Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Europeans Have Stopped Defending Their Values

Spiegel Online reported For years, political scientist Bassam Tibi has been urging Muslims to integrate into European societies and Europe to stand up to Islamists. He spoke with SPIEGEL about the weakness of Europe, the orthodoxy of Islam and what Germany needs to do to open up..... Tibi: It's not the first sign, but rather a repeated one. Recently we have been seeing more and more acts of submission, the most recent case being the Pope's apology. When it comes to Islam, there is no freedom of the press nor freedom of opinion in Germany. Organized groups in Islamic communities want to decide what is said and done here. I myself have been dropped from numerous events because of threats. SPIEGEL: You are trying to say that critics of Islam are systematically silenced in Germany? Tibi: Yes. Even the comparatively moderate Turkish organization DITIB says there are no Islamists, only Islam and Muslims -- anything else is racism.

If you allow them to define what is racism you have lost. Here in the US if a white person says something bad about a black person, he runs the risk of being called a racist. But it is apparently ok for a black person to say something bad about a white person, and not run the similar risk. Racism is when you make judgements based on race. There are white racists, but there are also black racists.
That means that you can no longer criticize the religion.
It must be nice not to have one's religiion criticized. But violence is not the answer. I am upset everytime the secular progressives criticize Christianity, but I know that Christ is not harmed by what they say. It is amazing to me that Muslims feel that their Prophet is harmed by some stupid cartoon.
Accusing somebody of racism is a very effective weapon in Germany. Islamists know this: As soon as you accuse someone of demonizing Islam, then the European side backs down. I have also been accused of such nonsense, even though my family can trace its roots right back to Muhammad and I myself know the Koran by heart.... SPIEGEL: Many Germans believe that communities should live together peacefully without any parallel societies. Is it therefore right to compromise in order to avoid antagonizing Muslims unnecessarily? Tibi: Quite the opposite. The Islamic officials who live here are very intelligent and view this as weakness.
And when violence, or even the threat of violence can cause people to show weakness, that just means you will get more violence.
Muslims stand by their religion entirely. It is a sort of religious absolutism. While Europeans have stopped defending the values of their civilization. They confuse tolerance with relativism.
They have also embraced too much secularism, and have lost site of their own religion.
SPIEGEL: When something insults Muslims, we often tend to just back off -- doesn't this help defuse the conflict? Tibi: No. That is simply giving up. And the weaker the partner is viewed by the Muslims, then the greater the anger which they express. And this anger is often carefully staged. The argument over the cartoons for example was completely orchestrated. Nothing was spontaneous. A lot of people don't know if Denmark is a country or a cheese. Where did they get the Danish flags? Protests like these are weapons in this war of ideas.... Tibi: No, because the biggest taboo is that there even is a conflict at all. Everyone denies that. Instead people talk about misunderstandings and how these should be resolved. But a conflict of values is not a misunderstanding. Islamic orthodoxy and the German constitution are not compatible. And that is why the Islam conference failed. SPIEGEL: So what's the answer then? Tibi: Muslims have to give up three things if they want to become Europeans: They have to bid farewell to the idea of converting others,
They can try to convert others through logic and persuasion; just converting others by force should be abandoned.
and renounce the Jihad. The Jihad is not just a way of testing yourself but also means using violence to spread Islam. The third thing they need to give up is the Shariah, which is the Islamic legal system. This is incompatible with the German constitution. There are also two things they need to redefine. SPIEGEL: Which are? Tibi: Pluralism and tolerance are pillars of modern society. That has to be accepted. But pluralism doesn't just mean diversity. It means that we share the same rules and values, and are still nevertheless different. Islam doesn't have this idea. And Islam also has no tradition of tolerance. In Islam tolerance means that Christians and Jews are allowed to live under the protection of Muslims but never as citizens with the same rights. What Muslims call tolerance is nothing other than discrimination. SPIEGEL: How many of the 3 million Muslims living in Germany would agree to these demands? Tibi: A few thousand perhaps
Ship the rest home, and let them live under Sharia law there.
..... Tibi: It would be much more important to have enlightened Imams. But when the Alfred Herrhausen society wanted to invite a German-speaking Imam with European ideas to a discussion, no one could be found. In the end they took the Grand Mufti of Marseille. And why are there such people in France and not here? Because the French state and French society has worked on developing them.
The French have problems of their own getting Muslims to embrace French Society.
SPIEGEL: So the German state should reform Islam? Tibi: Of course not. But the French state helped set up a council of Muslims which was completely in line with European values. If the French state had not been involved, the council would have probably been in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a challenge facing civil society, but the state also has to help. By staying neutral, as is the case here in Germany, you are handing victory over to the Islamists.... SPIEGEL: You have often said that the integration of Muslims in Germany has failed. And that integration can only be achieved by "educating a civil society." But who should do this and who decides who needs to be educated? Tibi: I am thinking in particular about the re-education programs which were carried out in Germany after the Third Reich. Social studies teachers and political science faculties were given the task of turning young people into democrats. That worked then. Why shouldn't we have a similar model for Muslims?
Sounds like a good idea. Try it!!!!!
In youth clubs, or during Islamic instruction in schools. Of course it takes a long time, 50 years say, but we have to start.

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