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Leftists harass immigrants for supporting Germany

The Local · 28 Jun 2010, 11:49

Published: 28 Jun 2010 11:49 GMT+02:00

The leftists have been particularly aggressive in the city’s Neukölln district, home to many residents of Turkish and Arabic heritage, daily Der Tagesspiegel reported on Monday.

Here they have made a point of destroying and removing Germany flags hanging outside shops and vehicles because they believe the proud patriotism hearkens back to the ugly nationalism of the Third Reich, the paper said.

A group calling itself "Kommando Kevin-Prince Boateng" posted a notice on the website Indymedia calling on leftists to “capture” all Germany flags across the country. The name refers to the Berlin-born footballer, who is playing for Ghana at the world cup and knocked German team captain Michael Ballack out of the tournament with a brutal foul in the FA Cup final in May.

One Arab-German family has sparked their ire by hanging a giant Germany flag on their Sonnenallee building in support of the football team during the World Cup.

Ibrahim Bassal, who owns a mobile phone shop in the district, told daily Berliner Morgenpost on Saturday that since he and his cousin hoisted the flag they have had several uncomfortable encounters with the local leftists.

“During the day people from the left-wing scene come by and insult us,” Bassal said. “Am I not allowed to be proud of Germany?”

Bassal and his cousin Badr Mohammed, a well-known conservative Christian Democratic Berlin politician who lives in the same building, worked together to get the 20-metre-long flag, which cost them €500.

In recent days the situation has escalated, with the anarchists attempting to remove the flag four times and even setting it on fire, the paper reported. On one occasion a group managed to gain access to the roof of the building and cut the flag down.

Last Friday evening some 16 people dressed in typical black anarchist garb confronted Bassal in his shop, and the mood was tense, the paper said.

After Germany’s World Cup victory over Ghana last week Bassal reportedly stayed up to look after his shop until 4 am.

“They see us as immigrants,” he said. “They don’t understand that Germans who aren’t from Germany would defend Germany.”

Both Bassal and Mohammed told Berliner Morgenpost that they are incredulous they have to defend hanging a German flag to native Germans.

Though the store owner’s entire family have been citizens for many years, the leftists believe immigrants must remain foreigners, he added.

Meanwhile many of the residents of Arab or Turkish descent who live in the multicultural district are defending the huge flag and continuing to show their support, the paper reported.

Story continues below…

The family has organised nighttime surveillance of the flag with neighbours to prevent further attacks, they said.

“We won’t let our pride be taken away,” Bassal and Mohammed said.

But according to Der Tagesspiegel, Bassal has decided to remove the flag and hoist it only on days when there is a Germany match. Meanwhile other residents told the paper they were taking special care not to leave their flags unattended.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:43 June 28, 2010 by Jibzy
Lets just wait for the creativity of anti-Muslim/anti-foriegner/anti-arabs in finding ways to undermine the love that any Muslim/arab/foreigner might hold for Germany.
14:10 June 28, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
These idiots only give REAL Germans a bad image... It is good that immigrants can have pride in their new homeland.
14:21 June 28, 2010 by NYsteve
I posted last week on an article about Jewish children getting stones thrown at them.....now this.....I know this is NOT the view of the majority of German citizens...just makes me sad.....just like here in America, thinking how far we've come and then all it takes is one "red-neck" and Civil Rights is thrown back 50 years. I am happy the Muslims are supporting the German team....I am here in the US. Figure the odds of the Muslims ever supporting the US team...especially after Bush!
14:21 June 28, 2010 by marimay
That is just sad.
14:21 June 28, 2010 by Clapoti
Wow today is "stupid people in the news" day. After that idiot with the intelligence tests for immigrants, now this... just wow.
14:23 June 28, 2010 by marimay
@ NYsteve

I'm sure there were plenty of muslims in the US supporting the US team.
14:42 June 28, 2010 by ashraf999
I am a Palestinian who was born in Karlsruhe. Despite I don't have a German citizenship nor do I speak its language, I will say loudly to those idiotic racists: "GO GERMANY GO!. You can win the World Cup!!". By the way, I have been always supporting the German national team...and still remember the year when I was the only person from my family cheering fro Germany while the rest were cheering for Argentina in the World Cup final!. Go German Team!. Crush the Argentina Team!!!!
15:06 June 28, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I'd really like them to tear down just one single flag in front of me. Then, I will show them exactly what I think about their philosophies.
15:32 June 28, 2010 by Bayern Munich7
And whats funny is those hooligans are the same ones who probably go into that shop for a Döner kebab when they are hungary.

