German elites are responding to a wave of sexual assaults by Arab and North African migrants on New Year’s Eve by cracking down on alleged hate speech.
Facebook, Google and Twitter are working with German authorities to control speech as angry citizens react to the chaos caused by refugees. The deal with social-media giants comes as Germans fume over 100 sexual assaults and robberies perpetrated by migrants last Friday in Cologne.
“We’ve looked at our general rules and understand that very specific forms of language may constitute hate speech,” Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy in Europe, told the Washington Post on Thursday. “Our German reviewers are reviewing the meanings of German words and trying to understand what language crosses the line.”
Politicians and activists insinuate that heated rhetoric matches intensity last observed during the creation of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party in the 1920s. Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed 1.1 million migrants into Germany in 2015.
Merkel gave a speech Dec. 30 warning Germans to shun “those with coldness, or even hate in their hearts, and who claim the right to be called German for themselves alone and seek to marginalize others,” Deutsche Welle reported.
Germany’s enforcement-blitz on speech laws in recent months include a police raid on a 26-year-old man from Berlin who said he celebrated when refugees drowned on the way to Europe. Another man in Wismar was given five months probation and a $325 fine by a judge for making similar comments, the Post reported.
Reactions by German citizens to speech codes echo those by Americans after U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department would prosecute “anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
“When we are ruled by fear, we are not making ourselves safe,” Lynch said Dec. 3 at a dinner held by the Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy group, WND reported.
“It’s not politically correct to say anything against migrants. We don’t have freedom of opinion anymore. #Cologne,” a German Twitter user said Dec. 5 in regard to the Lynch-like policies of European politicians.
Stefan Körner, chairman of Germany’s liberal Pirate Party, told the Post that deals reached with social media outlets reeked of “creeping censorship.”
“House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World” conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government
A police officer in Cologne told Express.de on Thursday that 15 suspects from the New Year’s Eve attacks have been taken into custody; 14 came from Syria and 1 from Afghanistan.
“Residence certificates for carrying out the asylum procedure were in their possession,” the source said.
The slow arrests and four days of silence by Germany’s nation media prompted citizens to take matters into their own hands.
Breitbart London reported Friday that a group called “Dusseldorf is Watching” attracted 2,300 members in less than 24 hours. Its members plan to attend major events to protect women from gangs of migrants.
“For public security in Germany the police are responsible. Deliberately searching for offenders is not a job for the citizen,” a spokesman for Dusseldorf police told local media when asked about the group, the website reported.
“We then walked through this group of men. [They] opened up a lane, which we walked through. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my buttocks, then on my breasts, in the end, I was groped everywhere,” a victim identified as Katja L told Der Express Jan. 3. “It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and beat them, the guys did not stop. I was desperate and think I was touched around 100 times in the 200 meters. Fortunately, I wore a jacket and trousers. A skirt probably would have been torn off.”
Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker encouraged women to adopt a “code of conduct” to discourage African and Arabic men from such attack. Some of her suggestions include keeping “at arm’s length” from strangers, traveling in groups, and asking bystanders for help.
“It is important to prevent such incidents from ever happening again,” Reker said, the Independent reported Wednesday.
Huffington Post Deutschland reporter Anabel Schunke called the national response to migrant attacks “a slap in the face for every victim,” on Monday.