This article is 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: 13 August 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: “‘A blessed Festival of the Sacrifice’: Federal Foreign Office congratulates animal abusers’”
Examination of the anti-Muslim content: The article criticises Germany’s Federal Foreign Office for wishing all Muslims a blessed Festival of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) and a peaceful pilgrimage. Specifically, the article takes issue with the ritual slaughter practiced by Muslims, arguing that it makes the animals “slowly bleed out under hellish pain.” And while the article does concede in the beginning that one could criticise the Jewish population for a similar practice as well as many Germans that also commit cruelties towards animals, the article still chooses to focus solely on Islamic ritual slaughter.
To justify its anti-Muslim rhetoric, the article links to a website of the German animal welfare organisation Deutscher Tierschutzbund e.V.. The article on their website does indeed criticise ritual slaughter as cruel but only when carried out without anaesthetisation. Moreover, the animal welfare organisation even makes a point of highlighting that “most Muslims in Germany have long accepted electric stunning” as a means to anaesthetise animals before slaughter, thus preventing the animals from experiencing pain. However, the PI News article omits this piece of information and instead frames all Muslim ritual slaughter as invariably painful and gruesome – and in doing so, it warps the original standpoint for its own purposes into a piece of disinformation.
More importantly, the article makes use of highly derogatory language that is not only insulting but also paints Muslims in general as barbaric and bloodthirsty. For instance, it calls Islam a “fascistic religion […] which essentially wishes to put its religious law […] above that of the state” and a “religion hostile to the state” – thus implying that Islam is inherently anti-democratic and can never be conciliated with Germany’s political or cultural landscape. It also calls Muslims “torturers” and claims that the greetings by the Federal Foreign Office posit a form of congratulating Islam on its “spiritual animal abuse”. The article further reiterates this point by stating that animals “have to suffer terribly” under Muslims. Furthermore, in reference to the Federal Foreign Office using gender-neutral language, the article criticises that the message is “cruel, merciless, and indifferent towards the tormenting of animals, yet sensitive in the language towards the torturers – the Muslims”. The article ends with its own message directed at Muslims: “Dear Muslims, dear animal abusers, dear torturers, dear uncompassionate people, dear devils. There is a German proverb that also fits your cruelty, a cruelty that has to take place annually for a non-existent, imaginary devil-god to create spiritual wellbeing: ‘Never torment an animal for fun, because it feels pain just like anyone.’ We do not wish you a ‘blessed Festival of the Sacrifice’ because that would be an oxymoron”.
References to “devils” and to a “devil-god” serve to dehumanise the Muslim population. This article is almost cartoonish in its anti-Muslimism which suggests that the concern for animals is merely an excuse to spread hatred against Muslims.
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