Angela Merkel eagerly stands up for the respect of freedom of speech in Poland or Hungary. Meanwhile, in her own country, she has supported a dictatorship of political correctness for months.
As if it wasn’t enough, the German Ministry of Justice is now planning to introduce a “Chinese model” of censoring the Internet with draconian financial penalties for spreading so-called “fake news,” and “hate speech.”
“We live in a fascist dictatorship again, according to the model well-known in 1933. The only difference is that the current Nazis are ‘Gutmenschen’ (do-gooders) obsessed with the idea of helping refugees, they are asocial anarchistic ‘antifascists.’ Whoever dares to speak the harsh truth is persecuted. Mrs. Merkel and her entourage regularly break the law, call for denunciation, set up taxpayers’ state control committees, and are often supervised by ex-Stasi employees,” wrote a liberal publicist and blogger Susanne Kablitz in her farewell essay “This Country is Irretrievably Lost” (“Dieses Land ist unrettbar verloren”). On February 12th, 2017 Kablitz committed suicide.
Liberal journalists, many of whom are former criminal police officers of the German Democratic Republic, have become ardent pursuers of right-wing extremism. Today this has become almost a constant element of public life in the Federal Republic of Germany. (We wrote about it in Euroislam.pl last year).
Let’s just take a closer look at the Online Civil Courage Initiative – “Die Initiative für Zivilcourage Online,” which was established over a year ago and aims to “fight extremism and hate on the web.”
Under personal pressure from Chancellor Merkel and other representatives of the current CDU / CSU and SPD government, Facebook has agreed.
The project coordinated by the Berlin-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation (Amadeu Antonio Stiftung) specializes in tracking so-called “right-wing extremism.” With a budget of 1.5 million euros, the foundation was founded by Anetta Kahane, the daughter of German Democratic-Republican apparatchiks. Before, she was active as a spokesman for the Berlin authorities on foreigners. She was forced to give up this function when it came to light that while working as an interpreter during the times of the GDR she secretly spied on friends and prominent people in the world of culture and science.
The foundation managed by Anette Kahane became active at the time of the opening of the German borders and the massive influx of Islamic migrants. It primarily tracks the signs of “Islamophobia” and hatred against refugees. Antonio Amadeu’s “Network Against Nazis” has belonged to a crisis management center for months. It was established by the Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) to fight “hate speech,” and Kahane herself is a close expert advising the minister.
Fighting against “Islamophobia” and the “hate speech” directed towards the refugees have been a profitable business in Germany. With full approval, its mechanisms have been recently reported by the magazine “Der Spiegel” (no. 7/2017) using the example of “Jugnedschutz.net” (Youth Watch) from Mainz. The task of this initiative established eight years ago was primarily to protect children and young people from pornography and sexual harassment on the Internet. Until recently, according to “Spiegel,” the unit “had to shudder with fear ever year, concerned as to whether it would receive sufficient financial support from the state for its statutory activities.” Today, as a specialized group to combat “hate speech,” not only can it employ its staff full-time, but it has also become an opinion-forming body for Manuela Schwesig, the Minister of Family Affairs (SPD). The head of the “Jungentschutz.net,” Friedmann Schindler has recently been invited by Ms. Schwesing to Berlin to “report on extremism and neo-Nazis on the Internet.”
Imad Karim, a Lebanese journalist and leading critic of Islam in Germany exposes the activity supported by the Berlin elite and public media. As he critically noted in an interview with one of the private broadcasters: “Never in my life have I met these mythical Nazis, about whom I have been warned by the German media for years.” Karim points out that the same media, searching everywhere for right-wing radicals, are reluctant to report that nearly 80 percent of all intentionally set fires of asylum seekers’ housing in Germany weren’t racially motivated. They were caused, deliberately, by the “refugees” themselves.
Karim, who is fluent in Arabic, has been regularly monitoring the social networks of the Middle Eastern asylum seekers in Germany. He has repeatedly warned that in fact, these people are committing the real hate speech. “In their closed groups on Facebook, they publish the most repugnant insults and threats against Christians, Jews, and homosexuals. Their statements should be under the authority’s scrutiny. They are the real threat to the security of the country.”
Facebook blocked Karim for his uncompromising assessments. Last April, the ban triggered a stir among Internet users who spontaneously launched a campaign to “free Karim.”
AfD Baden-Württemberg politician, Dr. Alice Weidel after attending the protest wrote: “Mr. Maas (the Justice Minister) and Ms. Kahane (former STASI collaborator) attacked Karim in the GDR-style of freedom of speech and democracy. Free Karim!”
