Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Warning to Germany From a Turkish-German Muslim

Hat tip Erlanger Nachrichten

„Es war und ist immer noch der Fehler der deutschen Politik, nur mit diesen konservativen Verbänden zu arbeiten und ihnen eine Macht zu verleihen, die sie dazu bringt, andere Meinungen zu unterdrücken.“

"It was and still is the mistake of German policy  to work only with these conservative organizations and to bestow upon them a power that it brings to oppress other opinions."
- Lale Akgün

I came across an interesting article this morning while reading the Erlanger Nachrichten online. The EN is the city paper of Erlangen, the town in which I was stationed with the US Army in the 1960s and the subject of a book I wrote on the town's history (Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town).

Lale Akgün is a former Reichstag deputy (SPD), author, and a Muslim who was brought to Germany by her family at the age of nine. She will be speaking Friday in Erlangen. She has an important message for her government leaders: Use caution in dealing with mosques that are too conservative to the point where they do not recognize equality-especially towards women. The below article is based on an interview she gave the EN and is in German.

 Akgün warns that by working with such conservative mosques and Islamic organizations, the Germans would only be empowering forces that would deny equality that is required under German law.

"Es sei sehr kontraproduktiv, wenn man hierzulande unter dem „Deckmäntelchen Respekt vor anderen Kulturen patriarchale Vorstellungen akzeptieren würde.“

Auch Lale Akgün selbst wird in diesem Punkt deutlich: „Das ist keine andere Kultur. Das ist eine Unkultur, wenn man die Frauen unterdrückt.“ 

"It would be counter-productive if one would accept patriarchal ideas under the cover of respect for other cultures.

  Akgün is also clear on this point: "That is not another culture. It is an unculture when one oppresses women."

How nice it would be if the German government listens to  Lale Akgün's  words. How nice it would be if our own government would listen to her words.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

But by your criteria Gary, she is "no true Muslim," because she practices Islam differently than that Danish Islam whom you told us is teaching "real Islam." You can't have it both ways.

However, her advice is sound. The German government seems to be making the mistake of assuming that "real Islam" is what Gary says it is.

Gary Fouse said...


You are excluding a third category of Muslims , albeit small. Those are the Muslim reformers, people like Zuhdi Jasser. I think Irshad manji of Canada fits into that category.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Third category? I'm sure there are dozens of categories. I mean, we already know there are Sunni, Shia, Ahmaddiya, the minor sect headed by the Agha Khan, there are several varieties of Salafist, some armed, some not, and neither of us is an expert on Islam, so I'd bet there are many more.

Gary Fouse said...

The reformers can come from any of the sects. The Sufis and the Ahmadis are the most hopeful.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Indeed they are.