8:33 PM 01/01/2018
A member of the far right German political party AfD is being investigated over an incendiary New Year’s Eve tweet, that cast Muslims as violent and rapacious.
Beatrix von Storch, a member of the German parliament and deputy leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party, accused the Cologne police of pandering to “barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men” after the department sent out a celebratory tweet in Arabic to ring in the new year.
#PolizeiNRW #Köln #Leverkusen
تتمنى الشرطة في كولن لجميع الناس في منطقة كولن وليفركوزن والمدن الأخرى إحتفالاً سعيداً بعام 2018 الجديد.
https://t.co/G5erMWFNQyرأس السنة 2017 ـ لمزيد المعلومات: # pic.twitter.com/BGxs4Kew7K
— Polizei NRW K (@polizei_nrw_k) December 31, 2017
Von Storch’s twitter account was suspended for 12 hours Monday, saying her message violated their rules. She then posted the message to Facebook, where it was blocked.
The police are now investigating whether von Storch’s tweet constitutes “incitement to hatred,” a criminal charge under Germany’s hate speech laws, which were recently amended to impose fines on social media companies that do not remove “obviously illegal” content.
The AfD defended Von Storch’s characterization of Muslims; AfD leader Alice Weidel wrote on Facebook that authorities were submitting to “imported, marauding, groping, abusive, knife-stabbing migrant mobs.”
Cologne was racked by dozens of rapes during their New Year celebration two years ago, most of which were reportedly committed by men of Arab of North African descent.
Berlin addressed the issue assaults during New Year festivals by creating a women only zone this year.
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