By the way I would love to have a Döner right now with extra onions please
15:53 June 28, 2010 by Flying Scot
Im a Scot and i just LOVE Deutschland Especially the football team.
16:39 June 28, 2010 by saucymugwump
Why don't these doltish anarchists move to Somalia? Then they can live free of any oppressive government. Of course, they'll have to deal with heavily armed gangs walking the streets, but they won't be dealing with any "ugly nationalism."
16:51 June 28, 2010 by HollyMacarony
Why do you keep using the term ''MUSLIMS'' ???

How do you know they are all Muslims... and why is that even important in this story?

Why not use the term ''Immigrant'' ... but on other hand majority of them are probably GERMAN CITIZENS!

Islamophobia continues...
19:31 June 28, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
@ HollyMacarony

The title reads "Leftists harass Muslims" and in the first paragraph... the city¦#39;s Neukölln district, home to many residents of Turkish and Arabic heritage...

Perhaps the writer is unaware of that there are people of Turkish and Arabic heritage that are not Muslim. I know it is possible but believe it is a rarity... And further more really is unimportant aspect of the story.
21:29 June 28, 2010 by Keen4e
I live in Neukölln and i have not faced such harassment. But there are many "immigrants" here and it would not be very unlikely if the anarchist get beaten by the local people here. I would love to join such beating :P
01:21 June 29, 2010 by mikecowler
We had many white imigrants here in the uk...a lot of them displayed English flags on Sunday...fortunately their examiner for their imigrants test was the most excellent german football team..on monday UK "imigrants" took most the flags down in embarasment!! Ha ha
02:39 June 29, 2010 by FayeFaye
How sad. You have those that p*ss and moan about integration, and then you have people who get p*ssy if you display a flag. Some people just can't win.
02:51 June 29, 2010 by germinator
this is a stupid story designed to solicit stupid comments. Germany is a country of 80 million people. Some yoyos in Neukoelln harass one guy with one giant (and let's face it, obnoxious) flag which was put up partly by some guy who's a right wing political operative and you all want to start extrapolating trends. well, don't let me ruin the fun.
05:52 June 29, 2010 by wetdawg~
I live in the USA. If some leftist jerk anarchist attempted to steal or desecrate my flag and I shot him, what would happen to me? Very likely very little...what a pitiful country you live in...no one will steal my flag...because thieves understand the price they will pay...in your country disrespect of the German flag seems to be legal...or maybe political sport!
08:07 June 29, 2010 by Nur Ainne Johar
I'm not suprised by this, if by supporting the national football team for the sake of sport spirit will drive these ignorance people to harrass other human being. Then let it be.

The multicultural people of Germany shouldn't be affected and stop cherring for their young heroes. No matter what they do, you guys will always be a part of Germany.

Perhaps these maniacs aren't aware that almost half of the players in their national football team 'are not' from Germany. So in that case, I wonder will these bunch of lack-of-knowledge people burn their national flag when their 'not-truly Germany' heroes Ozil(Turkish Muslim), Podolski and Klose (Poland-born) come back with World Cup trophy at the airport?.....Gosh, if these young players can understand the importance of being ONE for the sake of football, why can you guys?

-Thank God Malaysian are blessed with that understanding and I'm proud to support the Germany heroes all the way from here in the name of their football spirit, full stop.
09:10 June 29, 2010 by mexican.wav
I dont agree with the flag burning and I think that its a bit terrible that this has been localised in areas such as Neukolln which is quite multi cultural, however I have been hearing counter arguments to this which make me wonder if this is being somewhat sensationalised.

Essentially these leftists aren't fans of Germans being patriotic because of the historical connotations. One gets the feeling that the flag burning and stealing is being executed as a small protest and as so loacalised to the areas that they are living and that, in fact, the race issue doesn't come into it.

There is a few bars I know in Neukolln where they say if you come in with a flag you stole then they will offer you a free beer. Its a much more jovial look at it but there is a large population of people here who are a bit sick of all the german flags, not because it reminds them of the 3rd Reich or anything, just that its a bit annoying (much like England during the world cup, expats would probably agree here). These bars, as mentioned, are in Neukolln where your chances of stealing a flag of someone from turkish or arabic descent is way higher but there is certainly no racial abuse in the act.

