Twitter users mock cartoon guide instructing refugees how to behave in Germany
A German public broadcaster’s created a cartoon-style guide aimed at helping refugees and asylum seekers integrate into German society. Unfortunately, for the broadcaster, social media has pointed out the error in its ways.
Bayerischer Rundfunk, the public broadcaster in Bavaria, produced a series of 14 cartoon panels, called Germany and its People, that tries to illustrate for refugees how to integrate into their new life in Germany.
The cartoons explain simple lessons, like shaking hands with someone when you meet them and a reminder to look others in the eyes.
Then come suggestions like don’t hit kids – yours or other people’s. It also reminds refugees not to settle disputes with violence and notes “homosexuals are allowed to show their sexual preference in public.”
Twitter users, such as journalist Jenan Moussa and Middle East commentator and satirist Karl Scharro, mocked the cartoons.
On his Twitter page, Scharro posted his own cartoon guide for new Western arrivals to the Middle East.
One of the cartoon lessons warned women must be respected “no matter what they are wearing” and men are not to touch or grope women. The guide also warns this is something that applies to German men.
The New York Times reported, some people believed the cartoons came in response to the numerous the New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne — as well as similar reports in other cities across Germany and other areas of Europe.
More than 100 women came forward with complaints of being sexually assaulted at a New Year’s Eve celebration in the city. Reports allege the perpetrators were asylum seekers from the Middle East or North Africa. Only one person, a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Algeria, has been arrested in connection with the Cologne assaults.
The cartoons, however, were actually published in early October.
But, Bayerisher Rundfunk isn’t the only organization to have published this kind of graphic directed at the more than 1.1 million refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who arrived in Germany last year.
The city of Munich has its own leaflet aimed at migrants — men mostly — instructing them of acceptable behaviour at public pools. The leaflets, according to the Local, are printed in German, Arabic, French, Pashto, and Somali.
Elsewhere in Europe, website Zero Hedge pointed out last week the Swiss city of Lucene’s Health and Social Services department is distributing a similar flyer — which was actually based on a design from Austria — in an effort to prevent sexual assaults at the upcoming Lucern Carnival.
Department spokesperson Silvia Bolliger, told the Swiss website Blick, there had not been reports of sexual assault or harassment blamed on refugees or migrants but members of the public had expressed concerns.
The pictograms, according to Blick, have been produced in different languages and will be handed-out to some 1,800 asylum seekers living in temporary shelters in the city.
Those last two examples caught the attention of Canadian right-wing pundit Ezra Levant, who mocked the comic book-style guides on his online channel, Rebel TV.
Unlike the Twitter users who poked fun at such cartoons, Levant criticized officials for using cartoons instead of barring single Muslim male migrants.
“Instead of stopping the flow of single, Muslim men, local authorities are printing little posters with do’s and don’t’s for Muslim migrants,” Levant said.
Over 3,700 refugees and migrants died in 2015 as more than a million made their way to Europe from war-torn or impoverished countries in the Middle East.
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