The German Interior Ministry, in partnership with official Islamic organizations, is planning a tutorial for media editors that will instruct them how to report properly on Islam.
Many thanks to Ava Lon for translating this article from the Christian (Protestant) news weekly Idea.de:
Islam workshop in the Ministry of the Interior: Are chief editors being influenced?
18 December 2016
[Photo caption: At the beginning of 2017, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, together with Islamic associations, invited to a workshop for journalists.]
Frankfurt am Main — The journalist Volker Siefert (Frankfurt am Main) offered a sharp criticism of a planned event for chief editors organized by the Federal Ministry of the Interior together with Islamic associations. As he writes in an op-ed under the heading “Heile Islam World Workshop in the Ministry of the Interior” in the magazine of the German journalists’ association, Journalist (Remagen), the member associations of the German Islam Conference demanded that Thomas de Maizière (CDU) offer a course “in which chief editors of all relevant media in Germany should learn how to correctly report on Islam.” He said it would take place on the ministry’s premises in early 2017, and had been developed by the Ministry of the Interior and Islamic associations: “This is what the associations have created what lobbyists otherwise dream of: namely, that the state intervenes in the process of opinion formation, about something that is directly discussed with the media’s responsible leaders.”
Siefert: A minister cannot tutor journalists
The action is downplayed by the Ministry of the Interior as “perfectly normal”. Siefert: “If this were normal, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology would have organized a workshop on “workplace-friendly reporting in the Diesel affair together with the car industry.” The state has to keep out of lobbying: “A minister isn’t allowed to act as co-organizer (either for a group or a person) together with a group of interests to provide tutorials for journalists.” Siefert works as a freelance journalist for, among other things, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) and is primarily concerned with extremism motivated by Islam. In 2006, then-Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) wanted to create the “institutional framework for dialogue between people of Muslim faith and representatives of all levels of our community” with the German Islam Conference. Ten umbrella organizations, including the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DITIB), the Central Council of Muslims in Germany and the Alevit Community Deutschland (all in Cologne), are participating in the project.