Karoline Seibt, a German lawyer and conservative blogger, was also recently banned from Facebook. Thousands of subscribers follow her profile. She believes that the reason was a post and critical commentary about a “Die Welt” article on Islamic refugees in Germany.
However, leftists and anarchists have been intimidating the employees and management of the Maritim Hotel in Cologne for weeks with no legal consequences. The reason being the rental of an auditorium to the anti-Islamic “Alternative for Germany” (AfD). “Unknown perpetrators” threatened through social media, “do not come to work on April 22 because we will burn this shack anyway.” The Maritim management in Cologne has remained relentless and has not terminated the agreement. Unfortunately, the German-speaking administration of the renowned hotel chain has already announced that it will never again provide its venues to AfD, which is a legal and registered political party.
From the initiative of various leftist formations, during the days preceding the AfD meeting in Cologne as well as on April 22 itself, several counter-demonstrations with thousands of people will march through the city bearing the slogans “fighting against racism, intolerance and right-wing extremism.”
April 22 will unprecedently challenge the local police – over four thousand policemen will secure the protesters and the participants of the AfD meeting. For comparison, the last New Year’s Eve in Cologne was guarded by 1800 officers.
Antifa activists and leftists, with the quiet support of groups such as Greens, Left, and SPD, together with the mainstream media, have been exaggerating and psychologically terrorizing those who tend to think differently for months.
But it is not just them. Recently, the “Caritas” youth office in the Cologne district of Eherenfeld posted posters supporting the protests against the alleged “racists” of AfD. Students at one of the renowned Catholic secondary schools in Cologne received leaflets with similar content.
High-ranking church officials have also repeatedly directed German Catholics, pointing out that voting for AfD is against the social teaching of the Church. Cardinal Reiner Maria Woelki said recently: “Whoever supports the church towers in our cities, must also agree to the Islamic minarets.” According to him, believers should not advocate a group that openly declares an anti-Islamic program. AfD is the only German party demanding more stringent abortion laws and stands against gender ideology as well as the ministerial programs of sexual education for children and young people. The clergy in Germany conveniently avoids this subject, remaining silent.
Last year, one of the Cologne parsons was compelled by his superiors to rewrite and publicly correct his sermon in which he criticized the followers of Islam for their intolerance and hatred of Christians.
For a long time, life has not been easy for critics of Islam and the immigration policy led by Angela Merkel’s cabinet in Germany.
Akifa Pirinciki, an author, and publicist of Turkish origin, took part in the demonstration of “Pegida” in January 2016. As a result, his publisher and Amazon have terminated his distribution agreements and any further publishings of his books. Recently, a German bank informed Mr. Pirincci that it is terminating his bank account.
Thilo Sarrazin, an SPD politician and the author of the 2010 bestseller “Germany Is Doing Away With Itself” is regularly confronted with leftist militants. Recently, winemakers in Düsseldorf, who have invited the famous author to promote his latest book, “Wishful Thinking,” were threatened that the venue would be demolished if they allowed the “racist Sarrazin” to speak and meet with his readers publicly. Similar experiences are shared by the conservative publicist Birgitt Kelle (Focus 4 Die Welt) who has been involved in debates on the “Islamization” of Germany for some years already.
The conservative-liberal magazine “Junge Freiheit” addressed the situation at German universities several weeks ago, broadly reporting “the dictatorship of student groups sympathizing with the left.” Their specialty has become protesting the lectures of “conservative” scientists, as well as intimidation. They also use the Internet to turn them against other members of the academic community, especially from competing Catholic associations.
The escalation of this kind of behavior and attempt to “silence” those who think differently in Germany is happening at the same time of the year as the outbreak of the migration crisis. To this day, anyone who publicly dares to criticize Merkel’s decision to open borders and let in the uncontrolled flow of migrants from Islamic countries is immediately classified as a right-wing radical or even a neo-Nazi.
The famous German writer and journalist Matthias Matussek quickly lost his column at “Die Welt,” following the attacks in Paris in 2015, after he expressed his hope that the dramatic events in the French capital would “renew debate on open borders in Germany and the acceptance of hundreds of thousands of unregistered young Muslim men.”
A famous journalist of Jewish heritage, Henryk Broder, as well as Roland Tichy, co-creator of the XING advertisement portal, publisher, and renowned journalist on economics have also recently been victims of organized defamation campaigns.
In both cases, a Berlin advertising agency led by a member of the SPD asked its clients not to place ads on blogs run by both these authors. The purpose of the attack was to harm the independent ventures of entrepreneurs, who openly criticize the political course of Berlin.
