When will Germany become an Islamic country?
Angela Merkel looks friendly into the camera, but the sentence next to her on the much shared collage causes fear and indignation among many users: “Germany will become an Islamic state. The Germans have to come to terms with it. "
Someone put the two sentences in quotation marks, as if the Chancellor really had said that. Next to Angela Merkel's face is a German flag with a mosque and the note: “The greatest treason in European history”. For years the wrong quote from the Chancellor has appeared again and again on the Internet and is shared thousands of times.
It is a narrative of disinformation that always follows the same line of argument: an alleged adaptation of German culture out of consideration for Muslims would lead to an Islamization of Germany in the long term.
If you have this scenario in mind, an alleged ban on gummy bears in kindergarten can herald the downfall of the West: In 2018 there was a dispute in a kindergarten in Austria over a birthday cake topped with gummy bears. Some types of gelatin can be forbidden in Islam. Websites constructed the false report from the dispute that Muslim parents had called for a general ban on gummy bears. As a result, the city felt compelled to publicly acknowledge Christian celebrations. The mayor posed demonstratively with bags full of gummy bears and handed them over to the kindergarten.
The case also shows that only enough outraged citizens have to report before a mayor is ready to hold gummy bears in the camera and upload them to the city's official website.
Kulturkampf in schools and kindergartens?
In addition to kindergartens, schools are also allegedly threatened by Islamization. In January 2019, a letter made the rounds on Facebook in which the headmistress of a primary school in Dresden informed the parents about an “Islam week”. She recommended buying the Koran, announced that imams would be visiting, and asked that pork be avoided for breakfast. We found out: the letter was forged.
Child marriage and alleged harems are another favorite subject of disinforming websites and blogs. In order to spread horror reports on these topics, statements from politicians are sometimes made up: No, Aydan Özoguz (SPD), as the Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, did not describe child marriages as the “task of Sharia courts”. The Green politician Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg also did not say “Anyone who is against the construction of mosques should leave Germany!”. And the SPD politician Karen Taylor has not announced; “There is no right to a home for you Germans”.
The threat to the homeland
In 2017 the Amadeu-Antonio Foundation published the report “Toxic Narratives - Monitoring Right-wing Alternative Actors”. According to a status report by the Scientific Service of the Bundestag from 2018, the foundation is “a non-profit foundation under civil law based in Heidelberg, which advocates a democratic civil society and opposes right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.”
The foundation's report describes narratives, including ten “right-wing alternative” websites PI news and Compact magazine, most used. This also included the narrative “threat from outside”, that is, stories about the danger for Germans coming from non-Germans.
This narrative also includes the story that Germany threatens to become an Islamic country. Then supposedly the minority of Muslims would become the majority in the foreseeable future and enforce Islamic law and Islamic culture and religion.
Sharia and Christmas
If it comes down to a lot of false reports, then this culture takeover is already in full swing. That is why Muslims are said to have destroyed the Christmas tree in a Dortmund shopping center, for example, and a supermarket promptly removed all Christmas products from its range in response. Both are not true. The video is from Egypt. Even the Pope is said to have described the Islamization of Europe as “progress for humanity”. That is also not true.
AfD politicians took the alleged threat of Islamization in 2018 so seriously that they even shared a satire report in which politicians and Islamic associations allegedly demanded the adoption of Sharia law in the German legal system. That was fictitious, of course.
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It became particularly threatening in February 2019. The blog Hall leaksreported, not long and all applicants for the Miss Germany election would have to compete in burqas. In order not to injure so-called ‘religious minorities’ and not to instigate religious wars in Berlin, “there are no more bikinis to be seen from now on. It is correct: the organizers responded to social developments by banning bikinis on the catwalk. It is no longer just about the appearance of the candidates and they want to present themselves as an emancipated brand. Burqas were not an alternative.
The change was not due to Islamization, but rather a less sexist image of women.
This article is part of our series "Narratives of Disinformation". Also published: “Migration is displacing German traditions“, „Climate change? It used to be said simply summer!" and "Freedom of expression is restricted".
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