Chronicles of a new “Anti-Semitism Scandal” (part 4): Pro-IS, Really!

Being “Pro Islamic State or Daesh” was one of the most awkward things I never imagined I would be accused of, and I guess was behind Deutsche Welle’s decision to appoint an external investigator with an “Anti-radicalisation” background to investigate in my case.

That was because one of the sentences that were ripped out of context, in the media attack held against me claimed so while trying to accuse me of being “Anti-Semitic”.

I won’t question here the freedom of expression, nor the freedom of thoughts, I am questioning even more basic practices in media like fact-checking!

I waited for days to see if anyone would contact me or even read the full original article and attempt to check my beliefs and what I really stand for. However, I waited for nothing, and only the Euro-Med monitor took the initiative after a couple of weeks of me being under the media attack and reported on the evolving situation.

Der Spiegel was a publication that embedded two of my articles. However, that didn’t make the colleagues there read these articles. Or they didn’t want to refer to what they read — no need to mention that they didn’t contact me too for a comment or clarification.

Joining IS!

Back then, the articles I wrote and of which some sentences were “quoted from” were about questioning some of the TV’s contents in a political sarcastic way. The news portal I was working with, and I myself saw that as a way of bringing some food for thought, inviting the audience to think about what they are consuming.

This wasn’t mentioned in the attacking articles, nor that I wrote them in Arabic in Jordan and under the Jordanian laws more than five years ago and before even thinking that I may be working in Berlin in the future.

Starting from Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German media took my whole point out of context when they threw a 2 in 1 accusation at me!

They wrote: “She would also join the IS terrorist group if they kick the Israelis out of the Holy Land”. So if it failed to label me with being antisemitic, it can give me the stereotypical label of being a terrorist!

Once again, reading the entire paragraph or putting it through google translate (or any better translation app) can give a hint at the real meaning! In this article: I referred to the words the leader of IS used in a video in 2015.

It was his first time referring to Palestine as part of his “Jihad”, and my whole article was sarcastically pointing out how this absurd announcement was exploiting the Palestinian cause and indicating the group’s desperation for power.

Being accused of having any reason to be by IS’s side is so pathetic. I spent years, days and nights writing against them and against what they represent. I was the one who voluntarily helped foreign journalists with their articles when the Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh was held hostage by IS fighters.

I was trying to uncover and explain one more layer to his story and the Jordanian stories about the whole case every day to keep it alive. And I couldn’t sleep while writing articles about the savagery they represent, for more than a week after they burned him in front of us!

Did I draw a brutal comparison when saying I will rejudge IS? Yes, I did. But what is a sarcastic column if not that!

Details tell the story!

Most importantly, my articles were written more than five years ago when I wasn’t even in Germany nor considering the country’s sensitivity to Israel as something that will apply to my journalistic practices.

The attacking German media outlets didn’t care to mention all of that, and they definitely were not interested in hearing my side of the story. For me, as a journalist, this is sad and scary!

Since starting to write and becoming a journalist 11 years ago, I promised myself to follow the ethics and values of this profession. I’ve always believed in looking for more layers and listening to more points of view in every single story, no matter the topic. And this is what I am still committed to doing for the benefit of all of us, our society.

It feels like I am still waking up to a reality where non of the ethics I believed in or the values that I worked for and defended was applied to my case by the colleagues in Der Spiegel, Bild, Die Welt, and the others.

Unfortunately, they treated my case in the least ethical way possible. While I assumed the history of Germany should be a big drive to double-check before labelling and attacking, sadly, I was wrong!

Here, I have more fears about the future of journalism in Germany and the West than I used to have in my country!

*This article is a part of my “Chronicles of a new “Anti-Semitism Scandal” series documenting my experience while being wrongfully accused of anti-Semitism and subsequently under investigation by Deutsche Welle and the German media. I am a professional journalist who believes in my profession’s mission, ethics, and values, and I will not remain silent in search for the truth, facts, and honest dialogue. I will keep writing and documenting until the end of investigations on the 15th of January 2022 or longer if needed.

Independent Palestinian-Jordanian journalist based in Berlin. Writer, freedom of the press and human rights advocate dedicated to the pursuit of Truth

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Farah A Maraqa

Farah A Maraqa

Independent Palestinian-Jordanian journalist based in Berlin. Writer, freedom of the press and human rights advocate dedicated to the pursuit of Truth

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