The Satire Caliphate Strikes Back


The Datteltäter on stage

Having proclaimed the creation of the Satire Caliphate, the “Datteltäter” collective have taken to YouTube with social critiques and received its share of digital hate. With their talk in the themed track #Hatespeech on Day 2 they again shook their audience and spared no one.

Stage lights shimmer off of a sabre held aloft, ready to strike, by a young man in military apparel. He's clearly an IS fighter. At his feet his victim suddenly whimpers: “Why are you doing this?” His attacker pauses and finally replies: “I'm so indoctrinated, I can no longer engage in objective self-reflection.”

With performances like these, the group “Datteltäter” have gone and proclaimed the Satire Caliphate. Their topics revolve around Muslim stereotypes and the four Berliners and one from Bielefeld use YouTube to spread their social critiques and messages. They are concerned with daily life as a Muslim, Islamophobia and the refugee crisis. However, their videos have also generated a lot of hate speech online. Comments on their videos include “headscarf bitch” and “go hang yourself, you apes”. In response they collected the best of the worst feedback and made a new video from them.

Other “Datteltäter” videos reflect on the hypocrisy of how Europeans treat refugees in their countries. Setting the scene: two hip guys meet in a park and self-importantly discusses their heroic deeds. One went out of his way to wear a "#RefugeesWelcome" shirt, while the other liked and shared an article on migration. All the while, neither has time help the refugee lying at their feet. The clip asks viewer to reassess their own behaviour, says Fiete of Datteltäter. “It was very important to us not make fun of the many helpers.” The tone of the video aims to highlight behaviour that only seeks to boost one's self-image, keeps one's Twitter account up-to-date and serves a kind of Personal Social Responsibility strategy. And while Datteltäter condemn pigeon-holing and generalisations, they admit that they work with stereotypes and moralising statements. “People require understanding more than trending hashtags.”

Photo credit: re:publica/Jan Zappner (CC BY 2.0)