I’m shocked — shocked! — by rampant Islamophobia among German opinion writers…
Many thanks to JLH for translating this commentary by the German columnist Frank A. Meyer from the Swiss news site Blick.ch:
by Frank A. Meyer
August 2, 2014
How was that again — that sentence of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, which Pope Benedict XVI quoted in that ominous Regensburg speech in September, 2006?
“Just show me what Mohammed has brought that is new, and you will find only what is vile, for instance: that he has decreed that the faith he preached should be spread by the sword.”
That appearance became a PR disaster for the Pope. How do things stand now with the eight-year-old quotation of a 600-year-old statement? Is it not being proved true, day in and day out?
Islam is raging through almost all the regions it religiously controls. Massacres among Muslims, terrorizing of infidels, kidnapping of girls, humiliation of women, destruction of cultural treasures, enslavement of workers.
The list is endless. Islam persistently dominates the news, and will continue to do so.
But, Islam? Among Leftists, Greens and leftist Liberals, the official version is that those kinds of horrors reported day and night from Allah’s sovereign territories have nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with Islam. No, it’s all about Islamism, or even jihadism, which admittedly is bad — quite in contrast to peaceful and benevolent Islam. This religion, you see, is good.
Benedict’s mistake in Regensburg was that he did not hew to the line of such Newspeak. It is the mistake of Necla Kelek and Hamed Abdel-Samed and in general the mistake of all those who see in Mohammed’s proclamations the womb from which the monster crept, is creeping, and will continue to creep.
Could it be that it is as it appears? Could it be that a historically hopelessly anachronistic religion is afflicting the present with its demand that history must be wound back at least 300 years, that is, to a time before the Enlightenment?
Could it be that Islam functions as a reactionary time machine?
The Koran complex, to which sharia and the so-called traditions belong, makes an undisguised claim to power both over society and its faithful. Ergo, total power over human life — total power as no secular despotism or dictatorship has ever been capable of exerting.
But that is just how this religion with its claim to political domination functions. It seals the social prison hermetically, deep into the soul of the human being, who perceives subjugation as an act of faith. Heavily covered women, who declare that they are willingly pulling on a burka, a chador or a hijab, provide the illustration of that.
Modern civilization, on the contrary, means nothing other than the free society of the Judaeo-Christian cultural sphere. Which, in turn, means flourishing research and science and literature and philosophy and art and a general, unbounded enthusiasm for change and development.
The result is what Karl Popper — the greatest philosopher of modern democracy — called “the open society.” By that, he meant a society that develops by the principle of trial and error. In the eyes of Islamic true believers, however, this principle is of the Devil’s making.
Yet precisely this principle, practiced again and again since the early days of the Enlightenment — its assertion over the objections of the Catholic Church was not its last use — is the foundation of the mighty success of the West as well as its distancing from Islamic culture.
And so the princely crowd of Arab despots communicates via iPhone, although their own culture is capable of no comparable technological achievement. And these strutting potentates present themselves worldwide as investors, but for what is done at home, they rely on professionals from the society of infidels. With funds filled out by exploitation of fossil fuels, they buy into Western companies, but forbid their women to drive cars.
While computer-driven stock markets enable transaction of global business in nanoseconds in permanent synchronicity, Islam’s consciousness in the here-and-now lies hundreds of years in the past.
For people of this cultural sphere, deep in the well of the past, this means the blocking of intelligence, of curiosity, of ambition, of individual responsibility — of life! And indeed not just for women, whose headscarves hamper any spontaneous and curious change of sightline.
Men too, most importantly the young, are stunted in their development by the self-confidence taught in the Koran: I am a man — that is enough! The result of this pathetic machismo is the subjugation of the woman — a masculine educational right which, according to the Koran Sura 4:34, includes physical punishment.
All dogmas are still valid and indeed so applicable that the eagerly courted Arab business partners of Western enterprises, upon return from Zurich, Frankfurt or London, provide financing for jihadists. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been active for years as patrons of the murderous enemies of democracy and the constitutional state.
Now, if this had nothing to do with Islam, properly understood, as the mantra of the professional tolerators unrelentingly attempts to enlighten us, then there must, somewhere and sometime, be Muslim resistance to the abuse of their religion. Movements of thousands and tens of thousands, even millions of the faithful who no longer want to put up with the massacre and the terror — and give expression to this indignation.
Where are they? Whenever political injustice occurs in Western democracies, citizens stream into the streets and teach the elites the meaning of fear — whether it is in Washington, Berlin or Tel Aviv.
Similar mass manifestations by Muslims would herald the arrival of Islam in the 21st century.
Former German Federal President Christian Wulff has left us a noteworthy statement from his short service in that office: “Islam belongs in Germany.”
It was an answer to the wrong question. The right question is: “Does Islam belong in our time?”