Zana Ramadani is an ex-Muslim from Macedonia who now lives in Germany. Referring to incidents such as the Groping Jihad on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Ms. Ramadani is emphatic that Muslim women bear the responsibility for inculcating misogyny in their male children, and the habit of subjugation in their female children.
Many thanks to JLH for translating this interview from Die Welt:
“Be Irate at the Muslim Women!”
The former Femen activist Zana Ramadani believes that incidents such as Cologne are possible everywhere where Muslims live. Islamic values are to blame — and mothers who raise their children in accordance with them.
by Kathrin Spoerr
As an activist in the Femen movement, the feminist Zana Ramadani fought for equal rights. The 32-year-old was born in Macedonia and grew up in her Muslim family in Siegerland [North Rhine-Westphalia]. She is now living in Berlin.
|Die Welt:||After the excesses of New Year’s Eve — who should we be mad at? Arabs? Muslims? Men in general?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Clearly, Muslims. Not just the Muslim men, but also Muslim women, especially Muslim mothers. The perception of women that confronted us on New Year’s Eve is one that is lived everywhere in the Islamic world. Exactly the same thing could have happened where I came from, in Macedonia. And in Pakistan or Bangladesh. It could have happened in every Islamic country, and does, daily. Because the values are to blame for these events. These are the values of Islam.|
|Die Welt:||What values are those?|
|Zana Ramadani:||As follows: Women are attendants. Women are slaves. We are merchandise. It is up to us to behave demurely. If we look a man in the eye for too long, our intention is to tease and excite him. All that we do, and all that we are, is pure provocation. So we must cover ourselves. At the same time, this impugns men as impulse-driven rapists.|
|Die Welt:||Many people had that impression after the events in Cologne.|
|Zana Ramadani:||Yes, but of course that is nonsense. I do not believe that Arab men are more compulsive or have more testosterone than European, Christian men. But Muslim men are raised from childhood with a despicable image of women. These men learn that women who wear short skirts or tight pants are available. They learn that they have the right to treat us with disrespect. What many Muslims and many imams fail to understand is that they have not only a bad picture of women, but also of men. In fact, the veiling law presumes that every man is a compulsive rapist. So Islamic values are inimical to both men and women.|
|Die Welt:||How are these values inculcated in men?|
|Zana Ramadani:||In Islamic culture, it is almost always the women who do the nurturing and training. Women have so internalized the values under which they themselves have often suffered, that they pass them on to their sons as well as their daughters. From childhood, the boys are pampered and treated as little princes. Girls are guided before all else to virtue. From the start, they must do housework and help their mothers to spoil the men of the family.|
|Die Welt:||Was that your experience in your Muslim family?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Yes, in fact it was very extreme. I have a brother. My mother spoiled him and overlooked whatever he did. As a girl, I was raised with incredible severity. I had no liberty, and whenever I played outside with my friends anyway, she scolded me as filth or as a whore — long before I even knew what a whore was. It was a long and bitter battle to emancipate myself from my family. My brother is happily continuing to live the values of my Muslim family.|
|Die Welt:||Are all Muslim mothers that extreme?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Naturally, all mothers do not call their daughters whores just because they were playing in the sandbox with a boy. The older generation is stricter than the younger one. But the idea that a girl may not do certain things, or this is for a girl to do and that is for a boy — that is deep in Islamic culture.|
|Die Welt:||How does a good Muslim girl behave?|
|Zana Ramadani:||She does not contradict. She must always be at home. She must always live within the family. And then, of course, there is this virginity mania. The family’s honor resides between their daughters’ legs.|
|Die Welt:||So is the mother also to blame for the sexual repression?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Yes. Every Islamic mother teaches her daughter that she is only of worth if she enters marriage as a virgin. You stay in the marriage, you do not divorce, you accept your fate.|
|Die Welt:||Is this mania new, or was it always like that?
|Zana Ramadani:||It was always like that, but no one was interested. The media passed right over it while the contempt for women applied. Now, our attention is being called to a phenomenon by the events in Cologne — the phenomenon that women count for nothing. Anyone like me, who has grown up with Islam, knows nothing different.|
|Die Welt:||The Koran is considered the root of the evil. The commandment to cover up, the superiority of the man, are derived from it. On the other hand, there is homage to women in the Koran. Being a mother confers sacred status. How do honoring women and despising woman comport?|
|Zana Ramadani:||In some Surahs and some Hadiths, the woman is the saintly one. In others, she is the opposite — the shameless one, the seed receptacle for the man, who may satisfy his sexual needs on her. The way it is, is that the woman is good as long as she remains pure and biddable, subordinates herself and obeys and functions. She is honored and treated well, if she submits. Everyday Muslim life is also perverse , as seen in this Surah: “Your women are your field for sowing. Go to that field whenever you like.” Women as a field for sowing, as a sex object at the man’s disposal — if that is taught to sons and daughters, then what happened in Cologne and happens everywhere in Muslim cultural circles is no surprise. It is clear to me that these attacks have to do with Islam.|
|Die Welt:||Do women in Islamic cultures perhaps feel comfortable in their roles anyway?|
|Zana Ramadani:||To be sure, women vary. Most keep still, accept everything — their role and also their inferiority. They voluntarily wear the veil from childhood on, for example in Berlin on the school grounds; and even as young pupils, they despise the girls who do not. These girls often exert a crazy kind of group pressure. And there are others, like me, who rebel against their parents. I was punished for that for years, with beatings that were so hard I could not sit down for days. And it was always my mother who beat me, never my father. It is almost always that way. The mother does the hitting. The mother humiliates and mistreats the disobedient daughter. After a while, I had learned, from fear of blows and injuries, to hold my tongue.|
|Die Welt:||What is it like for a Muslim immigrant child to be surrounded by a free society?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Well, many are not even aware of the free society. They just go on living their Muslim lives, speak their own language and live their own culture. They don’t confront anything — most of all Western values, that is the values of the country they are living in. They have contempt for the values of their host country. This is widespread. Contempt for the culture they are enjoying the advantages of. Then there are women (and men) like me. The Western values I saw in school, on the street, with my friends, had an incredible attraction for me. For us, life in the family becomes hell.|
|Die Welt:||What can be done in Germany, to avoid bringing this medievalism in with the immigration movement?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Much can be done. We must stop believing that all this has nothing to do with Islam. It has a lot to do with Islam. We must require a great deal from the immigrants. Above all from the women.|
|Zana Ramadani:||Language courses are not enough. We must begin the changing of values in their minds. We must make the women strong against their men. Today, this is how it is: A Muslim family comes to the agency. The women is silent and the man talks some incomprehensible nonsense. If the women had more skills, the men would be dependent on them.|
|Die Welt:||How would that work in reality?|
|Zana Ramadani:||Citizenship courses. Obligatory for every woman. Refusal to attend would mean no money. The woman is the key to the family. We women need more courage to defend our values. We must compel the men. It won’t work without compulsion. We must stop the false tolerance for Islam. Islam is destroying our values, and we must prevent that.