More than 70 years after the fall of Nazi regime the government in Germany is tightening the noose on free speech. In a latest incident, Germany’s state-run television has removed a satirical clip critical of Turkish President Recep Erdogan. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called up the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to apologise for the “deliberately abusive text.”

This was an about-turn from Germany’s prior stance on the issue. Only last week, Germany’s top diplomat Markus Ederer had told his Turkish counterpart that freedom of press in Germany was “not negotiable.” However, with over 3 million Turkish immigrants now living in Germany and Europe’s growing dependency on Turkey to regulate migration on its outer borders, has placed Turkey’s President Erdogan in a very strong bargaining position.

On Monday, the Program Director of Germany’s largest broadcaster ZDF, Norbert Himmler announced channel’s decision to delete the two-minute clip ridiculing Turkey’s Islamist leader’s lavish lifestyle and crackdown on democracy. Himmler told the media that were “limits to irony and satire” and “in this case, [limits] were clearly exceeded.”

The weekly satirical show “NDR Extra 3”, has been running since 2013 on ZDF’s talk channel. The left-leaning show has caricatured Jesus Christ several times — without issuing any apologies for “crossed limits” or pulling out clips in those instances.

Germany has not only imported millions of migrants from Arab and Muslim countries, it has also imported cultural deficits inherent in those societies. As conservative commentator Mark Steyn once noted, “the more Islamic a society gets the less free speech it will have.” German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports:

German ZDF public television said Monday it had deleted a poem recited by presenter Jan Böhmermann from last Thursday’s edition of “Neo Magazin Royal” still otherwise accessible in its so-called “Mediathek”.

The weekly satirical show, produced in Cologne, has run since 2013 on “ZDFneo,” ZDF’s documentary and talk channel aimed at savvy 25- to 49-year-old viewers.

Böhmermann’s poem, containing numerous sexual innuendos, accuses Erdogan of repressing minorities, including Kurds and Christians.

It was broadcasted late Thursday night alongside a new Böhmermann video clip entitled “Germans on the rise!” an ironic critique of populist right-wingers.

The liberal self-flagellation over the issue didn’t just stop at that. Jan Böhmermann, the satirist at the centre of the controversy, hailed the decision of his broadcaster to remove the clip as a victory, claiming that the “limits of satire lie by us in Germany. At last!” Surrendering the hard-fought freedoms of the West over to Islamists and Third-World dictators has now turned into a cause for self-congratulation to European liberals.

However, the Liberal surrender has a long tradition in Germany. Social Democratic Party (SPD), the self-styled “vanguard of the revolution”, quietly made way for the Nazis in Germany – as SPD-affiliated labour unions marched behind the Nazi flag on Labour Day in 1933 and the Party voluntarily removed all the Jews from its executive leadership.

But don’t expect liberal German establishment to defend Western freedom tooth and nail. It offered no effective resistance to the marching Nazi hordes and is fails today to defend Western values in face of mass migration from Arab and Muslim lands.

With Europe today facing unrelenting waves of Islamist terrorism, the last thing Europe needs is a Sharia compliant ‘Joke Police’ to monitor newspaper cartoons and television spoofs. It is time to double down on Western freedoms not curtail them.

Free speech is not only a precondition for Western democracy, but also for West’s economic prosperity and technological advancement. Without freedom of expression and enquiry there would have been no European Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Industrial Revolution and certainly no free-market capitalism.

If Germany and Europe as a whole fail to defend this greatest of all freedoms today, there won’t be much else left to defend as a civilisation later on.

Watch: German Chancellor Merkel to maintain open border policy despite recent losses in regional elections.

[Cover image copy right Vijeta Uniyal]

Author is an Analyst based in Germany