Diversity is a big issue at the public broadcasters these days. Those who want to see with their own eyes and financed by their own broadcasting fees how this is implemented can tune in to the programme “Five Souls” from the Southwest German Broadcasting Corporation (SWR). (see also the tweet above)
In this ” diverse ” programme, the three hosts Natasha Kimberly, Hadnet Tesfai and Thelma Buabeng invite two guests to each episode. According to the programme itself, it “takes up relevant topics from the world of relationships and presents them in a humorous way, without neglecting the seriousness of the subject matter”.
The programme proved what is meant by humorous seriousness by inviting Feyza-Yasmin Ayhan. The woman is known as a poetry slammer under her stage name Yasmin Poesy. In 2015, she performed at an event of the “German Youth for Palestine” (DJP) in the Dar as-Salam Mosque in Berlin and put on a performance that must be considered Israel-related anti-Semitism. The “Neuköllner Begegnungsstätte”, to which the mosque belongs, was mentioned in the Berlin report on the protection of the constitution.
The editors must have known who they were inviting into the programme – at least if you search for the name Ayhan on Google. It is also questionable on which relevant topic Ms Feyza-Yasmin Ayhan should have taken a “humorous” stand in the programme.
The journalist Zara Riffler reported on the mag Tichys Einblick about Ayhan’s appearance, which can still be accessed on the net, and her invitation to the SWR programme. While SWR does not want to distance itself from Ayhan and her openly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements, the journalist is facing a smear campaign by Ayhan’s management – and this on Thursday, of all days, on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
Meanwhile, from Ayhan’s social environment, insults such as “The woman obviously has a mental handicap” and the title “Nazi” are hurled at Riffler. Her family, too, is being denigrated at the lowest level. Of course, the usual trivialisation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel on the part of Ayhan’s management is not missing.
One of Ayhan’s followers openly threatened Riffler on Instagram and linked the author visible to everyone. Ayhan herself then reacted and played the song “Long live Palestine” by the rapper “Lowkey” as a tribute to the threat. The latter is known for his comparisons of zombies with Zionists.
“In my opinion, a hatemongering call by Ms Ayhan’s management and herself against me as a journalist could only take place because SWR has not publicly distanced itself from Ms Ayhan. SWR has thus given these people a certain amount of power,” said Riffler in an interview with the newspaper JUNGEN FREIHEIT.
“The fact that – as far as I know – no public statement or correction was made about this programme with Ayhan apparently enabled these people to feel encouraged to explain Israel-related anti-Semitism as criticism of Israel. SWR is keeping quiet about this.”
The trailer of her new programme with Yasmin Ayhan is still online:
“So they are still advertising with her for the new show, which would have the aim, or so I was told, of defending the values of an open society.
The programme also featured journalist Malcom Ohanwe and cabaret artist Jasmina Kuhnke, both of whom repeatedly attract attention and make headlines with controversial statements.
In response to a question from the JUNGE FREIHEIT, SWR stated that in selecting the guests, the editorial team follows “clear editorial guidelines. This includes getting a clear picture of the guests’ ideological positions”. The YouTube video with Ayhan’s appearance only came to the attention of the editorial team after the programme had been broadcast. Asked whether the station felt partly responsible for the attacks on Riffler, a spokeswoman said:
“SWR and the team of ‘Five Souls’ are committed to the values of an open society and distance themselves from all expressions of group-related misanthropy, especially anti-Semitic and racist ones. The aim of the talk show ‘Five Souls’ is to defend these ethical values in an entertaining way from a variety of perspectives.”