Our German translator JLH sends his translation of an article from Citizen Times by Marco Pino about the recent controversy in Germany over the writings of Michael Stürzenberger, as well as the shakeup in Die Freiheit and the departure of popular writers from Politically Incorrect.
The translator includes this overview of the situation:
After investigating, I discovered that Michael Stürzenberger’s “research paper,” published in October in PI, caused such an upset that the head of his state branch of Freiheit suspended him from his leadership position. Whereupon he ran for and won a position in the national leadership. At which point Pino and others bailed out, and Pino also left PI.
There were eight provisions in the research paper, proceeding from less to more severe, depending on the reaction of the Muslims, the last finally demanding abrogation of the religion and deportation of those unwilling to seek some other ideology. This has led to comparisons with the Nazi publication Der Stürmer, etc. And to the article to which Pino is replying.
I include the most talked-about part of Stürzenberger’s article — his equivalent of the 95 theses — which seems to lie at the bottom of so much that has happened since. The dissolution of Die Freiheit continues, with the youth organization of the party leaving the party and becoming independent, as announced by its head, Christopher von Mengersen.
I have not paid much attention to the articles by different PI authors, but Stürzenberger has seemed to me to be a talented interviewer in their videos.
It’s all too bad.
Below is the translated article from Citizen Times, via Europe News, followed by a portion of Michael Stürzenberger’s article:
Marco Pino: Open Letter to Steven Geyer: “Islam Criticism is Necessary!”
From Citizen Times January 10, 2012
Dear Mr. Steven Geyer,
In the past week, in a series of articles in the Dumont media, you renewed your frontal attack on the Islam-critical scene in Germany. In the center of our reporting is the internet site, Politically Incorrect (PI) and one of its most important authors, Michael Stürzenberger. You critique in particular his “research paper against Islamization” and identify in it an extremist approach, referring to investigations of the prosecuting attorney’s office in Munich for ethnic harassment, including activities of the security service directed against PI and similar internet sites.
As you know, I was a PI author for a long time and ceased this activity in October of last year. Since then, I have been writing a column for the internet site “Citizen Times”. As you also know, I was a member of the party Die Freiheit and left it in December of last year.
A substantial reason for my withdrawal as PI author and from Die Freiheit was that very “research paper against Islamization” by Michael Stürzenberger. I have criticized the research paper several times and exhaustively (see my “Open Letter to Michael Stürzenberger” as well as other publications in Citizen Times). I share the specific point in your criticism that the attitude documented in the research paper is a fatally flawed path.
For that very reason, I am surprised at your completely one-sided, less-than-truthful report, which in my eyes justifies the charge of blanket harassment of an entire population group. The impression arises that you are using PI and Michael Stürzenberger as examples in order to criminalize a whole spectrum of opinion. This form of reportage is no less deserving of criticism than the research paper by Michael Stürzenberger.
The truth is this: Within the readership and the authors of PI, as well as in the Islam-critical scene in general, there is a broad spectrum of opinion. Not only I, but many others as well within this broad spectrum have criticized Michael Stürzenberger for the above-mentioned publication (as is also apparent, for example, in the numerous departures recently suffered by the political party Die Freiheit).
Indeed, there is much to criticize in PI, especially the frequent, overly generalized, unsophisticated representation of Muslims. Actually, you are no better than that when you report on Islam-criticism so unsophisticatedly and in such sweeping terms. You draw a distorted picture that has nothing to do with reality.
I challenge you, therefore, to abandon this type of reportage in the future and to differentiate varied authors and their varied viewpoints.
Further, I take the liberty of making the following observation: Your obvious attempt — using one-sided reporting and verbal stigmatization (e.g., ideas like “Islam-hater”) — to represent Islam-criticism as political extremism and silence it, is a very dangerous process, which in the long run could even endanger the peaceful co-existence of people in Germany. As yet (there is no question!) the Islamic cultural sphere has experienced no comprehensive process like the Enlightenment in the West. Also among Muslims living here, strict religious, orthodox and fundamentalist perspectives are far more common than among Christians and adherents of other religions and cultural spheres.
