A film on the German children’s channel KIKA has sparked controversy in the country.
The film had already aired in November, but it gained relevance after a German girl was murdered by a migrant last month and another almost drowned by her migrant boyfriend. Both cases were relationship related.
Children’s channel KIKA broadcasted the program about a 16-year-old German girl, Malvina, who fell in love with a Syrian Muslim migrant called Diaa. At first the age of Diaa was 17, but later KIKA corrected that to 19, in a special statement.
But Diaa looks much older: He already wears a full beard and clearly doesn’t look like a teen. He rather looks 25, and some tests have indicated he might be in his thirties.
Diaa is also conservative: Malvina is not allowed to hug other boys, to eat pork and to wear short skirts. Diaa says: “I cannot accept that my wife dresses like that”. He adds: “I want to marry her as soon as possible, and then she’s mine.”
It was hard to accept for Diaa that his girlfriend doesn’t want to wear a headscarf; “it irritated him”. His girlfriend says that they have their conflicts, “but as long as I submit, everything is fine”.
The film shows a clearly unequal love story between a young and naïve German girl and a conservative, much older Muslim migrant. But remarkably, it is completely uncritical; if anything it is a shining example of how a relationship in the West between a boy and a girl should not be: Based on submission, oppression and inequality.
While the migrant is much older than the girl and clearly wants to marry and possess her, KIKA is implicitly endorsing child marriages in Germany and that is worrying.
It also wouldn’t be the first time that a migrant in the country is much older than they stated. The Afghan murderer of Maria Ladenburger wasn’t 17, but 33, according to his father. Also the migrant murderer of Mia V. in Kandel looked to be much older than 15.
It’s time for German media to reflect on the messages they spread, lest they be accused of disseminating propaganda. Children’s channels especially, have a serious responsibility as most of its viewers are young, impressionable and looking for examples and guidance on important subjects such as relationships, love and respect.