Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Stop Apologizing to the Muslims Already - II
Earlier today I posted a few comments under the title Stop Apologizing to the Muslims Already. Said title to post has the appearance of prescience, after reading these words, this evening, from a Spiegel Online International interview with Bassam Tibi who is a political scientist in Germany.
SPIEGEL: When something insults Muslims, we often tend to just back off—doesn’t this help defuse the conflict?
Tibi: No. That is simply giving up. And the weaker the partner is viewed by the Muslims, then the greater the anger which they express. And this anger is often carefully staged. The argument over the cartoons for example was completely orchestrated. Nothing was spontaneous. A lot of people don’t know if Denmark is a country or a cheese. Where did they get the Danish flags? Protests like these are weapons in this war of ideas. Or take another example: The president of the Iranian parliament was visiting Belgium where he had an appointment with a female Belgian colleague. He refused to shake her hand, so she didn’t meet with him. He left Belgium and accused her of racism. The accusation of cultural insensitivity is a weapon. And we have to neutralize it.
The following portion of the interview, which immediately follows the portion quoted above, can also be read with interest.
SPIEGEL: Can the Islam conference which the German minister of domestic affairs, Wolfgang Schäuble, organized in Berlin last week, help in this regard?
Tibi: No, because the biggest taboo is that there even is a conflict at all. Everyone denies that. Instead people talk about misunderstandings and how these should be resolved. But a conflict of values is not a misunderstanding. Islamic orthodoxy and the German constitution are not compatible. And that is why the Islam conference failed.
SPIEGEL: So what’s the answer then?
Tibi: Muslims have to give up three things if they want to become Europeans: They have to bid farewell to the idea of converting others, and renounce the Jihad. The Jihad is not just a way of testing yourself but also means using violence to spread Islam. The third thing they need to give up is the Shariah, which is the Islamic legal system. This is incompatible with the German constitution…
Though Tibi is speaking in regards to Islam in Germany, the words ring true for all of Europe, and should be paid close attention to everywhere.
The entire interview can be read here.