German AfD MP under fire for anti-Muslim new year tweets: BBC

Written by Sabrangindia Staff | Published on: January 2, 2018

Hate Speech in Germany At Least Attracts Police Investigations!


Image: EPA

BBC reports that a German politician is facing a police investigation over inciteful and iflammatory comments made on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2017.

It was a woman member of the German Parliament, Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of Germany's far-right AfD party, had her Twitter account suspended on Monday following anti-Muslim remarks. In a provocative speech she accused Cologne police of appeasing "barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men" after they tweeted a new year message in Arabic.

Police Investigations are looking into whether she should be charged with incitement to hatred.The police force tweeted its message in a number of languages, including English and French as well as Arabic and German.

For once even the social media giant, Twitter, suspended Ms Storch's account for 12 hours in response to her post, saying it breached the site's rules. Not to be deterred, Storch then re-posted the same message on Facebook, where it was also blocked for reasons of incitement.

Police in Cologne told German news magazine Der Spiegel that it was investigating if the member of parliament had committed a criminal offence, but stressed that doing so was normal procedure.The controversy comes only months after Germany enacted new hate speech laws.

The country will now enforce fines on social media sites which do not remove "obviously illegal" posts.Ms Storch's party defended her comments, claiming that the removal of her remarks was a form of censorship.Writing on Facebook, AfD leader Alice Weidel wrote that authorities were submitting to "imported, marauding, groping, abusive, knife-stabbing migrant mobs".

Since 2015, Cologne has been at the centre of a controversy over New Year's Eve celebrations. Then, a large number of assaults against women - allegedly by men from migrant backgrounds - marred the festivities. The next year, police in the city came under criticism for questioning hundreds of men of North African descent.

Following this, on New Year's Eve 2017, a special "women only" zone was set up in Berlin for the first time.