Arzu Toker on Cologne Mosque

aug 07 source WOJ

Toker: If you take a look in the Quran, you will find that there are maybe 30 anti-Christian verses, whereas there are hundreds of anti-Jewish verses. Animosity toward Jews is a central element of the Islamic faith. Then you add to this another factor: Although there are very few Jews in Germany, they are - as a result of the Holocaust - represented in all socially-relevant bodies. The Muslims in Germany, who are far more numerous, feel that they are not adequately represented, so they regard Jews with mistrust and envy ...

What is going on in Cologne is a demonstration of power. The Islamic associations are on the rise. They already have a seat at the negotiating table with the government and now they think they are powerful enough to have a mosque in the middle of town.

Konkret: And why are you against the mosque?

Toker: It is not about the building. It's about politics. I am not against it because I don't like the architecture, but because of what is taught in mosques. Five times a day, one is called to prayer with the words "There is only one Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." The call to prayer is thus necessarily tied to the negation of Christianity. How can that be acceptable? The Muslims could say "No, we don't deny Christianity", but they are completely incapable of critical self-reflection. Besides, nothing positive has ever come out of the mosques: calls for social integration, for instance. On the contrary, what comes out of the mosques is always alienated from the surrounding society. Apart from that, mosques are the domain of men: the men sit up front and the women in the back, banned behind a curtain.

Konkret: What is being said about the mosque project among so-called "German Muslims"?

Toker: The worst part is that this discussion is only taking place among at most some 30,000 people. The rest of the 3.2 million Muslims who live in this country have nothing to do with it. There are thousands of modern Turkish women in Germany who pretend to be Spaniards or Italians and are ashamed to say they are Turkish, because they find the whole discussion embarrassing and do not want to have anything to do with Islam. Many Turkish women try to stay inconspicuous, because the image of the "German Muslim" - thanks in part to [German Interior Minister Wolfgang] Schäuble - is completely and utterly determined by the 30,000 organized Muslims in the Islamic associations. It's absurd: the radical minority dominates the liberal majority.

Konkret: Are Turkish women in Cologne putting up resistance to the construction of the mosque?

Toker: Turkish society has undergone a kind of distorted development that already began with the founding of Turkey. In 1923, the separation of church and state was imposed against the violent resistance of the Islamists. The Islamic rebellion was suppressed, but there was no Enlightenment. Many Turks know what religious festivals they are supposed to observe, but they don't know why. Religiosity gets expressed exclusively in fear: the "fear of God." Islam is very well suited to spreading fear, because the Quran is full of threats.

Konkret: Is that why the resistance against the construction of the mosque is relatively limited?

Toker: Yes. Many people are waiting to see if people like me are able to accomplish something. When I'm walking through town, people often say to me: "Good for you. Keep on doing what you're doing. I would help, except I have children" - as if I didn't have children. They justify their inaction by their fear. So, when I speak out, I'm speaking out not only for myself, but also on behalf of thousands and thousands of people who are afraid to do so.

... their fears are justified. Veiled women are an insult to the surrounding environment: above all, they are an insult to men, since they suppose that men are born sex offenders.

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