Fake news of the week: Do the Greens want Sharia law?

Online misinformation targeted Green co-leader Omid Nouripour

Omid Nouripour (right) is one of the new co-leaders of the Greens. (Photo: Picture Alliance / DPA / Kai Nietfeld)

Each week, in a partnership with Exberliner, CORRECTIV will bring some piece of fake news that has been circulating online – and the corresponding fact check.

German Greens have been a regular target for online fake news, so the appointment of two new party leaders was bound to attract some attention from purveyors of online misinformation.

At the end of January, Ricarda Lang and Omid Nouripour succeeded Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck as party leaders, due to an internal Green party rule which means that holders of political office are not eligible for that position. However, on the same day the announcement was made, fake news began to spread on Twitterand YouTube about one of the co-leaders, Omid Nouripour.

The claim itself was grimly predictable, considering Nouripour’s ethnic background – apparently the leader (who in fact belongs to the more moderate/conservative wing of the party) wants to introduce “Sharia Law in Germany”.

One Twitter user, Ali Utlu, wrote:

The new Green leader Nouripour would like to introduce parts of the Sharia that are compatible with the Basic Law.

The colour of this party is the same as that of Islam. Green.

Will this eventually mean killing homosexuals and cutting off limbs? Resist the beginnings!

As evidence for this claim, a video clip was disseminated in which Nouripour reacted to a speech made by a member of the AfD. He never makes the claim that “Sharia Law” should be introduced. Rather, in response to a fear-mongering claim about “Sharia Law”, Nouripour simply points out that Muslims should be able to practice their religion wherever it does not contradict German law.

As Correctiv have pointed out in a previous fact check, “Sharia Law” is not in fact a single unitary system, but an accumulated system of interpretation including different norms and practices, like when to pray and how often, how to fast during Ramadan, rules on alms tax, pilgrimage and differing ideas on how to dress – such as whether to wear the headscarf.