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German Arabic magazine claims gay men carry “flesh-eating bacteria”

Rachel Charman August 15, 2008
German Justice Minister Katarina Barley arrives for the weekly government cabinet meeting on March 13, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

German Justice Minister Katarina Barley arrives for the weekly government cabinet meeting on March 13, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty)

A German Arabic language magazine is being investigated by police after it published an article claiming that shaking hands with gay men can transmit disease.

Al-Salam magazine printed an article entitled “A flesh-eating bacteria and sexual abnormality’, which says that gay men carry deadly diseases and that Muslim men should not shake their hands as ‘one never knows what kind of bacteria and germs are found on them.”

The article is accompanied by graphic photographs of skin diseases.

Al-Salaam is free and distributed to restaurants and cafes around Berlin.

The article was reported to police by the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD), who are now investigating the issue.

LSVD spokesperson Alexander Zinn told TheLocal.de:”We have reported it as a crime to the police and it is now being examined to determine whether it should be dealt with as defamation or incitement.”

“We would appeal to the more liberal parts of the community to help us with this, and we also need the engagement of the integration representative of the city senate.

“This is one of many signs of something that keeps on coming up.

“Something needs to be done and we need to work together to try to tackle the problem.”

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