Germany wrestles with anti-Islam film ban

2012-09-19 10:05
Sudanese policemen stand guard opposite demonstrators during a protest against an amateur film mocking Islam outside the German embassy in Khartoum. (AFP, File)

Sudanese policemen stand guard opposite demonstrators during a protest against an amateur film mocking Islam outside the German embassy in Khartoum. (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - German politicians and Muslim groups are agonising over whether to ban a small far-right group from screening in public an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent protests from Pakistan to Sudan.

The Pro Deutschland (Pro Germany) group has vowed to show the full-length version of the film Innocence of Muslims which was made in America and has been deemed insulting to Islam in a cinema, in Berlin, which has a large Muslim community.

Fearing the sort of violence that has swept parts of the Islamic world, including Germany's own embassy in Khartoum, German authorities have said they will make efforts at banning showing the film.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said such a screening would be a "political action" that would only serve to "pour oil on the fire".

Banning the film, he said, would not constitute an attack on the freedom of expression.

"In this case, I consider it appropriate to consider all legal possibilities linked to the right to hold public demonstrations ... to see how we can act against it," Friedrich told Phoenix rolling news channel on Tuesday.

National security


For her part, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference earlier in the week she could see "good reasons" to prevent the film being screened.

Merkel, who hails from former communist East Germany and often refers to her attachment to freedom of expression, said the question was whether the film was a risk to national security.

Germany itself has come under attack with its embassy in the Sudanese capital being stormed and set ablaze on Friday by protesters as demonstrations against the film swept the Muslim world.

Islamists have frequently deplored the country's military role in Afghanistan, where Germany is the third-largest provider of troops in the Nato-led force.

Merkel also inflamed tempers in September 2010 when she spoke out in defence of a Danish cartoonist whose drawing of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb for a turban, first published in 2005, earned him death threats, as he was given an award in Germany.

Authorities in Berlin, home to more than 100 000 citizens of Turkish descent, called for cinema managers to boycott the film.

Muslim community split

"We should allow no room" for "targeted provocation", said Dilek Kolat, a politician responsible for integration issues in the city-state.

The Muslim community appeared to be split on the issue, however.

The Co-ordinating Council of Muslims (KRM) in Germany called for the video to be banned while the head of the Liberal-Muslim Association said preventing the film from being shown was counter-productive.

"The more this content is made taboo, the more damage is done," Lamya Kaddor told the left-leaning daily Tageszeitung.

Many see the threat to screen the film as the latest provocation from a group with dwindling support.

Pro Deutschland, run by a former neo-Nazi, classifies itself as a "citizens' movement" protesting at what it sees as the "Islamisation of Germany".

German media unanimous

Its protests sometimes attract a mere handful of people and it won 1.2% of the vote in the most recent regional elections in Berlin last year.

It has nevertheless succeeded in sparking debate and occasional violence in Germany, most recently when a regional branch of the party used anti-Islamic caricatures to provoke a group of ultra-conservative Muslims.

German media were near unanimous in the opinion that the film should not be outlawed.

"Should the anti-Islam video that has caused outrage across half the world be banned here in Germany? The answer must be: No," said mass-circulation daily Bild.

The Financial Times Deutschland said that banning the film would be a "victory for the extremists" while the Sueddeutsche Zeitung said it would allow Pro Deutschland to set themselves up as "martyrs for freedom of speech".

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany  |  religion  |  media  |  prophet protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.