Sometimes, that’s the best you can do with nasty insults and vicious invective — defang them by spinning the tar into comedy gold. That’s exactly what these folks decided to do:
‘When it comes to you Muslims,” Hasnain Kazim tells the audience, “we Germans are going to pick up where we left off with the Jews. It would please me if the first time we meet is when your smoke is rising out of the chimney.”
You might expect such malignance to reap a stunned silence, or gasps.
But Kazim, a 40-year-old journalist with Spiegel Online, is treated to rollicking laughter and applause instead. This, after all, is Hate Poetry night in Berlin, an opportunity for a troupe of German journalists, all of whom have vaguely Muslim-sounding names, to read out some of the more creatively despicable messages clogging up their inboxes.
Disturbingly, each has plenty to choose from, and the fountain of hatred flows late into the evening, with insults like these: “I have nothing against Muslims as long as the only place they are staying is at the local cemetery.”