A married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted and convicted in July 2016 of creating a Facebook group that criticized the government's migration policy. Also, in July 2016, 60 people suspected of writing "hate speech" online had their homes raided by German police.
None of the above seems to be enough, however, for the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, from Angela Merkel's CDU party, who believes that what Facebook is already doing against "hate speech" is not enough. According to the CDU politician, there is a need for more legislation.
The German government's view of what constitutes "hate speech" is highly selective and appears limited to protecting the government's own policies on immigration from legitimate criticism.
When massive antisemitism swept large German cities in the summer of 2014, for example, no such anti-racist zeal was manifest on the part of the German government. On the contrary, there were instances of authorities practically facilitating hate speech. In July 2014, Frankfurt police let mainly Muslim "protesters" use their van's megaphone to belt out slogans of incitement in Arabic, including the repeated chanting of "Allahu Akbar" and that Jews are "child murderers".
Firebombing a synagogue, on the other hand, is simply an "act of protest".
Officials in Germany's Interior Ministry are urging Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to establish a "Defense Center against Disinformation" (Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation) to combat what they call "political disinformation," a euphemism for "fake news."
"The acceptance of a post-truth age would amount to political capitulation," the officials told Maizière in a memo, which also disclosed that the bureaucrats at the Interior Ministry are eager to see "authentic political communication" remain "defining for the 21st century."
"In all of these operations children were part of the general population targeted for wholesale destruction. In many instances they were also subjected to separate and differential forms of mass murder." — Professor Vahakn Dadrian, in Children as Victims of Genocide: The Armenian Case.
These forms of murder included methods such as mass drowning, mass burning, sexual assaults, and mutilations.
"In Ankara province, near the village of Bash Ayash, two rapist-killers -- a brigand, Deli Hasan, and a gendarme, Ibrahim -- raped twelve boys, aged 12-14, and subsequently killed them. Those who did not die instantly were tortured to death while crying 'Mummy, Mummy.'" — Professor Vahakn Dadrian, in Children as Victims of Genocide: The Armenian Case.
"A female survivor from Giresun relates how in Agn (Egin), Harput province, some 500 Armenian orphans collected from all parts of that province were poisoned through the arrangement of the local pharmacist and physician." — Leslie A Davis, U.S. Consul at Harput.
More than 100 years after the genocide, Turkey still denies it and Turkish history textbooks even blame the genocide on the Armenians themselves.
When experts deny the Armenian genocide and even try to prevent the U.S. government from officially recognizing it, they are killing the victims all over again.
"As long as the genocide remains unrecognized, justice will not be established. The curse of the genocide will not leave this land, and Turkey will never see the light of day. This is not a prediction, but a statement of fact." — Turkey's Human Rights Association, 2016.
Armenian civilians, escorted by Ottoman soldiers, marched through Harput to a prison in nearby Mezireh (present-day Elazig), April 1915. (Image source: American Red Cross/Wikimedia Commons)
U.S. President-Elect Donald J. Trump was recently called on to "guarantee" to Turkey that the Armenian genocide will not be properly acknowledged by the U.S. Congress, in a set of proposals regarding "U.S. Policy on Turkey".
"The United States can quietly guarantee Turkey that the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress will not pass. This has always been critical in the relationship, and most Turks care deeply about the issue," reads a part of the paper issued by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and authored by former U.S. ambassador to Ankara James F. Jeffrey and Turkish scholar Dr. Soner Cagaptay.
In the meantime, an Armenian protestant church in the Turkish city of Elazig (historic Kharpert/Harput) has been turned into a parking lot, the Dicle News Agency (DIHA) reported.