The cover of the Polish magazine known as ‘wSieci” used an illustration to depict what it calls the “Islamic rape on Europe.” A cover photo shows a screaming woman wearing the European Union flag as six dark-skinned arms grasp here. The sub-head of the article is “Our report: what media and elites in Brussels hides from European Union citizens.”

The wSieci magazine has one of the largest circulations in Poland. It follows a nationalist line and has featured risky cover illustrations in the past. One issue depicted a prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, wearing Islamic dress and carrying explosive devices.

In Poland, the Law and Justice (PiS) government has instituted laws that some fear is a violation of a free press. Currently, the government controls all editorial appointments for public news outlets. Elzbieta Kruk, who represents the Law and Justice party in the parliament, said recently “The public media are ignoring their mission towards the nation.” Kruk added, “Instead of creating a media shield for the Polish national interest, journalists often sympathize with negative opinions about Poland.”

For his part, President Andrzej Duda of Poland said the law, which was passed in December 2015, serves to ensure “impartial, objective and reliable” national media.

Elsewhere in Europe, clashes between locals and migrants have seized headlines. On New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany, there were reports of sexual harassment and even rape of German women by Middle Eastern men. Nationalist movements in Germany and elsewhere have held protests in repudiation of the policies of their governments to accept millions of refugees and migrants over the last year.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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