A Letter To The Punks Of Germany by Hassan – Vocalist of ZANJEER

A Letter To The Punks Of Germany
By Hassan Umer Amin, vocalist of Germany based band ZANJEER

Months ago in the middle of October I decided I could not take it anymore with the silence of punks in Germany and decided to use these social media platforms like Instagram to speak about Palestine. Though many people including some people close to the band told me I shouldn’t. There are reasons for this – people outside of Germany may not know that the German punk scene has a very prominent and influential Zionist contingent that we lump under the term “Anti Deutscher” – their ridiculous ideology is known for supporting IDF, supporting American wars in middle east, being racist to Palestinians as well as other Muslims and POC. It is a thoroughly ridiculous ideology that I could not even imagine in my wildest dreams, living back in Pakistan.

Being the shouter for a band that claims to talk about the middle east, it would be the most hypocritical thing in the world to stay silent. Especially because I have so many Arab and Falasteeni friends. How the F would I look them in the face if my band can talk about all the politics if the world, but not their struggle? Especially at this time! Man, I’d rather castrate myself.

“Months ago in the middle of October I decided I could not take it anymore with the silence of punks in Germany and decided to use these social media platforms like Instagram to speak about Palestine.”

Even though our scenes are small, and are a grain of dust compared to the incredible force of western imperialism – we have influence and we have power. A lot of ideologies such as queer liberation, animal rights, anti-fascism etc have been spread far and wide simply because punx were TALKING about it incessantly. The popularity of these things today has a lot to do with what punx talk about, how they use social media, what demos they go to, and how they challenge the mainstream narrative.

So why shouldn’t we talk about Falasteen?

I know a lot of you prefer to be passive and silent. I know some of you would only speak up when pressured by other groups to clarify your stance. I know quite a lot would shift their stance in order to maintain their relevancy. None of these things are options for me. I’m not in Germany to make friends with people who’s ideologies I don’t like. I already spent 27 years doing that in Pakistan, because my friend, because people will literally un-alive you there and you have to conform, silence yourself for aeons in order to live a normal life.

And more importantly – If I wanted to be passive and silent around bigots I would have stayed in Pakistan. Europe supposedly has freedom of speech. At least that’s what they market themselves as, and I will use that freedom til my dying breath.

Don’t tell Germany’s brown, muslim, arab, poc, etc, any shit for expressing themselves in these horrific times. We walk into this wretched country with scars deeper than any white guilt can begin to comprehend. We leave our homes because of your hemisphere and it’s neocolonism. Don’t tell us shit. Maybe use the opportunity to learn more instead of doubling down on your ignorance. Maybe, join protests and tell YOUR GOVERNMENT not to talk like that about migrants. Tell YOUR GOVERNMENT not to help this mass murder er. And if you can’t do that, at least speak up in these spaces. That’s where it starts.

A lot of these Anti Deutschers think they have some kind of correct theory, that others don’t have political knowledge, that they completely understand anti semitism and colonialism better than anyone. It is impossible to argue with them, because they are locked in their own twisted bubble where they gaslight themselves and others. They feel like they are somehow going against the genocidal past of Germany by their current stances – not realizing they are facilitating another genocide at this moment. They say heinous and ridiculous things about Palestinians and Muslims that I have not even heard from neo-nazis. Even today some folks sent condescending messages to my comrades, saying they have no political education. Man, some of us earned our stripes in the most dangerous places in the world to be a left winger, hahaha.

I myself was a patriotic right wing Pakistani for most of my life. I had bigoted ideas about religions, ethnicities, etc that were directly inherited from the fundamentally bigoted society i was born in. Later I became involved in local communist parties, doing grassroots activities, agitating alongside trade unions, and helping organize large national conferences. And I truly understand the guilt that Anti Deutschers feel. Pakistan also committed a genocide against Bangladesh for which I feel a lot of guilt and shame. But should I dance naked in support of contemporary Bangladesh’s policies against indigenous tribal people, for example?I have PUNK to thank for changing me from a right winger to what I am now, more than anything. All those awesome bands from every decade, every continent, with incredible rage and idealism, that made me severely question myself and where i was. I’m sure it’s the same for most punks actually! So that’s why we must always keep talking and agitating for the right causes on every possible way. It’s the best thing about Punk subculture, the one thing that keeps it alive in every generation. Haq! And insha’Allah, together, we’ll make this German punk scene a lot lot lot better, with better politics, better individuals, and everything. If you folks want to conform to outdated beliefs, there’s other subcultures for you to populate.

Thankfully there’s a compilation released a few days ago, almost 3 dozen Germany based bands taking a stand for the right cause.

Apart from following the bands on that compilation it would also be beneficial to follow some Palestinian activists based in Germany!


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To learn more about Anti Deutscher ideologies from their mouths itself, this interview explains their exact positions.

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