July 23, 2010

It's Islam, Stupid!

Not even three months ago we reported that Aygül Özkan (38), the designated Minister for Social Affairs in the German state of Lower Saxony, had caused some controversy when she called for a ban the crucifix in state schools before she was even sworn in. Özkan is now Germany's first Muslim minister on government level and has taken over the "integration" portfolio from the Ministry of the Interior, to which it used to belong.

Lawyer-by-training and German by naturalisation Özkan also sees German courts as an "alien authority" and would like to see more Turks in that office.

Now Özkan is about to introduce a "Media Charter" for Lower Saxony. During a collective act on August 16 in Hannover, the invited media representatives are supposed to sign this so-called "Media Charter Integration". The written invitation says that the collective declaration of intent is supposed to generate a publicity effect and all undersigned will have to pledge themselves to "strongly support the integration process in Lower Saxony".

Özkan's ministry asks the media to declare in writing to increase reporting about circumstances and challenges connected to integration, to use "culturally sensitive" language doing so, to further "intercultural openness (which is, of course, humbug, because the term "intercultural" does not imply a one-way-street and don't we all know the "intercultural openness" of Muslims towards the West), to improve their "intercultural competence" (ditto), to initiate relevant projects and to cover them as journalists.

The NWZ goes on:
It is so far unique in Germany for the government of a federal state to pledge the media to a collective content and even the language used for that.
How very daring! But while Özkan had gotten a lot of backslapping by the media for her attempt at removing the crucifix from the public eye (who wants religion anyway, at least as long as it's Christian), by getting at the media itself, she went too far and didn't come by the usual fawning reception to which she must be used by now.

Here we have a woman, young, "modern", seemingly perfectly assimilated, educated to university level, the lot, yet the first thing she sets her mind on in her high office, even before she is sworn in, is the banning of the Christian symbol from schools and, not even three months later, the abolition of the freedom of the press in favour of her fellow Muslims. Because in spite of all the "integration" and "people with a migration background" hogwash it's just about one thing: Islam. Just as for this woman, young, "modern", seemingly perfectly assimilated, educated to university level, everything is about that. Always. Islam is like that.


Alligator said...

Is it just me, or is it a fair perception to say that people on the left have a suicidal complex when it comes to Muslims? And I don't necessarily mean literal death, I mean purposefully killing off their cultural heritage, system of laws, and status as a democratic nation to favor and appease Muslim immigrants. Maybe these left-leaning politicians and media elites and entertainment celebrities are secretly bowing to Mecca five times a day and we just don't know it.

The_Editrix said...

I don't know what makes Americans tick, but Germans certainly have an affinity to totalitarian ideologies and if such an ideology promises to get rid of the Jews as well it's double welcome.

Anonymous said...

On the same day as you published this (Sunday 25 July) I saw a long (half-hour) BBC interview with Eileen Gittins, the founder of the print-to-order company Blurb. (Print-to-order companies are internet-based businesses that allow anyone to publish a book and make as many or as few copies as they can sell or pay for. The best-known is Lulu.) The interviewer was Zeinab Bedawi, a Muslim of the same kind as Aygül Özkan, dressed in subdued chic, gracefully made up and coiffured, and with not the shadow of a veil in sight. From the beginning, Ms.Bedawi was visibly hostile, and her questioning was clearly aimed at showing, either that there was something unethical – as in the case of old-fashioned vanity publishers – about print-to-order, or that it would lower the level of communication. For the first ten minutes or so of the interview, I felt that this was the caste arrogance of the professional journo coming out – we cannot allow all that blogger rabble to pollute the sanctuary of mass communication with their muddy boots and vile manners. But then, at first from behind a tangle of words and claims, and then more and more clearly, another agenda showed itself. Suppose someone published something that was offensive. Well, answered Ms.Gittins, we have mechanisms in place – we don’t vet everything ourselves, but we encourage the public to make complaints. Ah, said Ms.Bedawi, but what about things offensive to particular groups? Like, say, the Danish cartoons? She started really hammering at this point, which is when I switched the TV off – though I must say that Ms.Gittins was being admirably stout and refusing to privilege a group’s claims over freedom of expression.
(to be continued...)

Anonymous said...

(continued from above)

This made me think. It seems evident to me that what Ms.Bedawi instinctively opposed was the thought of thousands, maybe millions of people, each publishing freely - what is already happening with the internet, but in the more permanent and respected medium of paper. Where the surface of caste prejudice and the inner reality of religious threat meet, was in hating the idea of mass action - mob action - in the print media. Now Muslims, especially Sunni Muslims, certainly do not dislike mob action as such: it is their main way to be felt - yelling crowds of bearded youths pouring from mosques on hot Friday afternoons. On the other hand, the appeal clearly made by Bedawi to non-Muslims in general is clearly coded in a language of snobbery, intended to reach the elites and those who regard themselves as elite. It says: "Don't allow this banausic mob of Sunday scribblers to take control of the media from you - you who are educated, professional and enlightened. See what risks you run when you allow Uncle Tom Cobbley and all to say what they think about things they know nothing of - such as Islam?" In other words, there is an inherent attempt to co-opt the non-Muslim societal leaderships into the job of Muslim repression, by flattering their intellectual and social presumptions. You can hear it in the constant but never justified claim that anyone who criticizes or opposes Islam does so because he is ignorant: this is frequently repeated by establishment supporters of Islam - and you can see that the assumption involved helps them accept the claim, by flattering their own self-image. Hey, you don't understand Islam - because we do! Who else but us, the educated, the enlightened? So a religion that lives on the unleashing of its own mobs - and in which sometimes the mobs even devour some of the elites, and always threaten them - also advances by flattering the natural snobbish and repressive instincts of the elites of opposite groups; and not just by threatening them. That is not necessary when you can just arouse their own contempt - laced by unspoken fear - for the mobs in their own world. Of course, fears remaining a useful unadmitted motivation, but there is no need to ever mention it: to the contrary, you may act for all the world like the most quivering of cowed dhimmis and still see in the mirror the face of a paragon, a hero of enlightened vision and principle.

F.P.Barbieri said...

BLOODY blogger will not let me post the follow-up to this, which is not without importance. I will try to place it on your next post, to which it is also relevant.

The_Editrix said...

Fabio, I have lost track of your comments. I know Bl**dy Blogger gives you error messages when the comment was, in fact, posted. Are all comments you wanted to post online now, here and at the other entry? Let me know.

F.P.Barbieri said...

They are. The payoff is in the second part - how Muslim repression co-opts those who feel themselves to be elite.