Christina/ September 30, 2012/ Culture

Entitled “Will violence also hit us?” past tuesday (25.09.2012) the Münchner Runde convened on BR (TV station). Participants in that round were minister of the interior Hans-Peter Friedrich, the “Near East Expert” Peter Scholl-Latour (meanwhile 88 years old!!) and Lamyar Kaddor, chairwoman of the Liberal-Islamic alliance.

I am not quite sure whether it is really essential to give panel discussions on TV about topics related to Islam such lurid titles to make them attractive for a mass-market. Mandate of the public broadcasting – and regional programmes such as the BR rank among those – is the “verification of diversity of broadcasting”. Overall priority is culture, information and education.

Whether public TV performs in accordance with this mandate is doubtful in the light of numerous debates on the “Mohammad-Video” getting out of hand. How can normal citizens find their individual well-balanced opinion being confronted with all that diverse information? Besides the fact that alleged Near East Experts like Scholl-Latour should save themselves from such embarrassing appearances on TV at old age (catchword: “Intolerance of Aufklärung”, an absolute incomprehensible statement, acknowledged with raised eyebrows by the presenter) it did not take longer than three minutes until the discussion turned to one of the favourite topics in the media these days: the menace of Salafists in Germany. At first, Friedrich tried to trivialize the growing Islamophobie in Germany by statements such as “There are some prejudices against Islam” (in Germany – editor’s note). Subsequently he lectures that meanwhile around 3800 Salafists exist in Germany who are a menance towards public order in Germany. Right now, there is however no indication for an attack in Germany, however, they are under surveillance.

The aftermath of such undifferentiated scare stories, which reach the subconscious mind somehow, can be easily illustrated. Just one day after the shows’ broadcasting I find myself waiting on the railway station in Mayence. I am waiting for the commuter railway to Frankfurt. On the platform I spot from the corner of my eye two men apparently wearing traditional clothes and big bushy beards. Look and styling just as known from the daily broadcasted mass protests which take place in the “Arabic World” due to the blasphemic video from the States. Those reports do seem to have the desired effect. I take notice that one of the guys shoots fotos with a digital camera. Two men on a touristic or terroristic mission? Incredible but true I catch myself at the thougt of wondering whether both are wearing explosive vests under their wide clothing willing to blow themselves up as they enter the same commuter waggon as I do. Anxiously I detect that they are sitting in my back so that I cannot watch them. Panically I am looking for possible means of escape in case of a detonation. Would I make it on time to the next wagon before I will hear an “Allahu akbar” announcing the dead?

Hysterically I look at the fellow passengers. Did they spot the jeopardy? Are the others as nervous as I am? Even though I am aware of the absurdity of the situation I simply cannot switch off my confusing thoughts. I am trying to say to myself that this is simply ridiculous. However, I can only calm down when two outlandish-looking ticket inspectors are entering the (of turkish or arabic descent) setting. I think, well, they are hopefully not to kill their own people. Finally I am diverted when the two inspectors pinch a fare dodger.

To put the citizens in a state of uncertainty – and I am certainly not the only maniac out there – is that really the aim of documentaries, panel discussions and the like on TV?

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