Friday, 15 April 2011

Reader's remark that was deleted from Alternet Oct 2010

The term "Islamophobia" suffers from an incurable defect, namely that it confuses discrimination against Muslims with criticism of Islam. Thus it serves only to confuse. I find ethnic discrimination abhorrent and critique of religions delightful.

Pepe Escobar's remarks are deceptive. To cite the mendacious Nazi slogan "Arbeit macht frei" in connection with contemporary Germany's attitude toward Muslims is outrageous. Having lived in both the United States and Germany, I can state with confidence that the German police respect human and civil rights far more meticulously than do the American police. 

"Multiculturalism is dead." Who killed it? Perhaps it was the Multikultur-Haus in Augsburg or Ulm, I forget which. The Multikultur-Haus was a nest of Islamist extremists that was eventually shut down by the authorities because of their pro-terrorist shenanigans.

Escobar writes about "immigrants" in general terms. That is extremely misleading. Conflicts have arisen principally with the immigrants of an Islamic persuasion, not with Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, or Spaniards. The latter nationalities seem to have no objection to marrying native Germans. The Turks, on the contrary, tend to bring their brides from Anatolia. Consequently there is a constant injection of alien culture into Germany that is not conducive to integration of the Turkish minority.

As a matter of fact the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced in February 2008, in Cologne, Germany, that for Turks to integrate into German culture is “an offense against humanity". The Turkish government openly encourages Islamization and segregation from Western culture.

A study published in 2004 by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think tank linked to the Social Democratic Party, concludes that Islamic organizations in Germany are not conducive to social integration, but rather act consistently as jealous guardians of Moslem identity. (Dr. Johannes Kandel, Organisierter Islam in Deutschland und gesellschaftliche Integration.)

90% of Moslems in Germany are ethnic Turks. Naturally I do not deny that Turks have on occasion been exploited and discriminated against in Germany. But to speak of any general aversion toward them is absurd. 

One final remark: under German law, religious organizations used to be unhampered by any duty to register, report their by-laws or name their leaders to the authorities. However, principally as a result of the activity of extremist groups posing as Islamic organizations, the law was changed in 2001. Now religious associations can be dissolved by the authorities if they engage in egregious hanky-panky.  

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