A high-profile journalist in Germany has announced that he no longer intends to discuss or criticise Islam after a recent spate of threats levelled against him.
Constantin Schreiber, an author and journalist working with the state-operated Tagesschau TV news programme, has written a number of books on the religion and his work has been compared to that of French author and poet Michel Houellebecq.
In an interview with Die Zeit, Schreiber said he wanted to leave that chapter of his life behind after receiving numerous threats over his discussion of Islam.
“I will no longer comment on anything that has even the remotest connection to Islam,” he said.
“I won’t write any books about it, I turn down talk-show requests, I won’t do it anymore. Some people might celebrate now and maybe open the bubbly bottles.”
Schreiber cited a number of menaces and verbal attacks on him as the reason for dropping the topic, describing how several of his colleagues had lambasted him as being far-right.
He also talked about receiving abuse from members of the public, with one taxi driver threatening him after picking the journalist up from his workplace.
“Now I know where you live!” Schrieber described the cabbie as saying, adding that the experience was “scary”.
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 8, 2023
The journalist is far from the first public figure to drop their discussion of Islam amid threats of violence.
British evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins, an atheist activist who has been a long-time critic of the religion, surprised much of the public earlier this year by point-blank refusing to discuss the faith during an interview.
Asked about the topic by UK TV presenter Piers Morgan in March, Dawkins – who had previously labelled Islam as “the most evil religion in the world” – mumbled that he would rather not talk about it.
The interview took place after the near-fatal attack on writer Salman Rushdie, who was left with life-altering injuries after being targeted by an Islamic fundamentalist in New York in August 2022.
Since publishing his contentious novel The Satanic Verses in 1987, Rushdie has been under pressure from Muslim fundamentalists, with Iran’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a $3 million fatwa calling for his death over the book in 1989.
Rioting has erupted in the Swedish city of Malmö after Iraqi migrant Salwan Momika once again publicly torched a copy of the Quran. https://t.co/7J0sElrEMu
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 4, 2023