Leading newspapers and public broadcasters are in favor of open borders – “the bright Germany,” supporting the “Wilkommenskultur” direction of Chancellor Merkel (referring to the cover of the weekly SPIEGEL symbolizing openness to newcomers and a tolerant Germany). At the same time directly after the events of New Year’s Eve, 2015 in Cologne, the Internet and social media became the central platform for the exchange of ideas and information for a significant part of the German public who did not feel informed about the current situation in the country.
We can recall the Polish experience of the martial law period. One may be tempted to say that in Germany, thanks to modern technology, “samizdat” – informal news publishing networks – have been created, which not only gain an audience but slowly become a threat to the ruling political system and media.
The prospect of the parliamentary election in autumn has alerted the Berlin elite. On the one hand, hundreds of millions of euros are spent to support organizations monitoring the alleged threats from the so-called “right-wing extremists.” On the other hand, freedom of online communication is tackled legally. It all happens under the banner of fighting “hate speech” and campaigning against misinformation or so-called “fake news.”
Norbert Bolz, a German media scientist and a professor at Berlin’s Technical University, says: “It is social media that has led the silent majority of Germans to find new forms of defense against the “thought dictatorship.” Besides, those who have stood on the sidelines so far suddenly see that they are not alone, which particularly irritates and causes hysterical reactions from the representatives of the traditional media.”
Their ally now seems to be the Ministry of Justice, headed by SPD’s Heiko Maas. His department has been working intensively for weeks on a bill to prevent the spread of so-called “hate-speech” and disinformation.
An editorial of “Junge Freiheit” (no. 13/2017) chose the title “We Have Censorship Again” for their article on this subject. According to the ministry’s plans, all social media will be required to remove content which questions law and order within 24 hours of being posted. In the case of ambiguous posts and information, the authorities may extend the timeline up to 7 days. A lack of response, resulting in not removing the questioned posts, will cost up to 5 million euros in fines for individuals, and in the case of administrators and platform owners even up to 50 million euros.
According to the project coordinators, the new legislation is supposed to take place the moment there is a suspicion of a violation of the law. So far, the German legislator has sanctioned only the cases of gross violation of standards. Now the ministry officials have decided to extend the scope of the punishable classification and in the instance of “hate speech,” radically broaden it.
The critics of the new solution of Mr. Maas warn against the attempt to enforce the “Chinese model” of censorship online. Without much desire to punish those committing crimes, it aims most prominently to intimidate. The new regulations do not relate, for example, to illegal pornography, including children, which have flooded the German Internet for years.
Even the renowned left-leaning Berlin-based daily “Tagesspiegel” has not hesitated to call it a “dictatorship of thought,” which was once suggestively described by George Orwell in his novel “1984”.
The critics of the ministry’s ideas point out that the current law is sufficient to penalize those who consciously exceed the permissible limits. Specific cases have recently been described by “Der Spiegel” (No 7/2017). The author of the following entry: “Mummy Merkel Should be Publicly Stoned,” had to pay a 2,000 euro fine and do 80 days of community service. For another Facebook user the statement: “Asylum – professional workforce? Eliminate, or Cyclone B. 75 years ago was also good!” resulted in a five-month suspended sentence. The author of the following comment: “I’m for the reintroduction of the gas chambers with throwing all the Islamic litter there,” must do 120 days community service work and pay a penalty of nearly 5,000 euro – the equivalent of four months of minimum wages in Germany.
The well-known German journalist and theologian, David Berger has referred to the current plans of the Ministry of Justice in his blog “Philosophia perennis.” He wrote: “A German state which, in the case of the most severe crimes is pitifully ineffective, tolerates and permits millions of cases of violations of law, where criminal proceedings last for years, requiring its entrepreneurs to enforce the law instantaneously. Social media in our century is the primary platform for exchanging ideas and information. Whoever controls the freedom of public expression succeeds by winning the popular vote in the democratic election. The activity of Heike Maas’ Justice Ministry leads to significant restrictions on free speech in Germany. ”
Similarly, representatives of the German Association of Press and Publishers (VDZ) recognized the ministry’s plans as an attempt by the state to “introduce private thought police.”
A draft of the new regulations was approved shortly before Easter by the German government. Angela Merkel’s cabinet expects the Parliament to adopt the law before the end of her term so that the new law would take effect before the fall elections of the Bundestag.
Agnieszka Ewa Wolska
The original text in Polish U Merkel jak u Orwella