This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of June, 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: 9 June 2019
Media Outlet: PI-News (“Politically Incorrect”) 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: “‘Umvolkung’ [ethnic replacement] continues and continues and continues … Hooray, the new birth figures are in”
Description of the anti-Muslim content: The article picks up on the publication of the new German birth rate figures by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. However, the article uses these numbers to push the conspiracy narrative of “Umvolkung” (i.e. ethnic replacement) which is often also called “the Great Replacement.” Specifically, the article states that “the number of foreign-born babies increased from the already high 97,702 children in 2017 to a frightening 105,901 last year” and further points out that “German” birth rates, on the other hand, decreased for the second year in a row. Furthermore, the article stresses that the actual numbers of what it deems “true” Germans is bound to be much lower than these figures. The article refers to the significant reform to the nationality law which was passed in 2000 and claims that because of this, “all naturalized Turks, Arabs, “German Shepherd” Germans [a slur for people not deemed genetically German enough] and others are included”.
The article therefore holds that “the situation is much more dramatic” than it was before and “anyone who claims that there is no “Umvolkung” simply is not telling the truth”. It also brings up the racist argument of the so-called “mass immigration” which it considers to be relentless and which consists of immigrants who “mainly live off social welfare provided by the state and who receive the usual full amount – every month!” As such, the article does not merely concern itself with the purity of the German gene pool but it also utilises the old economic stereotype of the lazy foreigner who freeloads off native taxpayers. The article further states that it is mainly foreigners from Muslim countries that allegedly contribute to the “Great Replacement” in Germany and calls them sardonically “Merkel’s Islamic guests”. Additionally, the article draws on the disinformation that “Mohammed” is the most common first name for new-borns in Berlin.
Myth debunked: This article uses several far-right tropes, focusing a large part of the article on the idea of the “Great Replacement”. The figures used in the article are framed in a manner which incites panic, citing the numbers along with terms such as “already high“ or “frightening,” signaling a problem to the reader. The article states that “it is not the eleventh hour, but already past twelve”. This type of apocalyptic thinking is characteristic of far-right conspiracy theories, in which threats to the in-group are perceived to be imminent or already underway and of an existential nature. According to such conspiratorial narratives, these doom and gloom scenarios can be averted – but only if the enlightened members of the in-group, who see the seemingly true underlying nature of the societal circumstances, act soon. Unfortunately, already this year we have witnessed where this perceived pressure to act can lead: The right-wing terrorist who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, started his manifesto entitled “The Great Replacement” with the words “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.” Even if such violent outcomes are not intended by the people who write the conspiracy narrative of “Umvolkung”, the Christchurch shooter makes a strong case for the argument that facilitating this narrative is at the very least negligent behaviour because it works to strengthen a perceived pressure to act for potential far-right terrorists.
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