Muslims protest over German television programme
A Muslim community in Germany staged a protest in Berlin on Thursday against an unflattering portrayal of it in a popular television crime series.
28 December 2007
Berlin (dpa) - A Muslim community in Germany staged a protest in Berlin on Thursday against an unflattering portrayal of it in a popular television crime series.
Some 300 members of the Alevi Muslim Community AABF demonstrated outside the Berlin bureau of the ARD television network, which aired the controversial programme on December 23.
The offending episode of the flagship Tatort (Crime Scene) series dealt with incest in an Alevi family in Germany and the murder of a daughter who wanted to inform police of the matter.
The Alevi community in Berlin tried to prevent the 90-minute programme being broadcast on the grounds that it revived age-old prejudices against the Alevis.
It has filed a criminal complaint against North German Radio (NDR), which produced the programme for the ARD, accusing it of incitement to racial hatred.
Police said they had launched an investigation on the basis of the complaint.
Alevis, considered by some to be a sub-group of Shiite Islam, worship in assembly houses instead of mosques and allow women and men to pray side by side.
The Alevi community called on its members to stage a peaceful protest in Cologne on Saturday against the "slander and disparagement" contained in the offending programme.
It has also demanded a retraction and a formal apology from the broadcaster.
NDR said in the opening credits to the film that it was a work of fiction that in no way intended to harm religious feelings or rekindle prejudices against the Alevi community.
Around 20 million Alevis live in Turkey. Under Ottoman rule radical Sunni Muslims accused the Alevis of incest because they included women and children in their religious rituals.