Europeans are of two minds.
One of those minds is a small one, shared by relatively few people — European commissioners, most members of the European Parliament, the leaders and members of establishment parties in the member states, elite academics, and media apparatchiks.
The second mind is the one shared by ordinary European citizens.
The first mind is of the opinion that Islam belongs in Europe: “Everyone knows that!”
The second mind believes that Islam has never belonged in Europe, does not belong there now, and never will belong there.
The first opinion is well-represented by Frans Timmermans. Mr. Timmermans is currently serving as first vice president of the European Commission, and is in line to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission. That is, if the new “populist” European Parliament doesn’t withhold its support for him; we’ll know after this week’s elections. The European Commission doesn’t answer to the European Parliament, or any other body but itself, but it might be reluctant to seat a new president who had already been given a vote of no confidence by its alleged “parliament”.
Anyway, here’s what Mr. Timmermans had to say about Islam in Europe. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
In contrast, the video below highlights the results of a phone-in poll in Germany. More than 95% of the callers said: “No, Islam does NOT belong in Europe.”
Mind you, this was a self-selected sample — people who watched a certain TV program and decided to call in. But it’s still significant. And I doubt the citizens of France, Britain, Denmark, or Italy are any less “Islamophobic” than the Germans.
Once again, Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
Frans Timmermans is Dutch. Maybe the Dutch are more tolerant and understanding than the Germans. Maybe they, unlike the ignorant and unwashed of the European hinterlands, are aware of Islam’s rich place in European history, which it has held since 600 years prior to the time it was founded.
Video transcript #1:
|00:00||So at the end of this chapter, a yes or no question that you have probably heard at one time or the other.|
|00:06||Perhaps you can give us a clear answer, does Islam belong to Europe?|
|00:12||Since 2,000 years already.
Video transcript #2:
|00:00||Does Islam belong to Germany? We asked you this question over a half an hour ago and you could decide per telephone survey.|
|00:07||“In The Name of The People” is the name of our interactive series this week in celebration of the 70th anniversary of|
|00:11||our German constitution. Today we look at the topic of freedom of religion.|
|00:15||You called in and here are the results:|
|00:19||4.66 % said: YES, Islam belongs to Germany.|
|00:24||Most said “NO” with 95.34 %.|
|00:30||I would just like to add that we had a total of 15,267 viewers call in to vote by telephone.|
|00:38||They decided in the name of the people, and for that reason we will now show you|
|00:42||the report called “No, Islam doesn’t belong to Germany”.|
|00:46||This construction site in Northern Erfurt has created a major debate.|
|00:50||Many might not be aware that this debate is related to Article 4 of our constitution and|
|00:56||the guidelines for religious freedom which are found there.|
|00:59||This will be the first mosque in central Germany that will be recognizable from a distance.|
|01:06||Suleman Malik showed me the construction site. He represents the Islamic Ahmadiyya group who own the building.|
|01:16||Just like a church is important for Christians, and for Jews the synagogue, for Muslims a mosque is a meeting place.|
|01:24||I’m not in favour of a mosque being built there. — Yes, OK. — That’s my opinion.|
|01:28||Whoever lives here should adhere to the constitution.|
|01:32||In this arena of conflicting priorities, this one question is heavily disputed: Does Islam belong to Germany?|
|01:38||This is the question we posed to you, dear viewers.|
|01:42||In the name of the people — The verdict|
|01:50||You have made your choice. The majority of our viewers said NO, Islam does not belong to Germany.|
|01:56||We now have the results. How does that make you feel? How do you take this?|
|02:01||I take it as a challenge to explain to my fellow citizens that Islam has been a part of Germany for hundreds of years, in Prussia.|
|02:10||The Soldier-King William the First made the first contact Muslim soldiers, for example. They exchanged presents.|
|02:16||Even Goethe studied Islam. The best way is to seek a dialogue, reach out to one another and help them understand.|
|02:23||When the five million Muslim that live in Germany belong here, then of course what they identify with, their religion also belongs|
|02:29||to Germany. How do you plan to reduce this rejection? In practical terms? Though communication and working together.|
|02:42||Through talking with each other, and not just talking about each other.