German authorities have officially confirmed that they are monitoring German-language Internet websites that are critical of Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe.
According to Manfred Murck, director of the Hamburg branch of the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), his organization is studying whether German citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam on the Internet are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of "breaching" the German constitution.
The BfV's move marks a significant setback for the exercise of free speech in Germany and comes amid a months-long smear campaign led by a triple alliance of leftwing German multicultural elites, sundry Muslim groups and members of the mainstream media, who have been relentless in their efforts to discredit the so-called counter-jihad movement (also known as the "Islamophobes") in Germany.
Opinion polls show that growing numbers of ordinary German citizens are worried about the consequences of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged mass immigration from Muslim countries.
Germans are especially concerned about the refusal of millions of Muslim immigrants to integrate into German society, as well as the emergence of a parallel legal system in Germany based on Islamic Sharia law.
In an effort to reverse this tide of public opinion, the guardians of German multiculturalism have been working overtime to regain the initiative by accusing the critics of Islam of engaging in hate speech to try to intimidate the so-called "new right" into silence.
The media campaign has been led by two financially troubled newspapers, the Berliner Zeitung and its sister publication, the Frankfurter Rundschau, as well as Der Spiegel, a leftwing magazine based in Hamburg that has long served as the mouthpiece for German multiculturalism.
In a January 4, 2012 interview with the Berliner Zeitung andFrankfurter Rundschau, Murck said the owners of anti-Islam blogs "have a disturbed relationship to the democratic constitutional state" and often promote "infringements of human rights protected under our constitution."
Murck continued: "I also see evidence of criminal relevance, such as making threats and public invitations to crime." He said criticism of Muslims and Islam constitutes "an attack against the freedom of religion, which is protected by Article 4 of the Basic Law."
The Berliner Zeitung and Frankfurter Rundschau interview was conducted by Steven Geyer und Jörg Schindler, two journalists and propagandists who have been leading an ongoing effort to shut down a highly popular German-language Internet website called Politically Incorrect (PI), which over the years has grown into a major information resource for Germans concerned about the spread of Islam in their country.
PI's motto reads "Against the Mainstream, Pro-American, Pro-Israel, Against the Islamization of Europe" which encapsulates everything the German left abhors.
The Berliner Zeitung and the Frankfurter Rundschau, for example, have fomented the hysteria by publishing dozens of agitprop articles, some by Mely Kiyak, a first-generation German whose parents were Turkish-Kurdish immigrants. Kiyak, who calls herself a "political pioneer," portrays all critics of Islam as hate-mongers.
One article, entitled, "Politically Incorrect: Vulgar, Uninhibited, Racist," says that, "the Internet portal 'Politically Incorrect' is part of an international network of Islam haters and Muslim stalkers. This is confirmed by research conducted by the Frankfurter Rundschau."
Another article, "PI News: Prototype of the New Right," links criticism of Islam with anti-Semitism: "The 'New Right' has been growing for ten years and has momentum. The blog 'Politically Incorrect' shows what the movement looks like. The director of the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Wolfgang Benz, sees parallels to anti-Semitism." Open expressions of anti-Semitism are illegal in post-war Germany; the inference here is that those who criticize Islam are guilty of committing a crime.
Other Berliner Zeitung and Frankfurter Rundschau articles are entitled: "Politically Incorrect: Where the Internet Stinks;" "Rightwing Populists: United in their Hatred of Muslims," and "Politically Correct Hatred."
A frenzied article, "Politically Incorrect: Inside the Network of Islam Haters," asserts: "PI is far more than a harmless website. It is rather a highly conspiratorial organization that works to demonize an entire faith community. It plays a vital role in an international network of those who hate Islam. It provides racists and glorifiers of violence who share the world view of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik with a forum."
Spiegel magazine, sifting through a stock of more than 10,000 private emails that were stolen from PI, published an article, "Politically Incorrect Closely Knit to Far Right Scene," in which it asserted that the people behind PI are undemocratic and pose a threat to the German constitutional order.
Another article, "Germany's Anti-Muslim Scene: Authorities Debate Surveillance of Islamophobes," asserts that right-wing populism is a new form of extremism: "There are concerns that the anti-Muslim scene is becoming increasingly dangerous. In essence, the question is whether the hatred of Muslims is enough to endanger freedom of religion and international understanding, or whether it is a radical but legitimate expression of opinion by individual authors within the limits of the constitution."
In any event, Spiegel magazine has worked hard to portray all critics of Islam as belonging to the "far right" even though opinion polls overwhelmingly show that voters from across the political spectrum are concerned about the spread of Islam in Germany.
An opinion survey called "Perception and Acceptance of Religious Diversity," conducted by the sociology department of the University of Münster in partnership with the prestigious TNS Emnid political polling firm, shows that the majority of Germans disagree with a statement by German President Christian Wulff, alleging that Islam "belongs in Germany" because of the four million Muslims who now live there. Germany has Western Europe's second-biggest Islamic population after France, with Turks the single biggest minority.
The study shows that only 34% of the West Germans and 26% of the East Germans have a positive view of Muslims. Fewer than 5% of the Germans think Islam is a tolerant religion, and only 30% say they approve of the building of mosques. The number of Germans who approve of the building of minarets or the introduction of Muslim holidays is even lower.
Fewer than 10% of the West Germans and 5% of the East Germans say that Islam is a peaceful religion. More than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted.
Only 20% of the Germans believe that Islam is suitable for the Western world. Significantly, more than 80% of the Germans agree with the statement "that Muslims must adapt to our culture." More than one million immigrants living permanently in Germany cannot speak German.
Another survey, "Global Views on Immigration," conducted by the London-based Ipsos global research firm, found that more than half the Germans believe "there are too many immigrants" in their country.
In response to the polling question "Would you say that immigration has generally had a positive or negative impact?" 54% of the Germans said the impact has been negative. Nearly 60% of the Germans agree with the survey statement: "Immigration has placed too much pressure on public services" in Germany.
Another report, "Muslim-Western Tensions Persist," published by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center, states that 61% of the Germans believe their relations with Muslims are bad. The poll also shows that 72% of the Germans believe Muslims in their countries do not want to integrate; and that 79% of the Germans believe Islam is "the most violent" religion. More than two-thirds of the Germans are worried about Islamic extremists in their country.
A separate poll conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project states that 71% of the Germans believe Islamic veils should be banned in public, including in schools, hospitals and government offices.
Another survey, published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think-tank linked to the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), found that 55% of the Germans believe that Arabs are "unpleasant," and over 33% believe the country is being "overrun" by immigrants. The study also noted that "far-right attitudes" are not isolated at the extremes of German society, but to a large degree are "at the center of it."
These surveys clearly and consistently show that most Germans are worried about the impact that Muslim immigration is having on their daily lives.
In a country stifled by decades of political correctness, Politically Incorrect has been giving a voice to millions of frustrated Germans who see the harm being wrought by the cult of multiculturalism. But Germany's establishment now seems determined to use all means at its disposal to silence free speech in the nation.
Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.