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.