April 27, 2010

The Fascism of Enlightenment

Stealth Muslim Stefan Weidner is considered one of the most important mediators of Arab culture in Germany, which is, in a way, true. To summarise: The problem Germans have with Islam is that they are not able to appreciate the beauty of the koranic language and the problems they may have with Muslims are due to the fact that only few Germans are Arabic speakers. On the other hand, many Muslims are bilingual (which he ascribes to the legacy of European colonialism, considering the vast influence widespread German colonialism had in the Arab world) which gave them a knack for, and appreciation of, Western culture, which is felt by all of us recipients of Muslim cultural awareness.

Tomorrow, Weidner is scheduled to hold a lecture in the Berlin "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" about rage. Yes, rage.
With his lecture, Stefan Weidner makes a contribution to the programme “On Rage”. He will give his audience to understand his associations with rage and where he locates it within our society.

One important thought that Weidner has in mind for his lecture is the fact that Central Europe has not been spared the existential uncertainty caused by the global financial crisis of 2008. Yet a revolt against democracy does not seem to be an option; the forces of globalization are too difficult to grasp concretely.

Rage, fear and frustration are the face of discontent, and Islam proves to be the perfect screen on which to project this primary emotion. Even during the greatest crisis in its history, Islam has always been an easy target. Between home grown fundamentalism and Western Islamophobia, Muslims and their historically rooted culture have turned into a caricature image for extremists on both sides of the divide. What rhetorical patterns express this image of Islam engendered by diffuse rage? Why is the anti-Islamic movement gaining adherents, especially among older, educated and affluent individuals least affected by the prevailing economic uncertainty? Is Europe in danger of creating an anti-Islamic fascism of the Enlightenment?
When Weidner will then be brought to face the Un-Enlightened Activities Committee, he will finally become apart at the seams and profess that he used to be always against Islam and that all he wanted was, after all, a bit of enlightened tolerance. What remains is the question who will become the Enlightened Leader. Applications (in writing) can still be submitted. Arabic speakers need not apply.


Universal Realist said...

The Editrix said,
"the fact that only few Germans are Arabic speakers. On the other hand, many Muslims are bilingual"

Imagine Germans in Germany not knowing Arabic, how insensitive. That’s ok in America apparently we’re supposed to know every known language in the modern world as well as Sanskrit. Of course the Brits would appreciate it if we would speak English.

But seriously, is he saying the anger towards Muslims in Germany is because of the global financial crisis?

beakerkin said...


Correct me if I am wrong but aren't
the majority of Muslim immigrants in Germany from Turkey. If this is the case many of them would not speak Arabic either beyond that encountered
in prayer.

Immigration works in clusters. In the UK the large cluster is from Pakistan. In the USA our spots are Yemen, Pakistan and Nigeria.

There is a community of Yezidi in Germany. There are also large contingents of Kurds and Alevis. These are groups not widely seen in the USA. Kurds are present in small numbers.

The_Editrix said...

UR asks: "But seriously, is he saying the anger towards Muslims in Germany is because of the global financial crisis?"

In a word: Yes.

Beak, as far as I know is the Koran read in Arab and in Arab only, whatever the language of the congregation.

There are only 60,000 Yezidi in Germany. Frankly, I have just learned about their existence. As far as I can see, they are not Muslims at all.

There are 800,000 Alevis in Germany. They are always strategically placed as the token "good Muslims" for whom we so much crave. However, the Turkish-German sociologist Dr. Necla Kelek has debunked that myth.

All studies, be they performed in Germany or in Turkey, show that in Islamic-patriarchal societies, and that includes the Alevi, sexual violence is a matter of everyday life.

In fact, specifically the Alevite communities are known for violence and sexual abuse. Kelek quotes the psychotherapist Halis Cicek, Alevi himself, who knows of upsetting and harrowing accounts.

Here and here are two (German) sources where Kelek discusses Alevis, here is some information about Kelek herself in English.

Muslim immigration in large numbers (more than 3% of the population), whatever the exact denomination, will prove to be lethal for the host society.

The point of my entry was that those who cowardly submit to Islam will find no excuse for it too far-fetched, stupid, base or ignoble.

beakerkin said...

60,000 Yezidi is much more than I thought.

The Alevis are the Anatolian version
of a fused pre-Islamic religion. The Arabic version is known as Alawites
aka the 11% who run Syria.

Is information about the German Yezidi community available.

According to an expert I met in Armenian history the Yezidi protected many Armenians from genocide. The legend apparently does have a basis in fact, but I can not find a source.

The_Editrix said...

Yes, there is information available. But only in their Kurdish languange and in German (There is an "English" button, but klicking it won't lead you anywhere.) This will lead you to the FAQ-page in German:

Maybe one of those online translation tools will help.

I am generally mistrustful when it comes to the peaceful and tolerant qualities of small religious minorities. That only too often changes when they cease to be a SMALL minority. But I will give the Yezidis the benefit of the doubt.