Monday, 31 December 2018 16:31

GERMANY – Far-right news site spreads groundless fears about terrorism over Christmas

The anti-Muslim website PI-News makes preposterous speculation over an incident at a Christmas market and warns readers about unfounded impending dangers. This is Germany’s media monitoring highlight for December.

This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of December, 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.

pi newsDate of publication: 2 December 2018

Media OutletPI-News (Politically Incorrect News) is a far-right news website that defines itself as “Against the Mainstream, Pro-American, Pro-Israel, Against the Islamisation of Europe, For Fundamental Laws and Human Rights”


Headline: “’Allahu Akbar!’ Muslim with a hatchet threatens visitors at Christmas market”

Description of the anti-Muslim content:  This article reports that a drunk middle-aged man threatened shoppers by swinging a hatchet and repeatedly shouting “Allahu akbar!” at a Christmas market in the town of Witzenhausen. The article speculates that, if the man was not intoxicated by alcohol, he would probably have killed several people, and continues: “But now he will presumably simply diagnosed with alleged ‘traumatisation,’ ‘psychic disorder’ or other ‘southerner maladies’ by way of a mitigating circumstance, and presumably he will be found immune of criminal responsibility because he was intoxicated”. The article ends with a provocation: “Maybe next time [something will happen], when he attacks and ‘peaceful Islam’ will trickle down the street in crimson colour. There are still three weeks until Christmas, so there is still plenty of time for Islamic beheading and explosives rituals”.

Myth debunked: This article presents speculation, double standards, and bigotry that have no place in journalism. Predicting that the man would have killed several people if he was not drunk is conjecture without any evidence. Based on the information they have, the journalist just cannot tell. The article rejects the notion that there are mitigating factors when it comes to Muslim offenders. On the contrary, it heavily implies that, when a crime is committed by a Muslim person, criminal responsibility can be assumed even before any violence took place”. The journalist claims that every time an immigrant from the Global South is involved in an offense, mitigating circumstances, such as mental illness, are used to “excuse” the behaviour of that offender. The hyperbole and insinuations in the last paragraph of the article fuel irrational fears by linking Islam and Muslims to violence in the streets. By mentioning Christmas, it also juxtaposes such violent acts (“Islamic beheading and explosives rituals”) with Christian cultures at the receiving end.

More to read:

Germany’s rightwing news sites pose challenge to traditional media

Terrorism or mental health problem? Let's not jump to conclusions

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