Below is an interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff that was published in Zur Zeit (2016 #3), a weekly Austrian magazine. Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation.
“A Religious-Cultural Phenomenon”
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff talks about sexual assaults on women by Muslim immigrants and the misconceived tolerance of the West.
Frau Sabaditsch-Wolff, on the night of New Year’s eve in Cologne and in other cities, we saw massive sexual assaults on women by immigrants and asylum seekers with Arab and north African background. Is this a cultural or more of a religious, specifically Islamic, phenomenon?
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff: It is a religious-cultural phenomenon. There is a word in the Arabic language for what happened on Silvester night: Taharrush. A culture which possesses its own word for sexual assaults by men has to be viewed as a threat. And because in Arab states Islam is the dominant religion — from which its culture develops — there is automatically a correlation between the two.
Why do women have such a low status in Islam?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: From an Islamic viewpoint her status is anything but low: that is merely how we see it from our Western perspective. A woman has rights and duties given to her by Allah, as well as a designated place in society. We cannot blame Islam for that as such. The main argument, however, is: Will we as a Western society let it happen, that women in Europe can be treated according to Islamic perceptions?
Do you believe that courses in sexual morality for Muslim asylum seekers, as is being discussed right now, could be beneficial?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: I am not familiar with the details of these courses. But I am skeptical. What exactly are sexual morality courses meant to convey, by whom and how?
The refugees are predominantly young males. What are the consequences of this for countries like Germany, Austria, and Sweden?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: What it means is that in these countries the status of women will gradually reflect that of women in Saudi Arabia: “Women will have to dress modestly,” they will be told; they shouldn’t be alone out at night in public spaces. What is going to be next? The hijab and/or the burka? And who will decide?
It also means that these men will need women/wives, women who are for the most part from non-Islamic cultural backgrounds, who will not necessarily accept certain mannerisms of these “new” men. Which law will then in such tense situations be enforced in the long run? The religious or the secular? Those who know history, know the answer.
Germany’s Chancellor Merkel represents a “we can do it” political stance. But is it possible to integrate one million people from a different cultural background — especially concerning the equality of men and women, and especially in the light that there have been already deficits on this issue with Islamic migrants in the past?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: With people from an Islamic culture, an integration is generally extremely difficult. Exceptions prove that rule.
The integration of such a huge number of people — irrespective of whether an integration is even wanted or desired by migrants, not mention the lack of questioning the autochthonous population about this matter — will not take place without bigger problems and huge efforts. Down the line politicians and civil society will have to admit that integration will have to mean assimilation as well.
The Mayor of Cologne gave women advice to hold “an arm’s length distance” at large gatherings. What do you think of this, as a woman and an Islam-critic?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: The mayor’s statement disqualified itself, and unfortunately showed her shocking indifference towards the incidents of that night. As a woman and as a mother I am shocked, but not surprised, over this obvious incapacity to protect women, no matter where they’re from or what their religion is. This statement reveals the beginning of the end of the constitutional state.
Doesn’t a misconceived tolerance make things worse, because Muslim immigrants will think that the local culture is too weak and too defenseless?
Sabaditsch-Wolff: In his book No Tolerance for the Intolerant, the author Alexander Kissler gave the opinion that tolerance “necessarily requires a stance, a viewpoint”. But what is our, your, my viewpoint? How do we view the archaic and patriarchal values that these immigrants are bringing into our western society? Europe has avoided the answer to this question so far. But we will have to answer it, sooner or later.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is a housewife, a mother, and a board member of Bürgerbewegung Pax
Europa and the Vienna Akademikerbund. For reports on the “hate speech” prosecution against her, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.