August 29, 2007

Jumping through The Hoop

Every language contains the words it needs. The German word gemütlich has only a very inadequate translation in cosy, as has Schadenfreude in spitefulness. I always think that is because Schadenfreude (i.e. gloating at other people's bad luck) isn't one of the main states of mind of the Anglo Saxons and because they have a different understanding of what is considered gemütlich. The term Gemüt, from which gemütlich is derived, is well nigh untranslatable because English speakers don't deal in soppiness, the simple term Körung needs at least a major historical essay about the role of governmental control in every aspect of German life to become understandable, and the German word Waldsterben has found its way into the English language presumably because English speakers don't seem to worry enough about it to coin their own term.

Last week, an interesting article by the author and Islam-critic Hans-Peter Raddatz was published in the Frankfurter Neue Presse. The headline "Zwischen Dialog und Dressur" alone is a manifesto and – virtually non-translatable. How can Dressur be translated? Between Dialogue and Dressage? Hardly, because this is not about horses and riding. Between Dialogue and Training then? Even less, because the English word training is not burdened with a negative overtone, whereas Dressur (in any other than a horsey context) is. Here we are talking about the kind of training to which – say – a dancing bear is subjected or a lion until he finally jumps through a hoop. I have chosen to translate "Dressurelite" as "hoop jumping elite". I could have as well termed it "dancing bear elite". Should somebody know the correct English term I would be grateful to receive it.
When it comes to the "dialogue with Islam", apart from the headscarf there is hardly any other topic that causes the same sort of stir like the building of mosques, which are supposed to turn Germany and Europe into a "Land of Peace". Not without force, a pressure group of "advisers", "agents" and other "experts" are propagating in the name of their organisations – party, foundation, university, church, media – the message of Islamic "tolerance", which is entitled to demand "respect" from the West.

This is ensured by the Islamic side as well, who has not just oil and money as convincing arguments. As the Turkish Ditib [Turkish-Islamic Union in Germany] told the Chancellor lately, it are the Islamic representatives on whom the security of the Federal Republic is depending. No wonder that the German pro-Islam pressure group performs successfully as one of those "hoop jumping elites" who are acting in the interest of the opposite side… [This] means, in effect, that the "dialogue" demanded and sponsored in this country is not a tool for discussion, but for education of the masses.

Therefore it becomes obvious why a super-organisation emerged, who are fending off any resistance against the call to jump through the hoop as "Islamophobia". This strategy, which ought to be rather called "demophobia" because it reduces "the people" to a racist bar room politicking mob, has, without doubt, its rewards. When it comes to the building of prayer rooms, the "silent minority" has, since 1970, jumped almost 3000 times through the ever-alike hoop called "tolerance" and "freedom of religion" in Germany alone.
The "hoop jumping elites" can be quite laid back about the fevered discussions, present and past, covering outsized mosques in Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt. All they need to know is that the nose ring "right wing extremism" works a treat when it comes to the effectiveness of their control language and the disciplinary action against the public.

Within this context, a treadmill as peculiar as efficient becomes obvious, a hamster wheel of intercultural trophy hunting, in which the "advisers" are battling for the favour-laurels Islam is awarding.
Even people critical of Islam and the mantra of multiculture seem to have grown weary of the ubiquitous anticipating obedience which has become the standard attitude towards minorities and their members, I certainly have, but the example Raddatz cites at the end of his article is rather frightening and should jolt even the most jaded bystander out of his lassitude. The laurel for a hoop-jumping effort of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey The Greatest Show on Earth dimensions goes to the public prosecutor's office in Hamburg.
Following [the statement of the public prosecutor's office in Hamburg], a Muslim perpetrator "does not reject the national legal system because he is lacking a law-abiding disposition", but "because he feels the higher call of the faith, which he has to follow." This will have to lead to a "retreat of the penal law" should the conflict between the obligation to abide the law and a religious commandment result in an "emotional hardship compared to which the punishment for a criminal act will turn into a societal reaction, which is effusive and thus violating his human dignity."
And nobody laughed.

In plain terms: A call for abiding the law can potentially violate a Muslim's human dignity and any Muslim who appeals to his faith has carte blanche to commit any crime within the jurisdiction of this public prosecutor – the logic of a dancing bear.

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