The German mass-circulation daily Bild, the most widely read newspaper in Germany, has “emphatically” apologized to its readers for printing a false anti-immigrant article. After police said that an investigation had failed to turn up any evidence, Bild ran an article that reported a “mob” of Arab men sexually assaulted women on New Year’s Eve in a Frankfurt restaurant.
The NY Times reported the accusations carried echoes of genuine attacks on New Year’s Eve a year earlier, and Nadja Niesen, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Frankfurt, said on Thursday that the authorities had opened a preliminary investigation of two people suspected of fabricating a crime.
So even though the police said there was no evidence, Bild decided to run the story that would encourage anger, hatred, and violence toward a large group of people that were innocent of the crimes.
In its Feb. 6 report, Bild quoted Jan Mai, the owner of a cafe in downtown Frankfurt, as saying that 50 “Arab-looking men” had assaulted women on Dec. 31. It also quoted a woman it identified only as Irina A., 27, who said she had been among those who were groped “everywhere” by the men.
The article mirrored a high-profile episode in Cologne a year earlier, when hundreds of women reported being robbed or sexually attacked on New Year’s Eve, some by groups of migrants and newly arrived asylum seekers.
The Bild report from Frankfurt was reproduced by other media and went viral on social media. About a week after the false article, Bild conceded that the attacks described in the article “did not take place,” and it removed the article from its digital platforms.
“The editorial staff of Bild emphatically apologizes for this untrue report and the allegations that it made against those concerned,” the newspaper said in a note published online on Tuesday that cited the police findings and pledged an internal review. “This reporting in no way reflects the journalistic standards of Bild.”
The share of foreigners, including migrants, among Germany’s roughly 81 million people is less than 10 percent. But, proportionally, far fewer of the roughly two million people investigated for all crimes committed in 2015 were migrants: just 6 percent.
Of 2,721 crimes that ended in a death, migrants were responsible for about 9 percent. And of 1,683 cases of sexual abuse, including rape, they were responsible for about 5 percent.
Germany has a long history or racism and prejudice. It is continuing today with false police reports and fake news stories to vilify immigrants, especially Arab immigrants/refugees. The government statistics show the immigrants are committing fewer crimes and filing fewer false police reports than the long time German citizens, shouldn’t that be another more reason to let them in?
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)