Magazine pokes fun at Islam video row
A German satirical magazine has entered the row over an anti-Islam video by printing a picture of the former German first lady in the arms of a turban-clad man with a dagger. The move comes during protests across the Arab world.
The magazine Titanic presented the front page of its October edition showing a photo montage of Bettina Wulff – wife of former German President Christian Wulff – being embraced by a Muslim fighter wearing a turban and brandishing a dagger.
The headline reads, "West Rises Up: Bettina Wulff Makes Film About Mohammed." The magazine, which prints 100,000 copies a month, gained notoriety in July for printing a picture of the pope with yellow stains down his cassock.
"Now Mohammed is on everybody's lips, we are reacting," editor Leo Fischer said in an interview with weekly Der Spiegel. The magazine decided not to include religious caricatures published in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, but said it supported Hebdo's decision to do so.
Meanwhile, police said that German embassies and consulates in Arabic countries would be on high alert after Friday, a religious holiday, as some experts fear that violence could again escalate.
Several German cities are also expected to host protests against the amateurish US-made film "The Innocence of Muslims" on Friday and over the weekend.
Around 800 people are expected to gather on Friday in Freiburg in the southwest. Up to 500 in the northern city of Hannover on Sunday; and others in the northern city of Cuxhaven over the weekend.
Police are acting on the basis that these will be peaceful protests but were ready for any possible trouble, a spokesman said.
An opinion poll carried out by the N24-Emnid institute said Thursday that 72 percent of Germans were against the film being shown in public and just 21 percent were in favour. The poll was taken among 1,000 people on Wednesday.
The German interior ministry meanwhile announced that a government poster campaign against the radicalisation of some young Muslims had been delayed.
Following federal police warnings "about the current dangers" the start of the campaign, scheduled for Friday, had been put off and no new date had been set, the ministry said.