Ive seen that huge flag on sonnenallee, its big! If I was a leftists and feared of the return of german patriotism then that flag would be one big middle finger to my philosophy and I would want to tear it down by whatever means possible. Wouldn't matter about the race of the person.

Its such a tightrope walk when you are getting into extreme politics that you end up somewhat resembling the horror of the side you were against, I think the leftists are doing this by pushing what is essentially terror tactics which is abhorent but im not sure its racially motivated

But i want it to be known that i personally believe that Germany has as much right as every other country to have pride in their team. If the leftists really want to deal with patriotism they should just start attacking FIFA so eventually there is no football and then we can all live happy without drunken hooligans and old wounds from the past being brought up when certain countries play eachother etc etc etc..
09:39 June 29, 2010 by Joshontour
Extremism on both sides of the spectrum has no place in modern society. I disagree quite a bit with many of the regular posters here on the Local, and I'm sure if I were ever to come face to face with some of them we would have some heated discussions. Those discussions, however heated, would stay civil. If you have a point to make, make it in the arena of ideas. Violence, disorderly conduct, hate speech, etc... will never really change anybody's mind. On the contrary, this type of behaviour usually solidifies others own views. Then again, these "anarchist" aren't clever enough to actually debate their position.
10:35 June 29, 2010 by alterschwede
This story is very one sided. Has it not occured to anyone that some people might find it offensive to wake up in the morning and find every square centimeter of their neighborhood plastered with nationalistic symbols? Flags (no matter which ones) can also be perceived as symbols of division and oppression, both due to historical reasons and the ongoing tendency of using nationalism to justify conflict. And while we may all disagree with their methods, it is ridiculous to invoke racism, especially when these so called "anarchists" are the same ones who organize (or bother to attend) anti anzi protests, and in general fight for tolerance and freedom from persecution. Neukolln happens to be where these two groups co-exist, and immigrants happen to be the ones who are most excessively tacky with the flags, leading to these incidents.
14:19 June 29, 2010 by germinator
@wetdawg

Thanks for reminding me why I'm happy not to be living in the U.S. anymore. I sincerely hope you stay where you are with your guns and your flags and don't ever visit this "pitiful" country.
17:27 June 29, 2010 by Eagle1
Round up all of the leftists who are engaged in this behavior and shoot them. Problem solved.
17:49 June 29, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Shooting leftists is probably a bad idea, considering the spats we had about that in 1848, 1849, 1919, et cetera, and so on. However, placing a few national flags around the area and then charging the little brats with theft of federal property when they knick it, that might work well enough.
20:33 June 29, 2010 by cocovelvet
....... Geezzz !!! Sometimes I just don't know what to think about the behaviour of some so-called people in this world we're leaving in. I mean, such a barbaric attitude is still existing in the 21st century ??!! UNBELIEVABLE...

We should not forget these few leftists doing these things are not just disrespecting their own country by burning and tearing own country flags, they are tarnishing the good name of those Germans who don't behave the way they do. These are people who just have nothing where they are supposed to have their brains ; even the smallest bird's brain can work better than theirs. I agree with someone who says blowing up their useless brains would be the option coz they are just useless idiots anyway. Germany is such a beautiful country to let such nutcases destroy its reputation time and again...... they better try get a life instead
21:25 June 29, 2010 by mikecowler
Where by i sympethise with the person displaying the very very large flag, in the uk planing permission by the local authorities may be needed...i,m too scared of violent zenophobia to display my German flag on my house in England....
02:15 June 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
wetdawg wrote:

"I live in the USA. If some leftist jerk anarchist attempted to steal or desecrate my flag and I shot him, what would happen to me? Very likely very little...what a pitiful country you live in...no one will steal my flag...because thieves understand the price they will pay...in your country disrespect of the German flag seems to be legal...or maybe political sport! "

First, one can't "desecrate" a flag because a flag isn't sacred. Look up the definition of "desecrate."

Second, if you shot him you would be prosecuted, most likely for attempted murder if he survived and for first or second degree murder if he didn't.

Third, the use of lethal force to protect property is in most US jurisdictions unjustified.

Fourth, disrespecting the American flag -- even burning the American flag -- is protected political speech under the First Amendment. This is settled law under US Supreme Court precedent. I suspect you don't care for the First Amendment much and you consider the Second Amendment sacrosanct, American law does not support your lethal instincts in the situation you describe.