Islam-criticism is therefore necessary, and provides an important contribution to integration. It is quite regrettable that the German media — especially politically Left media like the DuMont Group — fulfill this responsibility only barely, or not at all. It is especially noticeable considering the fact that criticism of religion had been the domain of the Left for decades, who thereby made an important contribution to the philosophical enlightenment in our society (especially in regard to the equal rights of women). When it comes to Islam, however, the Left, with few exceptions (for example, Alice Schwarzer, Thilo Sarrazin) seems to be completely overtaxed morally — caught in its self-constructed automatic reaction of instantly perceiving criticism of anything foreign as xenophobia (and therefore unthinkingly as “rightist). The result is a fateful form of political blindness, giving rise to a fatal hyper-tolerance which turns a blind eye even to anti-freedom, ultra-religious and politically totalitarian trends, the moment they appear in the costume of the “foreign”.
Also documented is the scurrilous way, especially in your media, that representatives of Muslim organizations justifiably under observation by national security along with politicians of the likewise surveilled party “The Left” are allowed to speak without contradiction or critique. Based only on that, your reporting on PI — especially the overblown charge of unconstitutional efforts — seems beyond unbelievable, if not absolutely ridiculous.
In future, I would hope that people in PI, but also in the leftist mainstream media like yours, moderate their tone so that, finally, we can have the necessary, realistic and long overdue debate about how much and why Islam is impeding the integration of Muslims into German society. In the end, the SPD politician, Thilo Sarrazin, did not prove that in his book Germany Abolishes Itself. This was no revolutionary revelation anyway. It corresponded without question to the everyday experience of many people in this country, especially young people. Because of that alone, a critical-to-hostile attitude toward Islam is, in almost all cases, not grounded in right extremism or racism, but is a natural reaction to the integration problems that exist here in significant numbers and exclusively with Muslims and are obvious to everyone.
With reference to the most famous statement of our present federal president,* I say to you: Islam will not belong in Germany so long as the majority of its adherents here as well as the majority of Germans (and especially the German Left) are not able to express criticism of Islam just as naturally and comprehensively as criticism of Christianity or atheism or any other philosophical outlook.
(formerly “Frank Furter” of PI)
* “Islam belongs in Germany”
Michael Stürzenberger’s eight-point plan at the conclusion of his article:
1. Media and politics must allow an open, unrestricted discussion about the true nature of Islam. In the process, the life of the Prophet Mohammed, his actions documented in the Sunna, and his eternally valid commandments in the Koran in all their details should be described. 2. After a completed factual analysis, the result will be: Islam is an ideology of power in the disguise of a religion which divides the world into superior believers and inferior infidels. With a worldwide, totalitarian claim to domination, intolerance, disposition toward violence and legitimization of killing. 3. As a consequence of recognizing this, the government of Germany must unambiguously and immediately require all Islamic organizations to foreswear intolerance, violence and the willingness to kill. Furthermore, to permanently abjure sharia, the Islamic legal system. And to make a binding declaration that all people have the same rights, regardless of their religious affiliation. To accept just as unconditionally that women and men are equal before the law. 4. If these demands are not endorsed by all Islamic organizations without condition, there will follow an immediate halt to the construction of mosques, the closing of Koran schools and the prohibition of prayer meetings in existing mosques. 5. All Muslims in Germany, after the content of their “religion” has been explained to them, will be required to put pressure on their organizations to immediately endorse the demands. 6. In case this does not lead to the desired result after a set term, there should be a plebiscite on the banning of Islam because of its messages, which constitute racial harassment and are dangerous to the peaceful co-existence of all people. Citizens of the Federal Republic will be required to read the Koran — probably the most dangerous book in the world — and see for themselves. We will thus avoid repeating the greatest mistake of German history: not having read the equally dangerous book Mein Kampf and so failed to avoid the greatest catastrophe in European history. 7. If the plebiscite leads to the result that Islam should be banned, all Muslims will have the right to decide to abjure this ideology. There are other religions available which also offer a life after death, without demanding the killing of “infidels” in cases of conflict. 8. “Abjure or emigrate” is the consequence. In the case of the second choice, there are sufficient Islamic countries to choose from. As a reciprocal move in the form of a population exchange, Christians from these countries, who are vulnerable to worse discrimination, persecution and even death, will be accepted in Germany.