The following essay on the violence, misogyny, and “honor” of Islam in the West was originally published on the German blog Die Achse des Guten. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Islam Sits Sulking in the Corner, Defending Its Honor and Blaming Everyone Else
by Jennifer Nathalie Pyka
April 13, 2016
Recently, on Frank Plasberg, there was speculation on whether Islam has a problem with violence. After 75 minutes, there was a unanimous “jein” (yes/no). Naturally, it is difficult to judge to what extent Islam and its many doppelgängers actually suffer from the violence that surrounds them — or, by way of comparison, do not find it okay. At the same time, it would be comparatively unimportant what ails Islam, so long as it was only a kind of sadomasochistic club among religions. That is, a kind of arrangement whose adherents, by mutual agreement, give each other hell.
Yes, there are a number of other groups that have a real problem with Islam, but unfortunately don’t fit well on a talk show. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, women suffer under Islamic justice, which condemns the victim of rape to death by rope if she makes a complaint against her tormenter. In the Islamic State, an “infidel” or Western journalist holds very poor cards (unless you look like Jürgen Todenhöfer). Islam also makes itself known in Israel now and then, for instance by Palestinian rockets impacting in the front yard. Islam is not yet in evidence in German front yards, but in Berlin-Neukölln or Duisburg Marxloh, you can depend on seeing its friendly face. And in German refugee shelters, everyone becomes intimately acquainted with Islam so soon as he has a Bible.
The much more suspenseful question is not whether Islam has a violence problem, but rather what can be done about it, so that it will not cause any more problems. But before it comes to that, other things must be clarified. For instance, all those things that have nothing to do with Islam. Or the hazards that can arise from not enough Islam. Katrin Göring-Eckardt prefers to defer to them, in fact, with more Islam education. Islam, indeed, suffers not only from a violence problem, but an understanding problem.
What unites the terrorists as well as the hustler immigrants is the fateful inability to understand both the Koran and Islam. Some angry voices even maintain that both of them are not at all Muslims. Alcohol, terrorism and absenteeism from the mosque are deeply un-Islamic. It is only too bad that the appropriate groups are not moved to insight when they are excommunicated for non-Islamic issues by Lamya Kador and other experts.
Of course, it is quite possible that the Brussels perpetrators and the molesters in the cathedral square in Cologne really interpreted the Koran falsely, and never even read it to the end. But Islam is not necessarily what is in the Koran. Islam is what its adherents make of it.
And, all things considered, the result is not so amazing. One part of Islam’s adherents practices cherry-picking. From its teachings, they select what makes life more beautiful and pleasant: that is, oppression of minorities, harassing women, plus murder and manslaughter whenever anyone makes fun of Mohammed. The other part suffers from what the first part does, or is indifferent to it. Islam is apparently too busy for all the arduous things, such as tolerance, brotherly love and debate.
And, in parallel, the suspicion arises that Islam has another problem: one with women. It cannot be by chance that a suicide bomber in paradise does not get a villa with an attractive wife and servants or a whole fleet of Porsches, but — believe it or not — 72 virgins. You have to ask what is going on with men who drape their women in full-body coverings, because otherwise they can’t keep it together. And besides, it cannot be socially healthy when families misplace their raison d’être to a place between their daughters’ legs.
The women in question never do anything against it, above all, because any protest could be life-threatening. The fact that any number of “problem men” turn up is comparatively easy to understand. It could in fact be that many of the problems with Islam in Neukölln , Syria and Israel have in large part to do with the schizophrenic relationship of the sexes. Suppressed sexuality leads to frustration and aggression. More than ever, when the radical and substantially more pleasing counter model can be seen every day on the smart phone or at the front door. And this frustration must be released. So it is good that there are women and minorities to vent it upon.
It is often claimed in the West, that young Muslims are especially frustrated because “we” don’t let them join in. In actual fact, the young Turk may become furious if promotion does not come instantly. But the West offers him a cornucopia of possibilities: from attending school, through volunteer service for the republic, to the casting of “Germany Is Looking for the Superstar” — nowhere he does not have access to them. On the other hand, the absence of free choice of partner and sexual development is difficult to escape. It is fenced off by the ever-present “honor”. The individual means nothing — honor means everything. This lack of alternatives can only be endured, or fled.
It is from this, presumably, that a second problem results, which afflicts contemporary Islam: its chronic inability to take responsibility. Honor and personal responsibility have as much to do with one another as Pierre Vogel and Harald Glööckler. If the only thing that counts is what the community thinks or could think, then individual decisions do not count. And if there is always someone who oppresses — the man the woman, the woman the daughter-in-law — there is no need to think about one’s own advancement. So Western ideals like striving for prosperity are not disappearing from the radar screen — they are not there at all.
Instead, there is the possibility of outsourcing responsibility: to the USA, the Jews, the Shi’ites, the Sunnis and Alawites, to their own dictator, the neighboring dictator, or even the woman wearing a miniskirt. The earth still turns on its axis, poverty is still being fought, the West is still prospering, Israel is still mutating to a second Silicon Valley — and meanwhile, Islam sits sulking in the corner, defends its honor and blames others for its fate.
And that is why no one contests the claim that Islam belongs to Germany. Nowhere else is responsibility so quickly abdicated as at the entrance to the local job center. From there it disappears — never to be seen again — in the underworld of bureaucracy, and is replaced by a friendly social worker who is up-to-date on Islamophobia and discrimination. And everyone profits from that: the social worker, the family honor and Katrin Göring-Eckardt.
And all the rest have to await the day when Islam finally integrates Tinder and ElitePartner.
|1.||Founder and moderator of talk show hart aber fair (Tough but Fair).|
|2.||Jürgen Todenhöfer — Journalist and original advocate of US support of Afghani guerrillas against the Soviet occupation; foe of US actions there after 2001; much-traveled in Iraq, and areas of the Arab Spring.|
|3.||Prominent member of 90/The Greens, cheerleader for “Islam belongs in Germany” attitude.|
|4.||Syrian German-Muslim religious educator, Islam scholar and author and head of the Liberal Islamic Federation.|
|5.||Vogel is an infamous Muslim hate-preacher of jihad; Glööckler is a well-known fashion designer.|
|6.||For old folks like me who have to look them up, these are dating sites.