Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Times Online - Germans fear Islamic unrest

Germans fear Islamic unrest

November 17, 2004

Germans fear Islamic unrest
From Roger Boyes in Berlin

ISLAMIC preachers in Germany have been told that they may be ordered to deliver their sermons in German rather than in Arabic in an attempt to halt racist diatribes.

The move reflects Berlin’s fears that a spark of ethnic and religious unrest could leap from the Netherlands to Germany, a country with more than three million Muslims.

Support for such a move is growing after a television channel used hidden cameras to film the imam of a Berlin mosque frequented by young Turks. He was heard telling worshippers that “Germans can only expect to rot in the fires of hell because they are non-believers”.

The Germans, he said, would only support Turkish entry to the European Union if the Turks ripped down the minarets and bulldozed the mosques. Moreover, Germans smelt badly: “These nonbelievers, these Europeans, they do not even shave under their armpits, so that sweat gathers in their hair and makes them stink.”

The sermon, translated from Arabic and broadcast on German state television, stopped well short of a call to violence. But it was strong and hostile enough to shock ordinary Germans and the political class who argue that European Muslims are being poisoned by the rhetoric they hear in the mosques.

Senator Erhart K├Ârting, in charge of internal security for the city of Berlin, threatened yesterday to expel the preacher to Turkey if his statements were confirmed. “I want this case cleared up within days,” he said.

Anetta Schavan, a powerful regional education minister tipped as a future leader of the Christian Democrats, led the political offensive against what the tabloids are describing as “hate preachers”.

“We must now consider legal steps to ensure that German is spoken in mosques and in Koran schools,” she said to wide applause among conservative politicians. The point would be to make it easier for plain-clothed policemen to monitor mosques’ activities.

The German Government is not convinced that it can push through such legislation: it would almost certainly prompt a long and uncomfortable constitutional debate about the freedom of worship. But mosques have been coming under closer scrutiny since the beginning of the year when the police raided a mosque in Gelsenkirchen after Friday prayers and a controversial sermon.

- snip -

German television last week withdrew the controversial film Submission, which has been blamed for inciting the fatal attack on the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. The decision seems to have come from the Dutch production company rather than the German networks. “We don’t want to pour even more oil on the fire,” Alexandra Keddemann, spokeswoman for the producers, said.

Like in Holland, Germany suddenly is going to censor Submission, so the Islamics are going to win this round as well. They'll accomplish their mission or silencing van Gogh both in person and in film by butchering him. They learn again that terrorism works!

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