Polish weekly's 'Rape of Europe' cover sparks backlash
PR dla Zagranicy
A cover of a Polish weekly that depicts a white woman being clasped by dark-skinned hands has drawn heated responses in the international press and on social media.
Screenshot of W Sieci cover
Conservative magazine W Sieci (In the Network) twinned the cover picture with the headline 'The Islamic Rape of Europe'.
The article explores the matter of the refugee/migrant crisis in the light of sexual assault claims made in Germany in the wake of New Year's Eve celebrations (over 1,550 complaints have been lodged).
However, US newspaper The Washington Post argued that “the Polish magazine's rendition of a young white woman, violated by hairy, dark-skinned men, carries immediate echoes to nationalist propaganda of an uglier historical moment.”
The author then draws comparisons with posters from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, in which white women become the prey of Jewish and black men respectively.
Other news outlets to pick up the story included British daily The Guardian, which descibed the cover as “inflammatory”, as well as the BBC, The Independent, The Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror.
Nevertheless, Aleksandra Rybińska, author of W Sieci article, rejected accusations of "fearmongering" in an interview with the BBC.
In late January, Poland's Common Council of Catholics and Muslims condemned hate speech in a joint declaration as part of the 16th Day of Islam in the Catholic Church.
Mufti of Poland Tomasz Miśkiewicz lamented that “when immigrants are discussed everyone is tarred with the same brush.” (nh/pk)