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November 16, 2004

Germany Considers Requiring Muslim Sermons to be Given in German

So the Germans can better monitor racist and inciteful diatribes, they say.

But don't forget the key word: Germans.

I don't know. Part of me thinks this may be almost justified. But another part of me thinks it's dangerous for a state to begin dictating the manner in which citizens may worship. And the biggest part of me gets scared whenever Germans start worrying themselves over a minority religion.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing France invaded again. Just for old times' sake.

The implications of the story are serious, but some of the details are actually kinda funny:

ISLAMIC preachers in Germany have been told that they may be ordered to deliver their sermons in German rather than in Arabic in an attempt to halt racist diatribes. The move reflects Berlin’s fears that a spark of ethnic and religious unrest could leap from the Netherlands to Germany, a country with more than three million Muslims.

Support for such a move is growing after a television channel used hidden cameras to film the imam of a Berlin mosque frequented by young Turks. He was heard telling worshippers that “Germans can only expect to rot in the fires of hell because they are non-believers”.

I will say right now that I don't mind that Muslims condemn non-believers to Hell-- so do most religions. And the Germans really oughtn't be that pissy over this, because, well, most of them probably are going to hell anyway.

The Germans, he said, would only support Turkish entry to the European Union if the Turks ripped down the minarets and bulldozed the mosques. Moreover, Germans smelt badly: “These nonbelievers, these Europeans, they do not even shave under their armpits, so that sweat gathers in their hair and makes them stink.”

Anyone want to bet that this is what really incensed the Germans? No one likes be told their race literally stinks. And the Germans are, let's face it, kind of an arrogant people.

The sermon, translated from Arabic and broadcast on German state television, stopped well short of a call to violence. But it was strong and hostile enough to shock ordinary Germans and the political class who argue that European Muslims are being poisoned by the rhetoric they hear in the mosques.

Remember, these are the people who accused America of "overreacting" after 2700 people were immolated on 9-11. But tell them they smell a bit, and they're ready for a nice pogrom.

There are serious reasons to fix a wary eye on militant Muslims. Here's one of them:


Bassam Tibi, Germany’s leading expert on Islamic affairs, advised the Government to find a proper balance between controlling mosques and integrating foreigners. “If we don’t do more to integrate foreigners then Germany will face the civil war-like conditions that are emerging in Holland,” the professor said.

But while they consider taking the rather scary step of imposing restrictions on how a minority may worship -- these are the Germans, mind you -- they're simultaneously appeasing like crazy:


German television last week withdrew the controversial film Submission, which has been blamed for inciting the fatal attack on the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. The decision seems to have come from the Dutch production company rather than the German networks. “We don’t want to pour even more oil on the fire,” Alexandra Keddemann, spokeswoman for the producers, said.


German television chiefs were shocked when they sent their reporters out to question German Muslim responses to the killing of Mr van Gogh.

Young Turks questioned at a Cologne street market immediately supported the attack. “If you insult Islam, you have to pay,” was a typical response.

Young Muslims in Germany support murder in the cause of avenging an insult to their religion. But the Germans only get animated when someone tells them they could afford to shower a little more frequently.

Is this a serious response to real problems? Or has Europe simply become a continent of silly teenagers?

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posted by Ace at 11:38 PM

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