This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of March, 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: 1 March 2020
Media outlet: Proto Thema, a well-established right-wing sensationalist newspaper
Headline: "Video: Shouting 'Allahu Akbar' immigrants try to invade Greece"
Description of the anti-Muslim and xenophobic content: This article is based on a video which was supposedly filmed at the Greek border, where refugees and migrants tried to cross from Turkey to Greece and were met with violence. The article states that “hooded immigrants and various ammunition are seen firing and cutting down tree trunks to use them to invade Greek territory.” The article further goes on to explain that “indeed, at some point there are shootings, and many of them refer to Allah with the now known ‘Allah Akbar’ meaning ‘Allah is Great’.” The article then links to their source for the video, which is a Twitter account named ‘Generation Europa’ who have as their slogan: “Defend Europe.” The original Tweet with the video, which is embedded into the Proto Thema article, states: “Islamist illegal #immigrants shouting "Allahu Akbar" trying to break into #Europe, an invading horde, they must not enter at all costs.” The article has been shared 2,300 times.
Myth debunked: The language used in this article is worrying and is very much in line with far-right rhetoric. The author talks about refugees ‘invading’ Greece, which is a common sensationalist rhetoric when talking about immigration. The events that occured at the Greek border this month were complex, and they certainly must be covered by the media. But the issue here is how it was covered. Seemingly the only source for this article was a Tweet by Generation Europa. One look at their Twitter page and it is clear that they take a strong anti-Muslim and xenophobic stance, posting content which talks about the Great Replacement Theory and conspiracy theories around immigration. The content is very similar to that of Generation Identity, a far-right youth network, though it is unclear whether the two are linked. A news article should not be based solely on one Twitter source, especially not when it is clear that that source has a strong, hateful agenda. Instead of informing their readers, Proto Thema only gave a large platform to fear mongering and hate.
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