Fifth, Germany is not a pitiful country. It has its flaws, but it is far from "pitiful." What's pitiful is your redneck rhetoric. Why don't you save it for your tea parties and NRA rallies?
04:18 June 30, 2010 by vonSchwerin
Germans ought to be glad that immigrants feel so at home in their new country that they support the Nationalelf. And I suspect that most Germans are glad. But then a few pathetic losers, hiding behind the mantle of political anarchism, try to ruin it. Would they prefer that immigrants remain unacculturated, isolated, and unhappy in Germany? Would warm the cockles of their black asocial, "anarchist" hearts?
09:49 June 30, 2010 by Talonx
Did any of you tools actually read the article or just the misleading title the local put on it. The shopowners are trying to claim that they are only being harassed because they are 'immigrants' (yet they are actually citizens for many generations, as stated), while the article actually reports that the anarchists are tearing down all flags independent of anybodies origins.
10:56 June 30, 2010 by Talonx
Nationalism is mutually exclusive with humanism.
18:01 June 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I had a little American flag flying from my window to show support for the American team in its exciting but ill-fated match against Ghana. Then after having read this article, I decided to remove it before some German bomb-thrower decided to target my house. I must say, the flag burned very nicely.
22:02 June 30, 2010 by ReaderX
14:21 June 28, 2010 by NYsteve

"I am here in the US. Figure the odds of the Muslims ever supporting the US team...especially after Bush" Yeah Muslims hate America because of Bush, who ran his last 4 years in office with a Democrat held congress. That must explain why Muslims just love the US now. I mean what about the Khobar Towers bombing done by Muslim Terrorist in 1996 under Democrat god Bill Clinton. You Mr. NYsteve should learn more about what you are talking about before you start spouting of nonsensical Liberal talking points.

Which btw have no bearing on the story above.

As for that story, it's a shame that so many Germans want immigrants to integrate yet turn around and give reasons for them not to do so.

I have seen many Immigrants or non-native Germans show more pride in the country then those who should have red-gold-black in their blood.

These are the same idiots who are also probably harassing the families of those deployed with the German army. Shame on you.
23:49 June 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Reader X --

At least get your facts straight. The Democrats only controlled the Congress in the last 2 years of the Bush nightmare, not the last 4.

And why does everyone who disagrees with a nonsensical political or social position a "liberal?" Please explicate.
03:15 July 1, 2010 by CPT/USA
remember wetdawg to drag your shooting victim into the house. Shooting someone outside of your house for ruining your flag will get you prison time whereas shooting someone inside your house (burgler) is self defence.
04:03 July 1, 2010 by wetdawg~
Jawohl mein capitan USA...kindred minds we be! Best 4th of July to you Sir! It is my right to live in a free country!
05:52 July 1, 2010 by Eagle1
My fellow Germans:

Please travel to South Africa and find your balls, because it is clear that many of you have none. In the United States, a person may burn a flag as long as it is his own. One has that right as despicable as such an act is. If, however, one should burn or otherwise intentionally damage the flag owned by another, and prepare to get your ass kicked, and rightly so. That so many of you simply take your country's flag indoors and tuck your tail between your legs in the face of possible harrassment is incredibly embarrasing. Shame on you. Ultimately, your weakness will be your demise. It's disgusting.
10:04 July 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Yeah, there's nothing like waving a flag to prove you've got balls.
15:00 July 9, 2010 by thackeraddy
There's something suspicious about the black bloc anarchists .Please don't tarnish the reputation of left wing people as a whole by association with these Islamophobes. Many people on the left wing of politics think the black bloc are provocateurs .Less than a hundred of them went on a wrecking spree in Toronto a couple of weeks ago when 20,000 leftists were demonstrating peacefully against the policies of the G20 which was meeting in the town at the time. The media reports of the demonstration focused on the activities of the hundred hooligans and largely ignored the wider issues raised by the peaceful protesters .A bit like at a soccer match when a handful of violent supporters make it bad for the rest of the fans.

Not all anarchists are members of the black bloc ,and not all of them are Islamophobes.
02:24 July 11, 2010 by ang2010
No matter left or right wingers, Auslanders, who hate or love Germany, are always victims.

I cannot imagine a country living on export hate foreigners so much. Germans are too silly to realize Auslanders in Germany might be Arbeitnehmer but Auslanders outside Germany are Arbeitgeber.

When I travelled to China I was always treated very very politely where the nationalist feeling are also high. Germans are simly arrogant and narrow-minded, even when its GDP is almost under zero. Shame!
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