Saturday, December 3

In Germany [as elsewhere] Muslims Grow Apart

-by Peter Schneider, German novelist writing for the N.Y. Times

On the night of Feb. 7, 2005, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin by several shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range. An investigation showed that months before, she had reported one of her brothers to the police for threatening her…Ayhan Surucu, the youngest brother, had confessed to the murder…it is generally the youngest who are chosen by a family council to carry out such murders…

…Before the murder of Surucu, there were enough warnings to engage the Germans in a debate about the parallel society growing in their midst. There have been 49 known "honor crimes," most involving female victims, during the past nine years, including 16 in Berlin alone. Yet it is possible that the murder of Hatun Surucu never would have made the headlines at all but for three Muslim students at a high school near where she was killed in the Tempelhof district. The three openly approved of the murder. Shortly before that, the same students had bullied a fellow pupil because her clothing was "not in keeping with the religious regulations." Volker Steffens, the school's director, decided to make the matter public in a letter to students, parents and teachers.

… the radical religious communities [Muslims in Germany] are gaining ground. …hundreds of rockets were shooting skyward in celebration [of the thousands of Americans killed in September 11, 2001], just as most Berliners were searching for words to express their horror. For many German residents in Neukölln and Kreuzberg, Vogelsang recalls, that was the first time they stopped to wonder who their neighbors really were.

When a broader German public began concerning itself with the parallel Muslim world arising in its midst, it was primarily thanks to three female authors, three rebellious Muslims: Ates, the author of "The Great Journey Into the Fire"; Kelek, who wrote "The Foreign Bride"; and Serap Cileli, who penned "We're Your Daughters, Not Your Honor." Their books report almost unbelievable details that most Germans did not care to know. They describe an everyday life of oppression, isolation, imprisonment and brutal corporal punishment for Muslim women and girls in Germany. For the young Turkish women living in Germany, forced marriages are not uncommon, Ates says. In the wake of these forced marriages often come violence and rape…

Vogelsang points to the Imam Reza Mosque, whose home page, until a recent revision, praised the attacks of Sept. 11, designated women as second-class human beings and referred to gays and lesbians as animals. “And that kind of thing," she says, fuming, "is still defended by the left in the name of religious freedom."

The three Turkish authors are mounting a frontal assault on that kind of relativism. They are fighting on two fronts: against Islamist oppression of women and its proponents, and against the guilt-ridden tolerance of liberal multiculturalists. “Before I can get to the Islamic patriarchs, I first have to work my way through these mountains of German guilt," Ates complains.

It is women who suffer most from German sensitivity toward Islam. The three authors explicitly accuse German do-gooders of having left Muslim women in Germany in the lurch and call on them not to forget the women locked behind the closed windows when they rave about the multicultural districts…

German immigration policies and liberal multiculturalism are only one side of the problem. The other side is the active refusal of many in the Muslim community to integrate. "The attacks in London," Ates says, "were in the eyes of many Muslims a successful slap in the face to the Western community. The next perpetrators will be children of the third and fourth immigrant generation, who, under the eyes of well-meaning politicians, will be brought up from birth to hate Western society."

(Hat tip to Charles Johnson & “Still Rolling” of LittleGreenFootballs)

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