A photo-montage of Chancellor Merkel’s face with a traditional Iranian garment, the Reichstag building and Islamic minarets imposed has led to accusations that the national public service station is broadcasting right-wing propaganda.
Broadcast in the regular Sunday slot, ARD’s Report From Berlin was offering coverage of the debate in Germany surrounding the migrant crisis, and illustrated the segment with a shifty-looking Merkel dressed in the Islamic chadah veil. Although the image was of the station’s own creation, critics have pointed out its similarity to images used by the counter-Islamisation group PEGIDA, which has been circulating for at least one year.
One such example as seen at a PEGIDA protest in January by Breitbart London showed the Reichstag building with an Islamic crescent atop the roof and the caption “Mother of Multiculturalism – Merkel’s Migration Politics”.
Reaction to the broadcast was immedaite – MOPO24 reports that while some found the doctored image “realistic and striking”, others complained, calling it “grotesque”, “absolutely pathetic”, and a “scandal”. The station later issued a clarification on it’s Facebook page, remarking that the image was used in support of a segment praising the achievements of Western society, in particular freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.
They said the intention of the graphic was to raise awareness of the debate over multiculturalism in German society and to polarize views.
In any case, the polarization of German views on multiculturalism appears to be already underway. Rejecting the cloying rhetoric deployed by Merkel during her opposition to the PEGIDA movement in January when she said “Islam Belongs to Germany”, a new survey suggests the majority of Germans no longer agree.
Focus.de reported the findings this morning, which found two-thirds of Germans disagreed with the statement. Only 22 per cent agreed with the Chancellor’s statement nine months later.
This revelation about the state of sentiment among the German people comes in the same week as another major poll which found four-fifths of Germans wanted to reintroduce border controls. An unprecedented 90 per cent said they wanted to limit the number of refugees Germany could accept a year, and the majority of citizens now report being “scared” of refugees.