-right magazine and part of the so-called "alternative media"
Author: Christian Schwochert
Headline: “Nine-year-old migrant attacks fellow pupil with a knife in Chemnitz”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: This article is about an incident in which a nine-year-old migrant attacked a fellow pupil with a knife. The author says that "especially in countries shaped by Islam" it is common for young children to be forced to attend the ritual slaughter of animals and "apparently, in these places [Muslim countries] people are of the opinion that one cannot learn to use any weapon used to stab early enough". The author also claims that cases such as these are occurring more frequently in Germany and that they are a "consequence of an over-dose of early childhood Islamic/Muslim indoctrination", thus drawing a connection between an upbringing with Islam and a propensity to violence.
Myth debunked: Linking Islam with violence is a technique often used by the far-right media, in order to scare the public about Muslim communities. This case is an example of taking an isolated incident and applying it to an entire community; one violent act by a Muslim means all Muslims are violent. It is a common narrative used following terrorist attacks, even though such terrible events do not reflect Islam. It has to be noted that this case is about a nine-year-old immigrant child; there is a lot of background information missing here, such as what trauma this child might have experienced and whether he is receiving support in his host country. The incident took place in Chemnitz, an area which has seen a steep rise in anti-Muslim hate and antisemitism in recent weeks. The Compact Magazine article reached a large audience, with 7449 Facebook interactions and 2544 Facebook comments. Given the provocative way the piece was written, this article could add more fuel to the flames in a place like Chemnitz. Journalists have a responsibility to be aware of exacerbating tensions and how it journalism can impact on communities.
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