There are been many who have been banned for shorter or longer periods by Facebook after posting politically incorrect content, but it rarely affects journalists in one of Europe's most important newspapers.
Award-winning German journalist Birgit Kelle told her story in the German newspaper Die Welt on Wednesday. After the launch of a new Barbie doll with hijab, she wrote a sarcastic comment on her wall, that Ken might flog or stone Barbie if she does not wear the hijab.
The reaction came instantly. Kelle was contacted by Facebook, who stated that the post had been deleted and that she was now banned from the social network for seven days.
- One must understand that I had attacked people belonging to a religious community, and that is not allowed. Muslims also have the right to freely exercise their religion and traditions, she writes sarcastically.
Kelle continues by asking if she may have been too negative, given that the women's repressive garment is now to be found in many fine colors. Should she have learned from her colleagues in Die Zeit, who actually wrote that the Barbie doll had "freed" herself with her new look? She acknowledges that she would agree upon that under torture. But in the absence of this, she asks if you really have to make yourself uglier to be free, as Islamists and certain feminists seem to agree upon.
The German journalist, however, refuses to halal-certify herself, as Facebook apparently has done.
- Those who point out that this headgear is a political symbol, which manifests women's submissiveness and inequality between men and women, are now considered by Facebook as hateful Islamophobic racists.
- I would like to remind you of female writers, bloggers and activists in Muslim countries who occasionally risk their lives for women's freedom.
- Veiled Barbie dolls are not a sign of tolerance or diversity, but a blow to all the brave women around the world who need and deserve our support.
Kelle has now sued Facebook, and her lawyer has succeeded in getting the ban reduced to 24 hours. Of course it is 24 hours too long, but it is apparently important to Facebook that a symbolic penalty is at least given. VIP users such as important journalists who complain over bans are simply given a light version of the submission. Others will have to serve the full Facebook jail sentence - in accordance with Sharia.
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