Last month, a Cologne court ruled that male infants should not be circumcised until they could give their full consent. The ruling came in the wake of a Muslim boy who suffered bleeding and pain after the operation, Reuters reports. The court decided that such a practice imposes bodily harm on an unconsenting body.
Many religious leaders have viewed this issue with a slightly different take. The Conference of European Rabbis plans to meet this Tuesday to talk about the decision and discuss ways to stop the ban. Reuters quotes Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi in Moscow, “We see this decision by a German court in the context of a new European intolerance towards other religions,” likening the decision to the head scarf ban in France.
The Israeli parliament also spoke out against the new ruling. Chairman Danny Danon made connections with the new ruling and the Holocaust. He is quoted via CBS News as saying, “Circumcision is one of the pillars of Judaism, and the last time it was restricted was in Germany during its darkest hour.”
Many leaders have accused European officials in support of the ban on circumcision as an outright refusal and banning of Judaism. Jewish leaders are not the only ones who feel that their religious rights are getting trampled on with this decision. Many Catholic and Muslim leaders also contend that the ruling is an attempt at stripping people and communities of their religious freedom.
Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan rebuts this viewpoint, stating in his usual up-front manner:
What’s at issue here is pretty simple. It’s about physical assault with permanent injury to a person without his consent. Now, as I’ve said many times, my own expansive view of religious freedom would allow legal circumcision for religious reasons. I do not agree with the Cologne court’s ruling. But that does not make physical assaults on infant children any less barbaric and cruel and wrong.
It may be possible the court will look into amending the ruling to accommodate the concerns of religious communities in the coming weeks.
It is interesting to note that the beginning of the article states: "a Cologne court ruled that male infants should not be circumcised until they could give their full consent. The ruling came in the wake of a Muslim boy who suffered bleeding and pain after the operation, Reuters reports.”
An infant cannot give consent, therefore it is no longer a child. Also, it is over an Islamic circumcision case. In Islam there is no set date for the practice of Khitān (Muslim circumcision), unlike Jews who circumcise only male babies at exactly 8 days old as is Biblically mandated. Most Muslim circumcise their sons around the age of 9 or 10. Also in contrast to the Biblical circumcision, the Qur’an does not specifically mention circumcision at all.This new law is a direct infringement on Jewish and Christian rights, while allowing Europe’s Muslim populace off the hook.
Patty Hearst suffered from Stockholm Syndrome but can organizations suffer from it as well?
Here is a description of what Stockholm Syndrome is:
People suffering from Stockholm syndrome come to identify with and even care for their captors in a desperate, usually unconscious act of self-preservation. It occurs in the most psychologically traumatic situations, often hostage situations or kidnappings, and its effects usually do not end when the crisis ends. In the most classic cases, victims continue to defend and care about their captors even after they escape captivity. Symptoms of Stockholm syndrome have also been identified in the slave/master relationship, in battered-spouse cases and in members of destructive cults.
Enter Amnesty International, a “Human Rights” group that has decided to fight for Europe’s hostage taker – Islam.
European countries are discriminating against Muslims for demonstrating their faith, especially in the fields of education and employment, according to rights group Amnesty International.
In a report focusing on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, Amnesty urged European governments to do more to challenge negative stereotypes and prejudices against Islam.
The report was particularly critical of countries that have brought in outright bans on face-covering veils or on the wearing of religious symbols in schools.
“Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.
“Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf.
No word yet on when Amnesty International is going to fight for Islam’s Christian and Jewish victims.
If you’ve ever wanted to see liberal media bias on display, look no further.
Check out the very first paragraph from a France 24 news article about “Counter-Jihadists” rallying in response to the Toulouse, France murders:
An al-Qaeda-inspired gunman kills paratroopers and Jewish children in southern France. A far-right fanatic enraged by Muslim immigration guns down dozens of youths at a summer camp in Norway.
So why wasn’t the French gunman a “fanatic enraged” by the existence of, say, infidels?
Let’s move on:
The attacks in France and Norway represent the most horrific extremes of two trends of intolerance troubling Europe: Strengthening far-right sentiment that has sometimes bled into the mainstream, and growing Islamic radicalisation in Europe’s disadvantaged, immigrant-heavy neighbourhoods.
Did you catch that? Far-right frustrations bleed into the mainstream for apparently no reason at all. Yet, the reason for Islamic radicalization is poverty. France 24 has no sense of perspective here.
How about something like, “French citizens fed up with the refusal of Muslim immigrants to assimilate into French society are growing increasingly concerned about increased violence as a result of hatred of non-Muslims.”
While Islamophobia is dismissed as an irrational response to restiveness resulting from exclusion and poverty, these Islamic communities have shown absolutely no interest in French culture; they despise it.
Would you hire someone who spits on YOUR welcome mat before a job interview?
Back to France 24′s article:
With Europe still stunned by last week’s killings in Toulouse, France, a loosely knit group of xenophobic “defence leagues” plans to rally in Denmark on Saturday against what they call the growing Islamic presence in western Europe.
Whoa! Wait a minute. Xenophobic? How come these angry Muslim “yutes” aren’t “Infidel-phobic” or “Euro-phobic” when that’s what the evidence points to? This excerpt is particularly interesting:
Danish intelligence services expect up to 700 of these strident, anti-Muslim “counter-Jihadists”. A counter-demonstration is anticipated to draw several thousand people. Police vow to keep the two groups apart. But the clashing views on display show Europe’s heightened polarization.
“These terrorist events are creating sparks, and a small spark can set off a huge fire,” said Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies in Sweden. “It can set off huge social polarisation, and this is what the terrorists want to achieve. Now there is an increased rightwing climate – the counter-jihad movement – feeding off these Islamophobic forces.”
Feeding off Islamophobic forces? Who are those Islamophobic forces? Can we get names? How about a quote from someone representing the Islamophobes?
Back to France 24:
Tensions over immigration from northern Africa and other countries with large Islamic populations have fuelled the rise of far-right movements across Europe. In France, the ultranationalist National Front is expected to make gains in upcoming presidential and legislative elections.
Perhaps they could have saved some words by simply writing, “Geert Wilders appears to have been correct.”
The ultimate irony here is that the writer of the France 24 article is the one with Islamophobia. Otherwise, the piece wouldn’t have been so biased in favor of the Muslim community. Fear (phobia) can make one do bizarre things.
Try to read it all without scoffing:
Perhaps this can be filed under creepingshariacolonization. Turks in Germany, apparently unsatisfied with intimidating German citizens into staying out of areas they’ve declared as their own, have taken matters a step further.
Turks colonising the German city of Mannheim have decided to rename a part of the city where they have come to predominate. Turkish associations and others recently met in the town hall to discuss the new name.
Peter Kurz, the burgomeister, proposed the name “Little Istanbul”. Other suggestions included “Beyoglu” and “Kücük Istanbul”. The plan is to narrow the list of proposed names down to three then put the matter to the vote in a referendum.
While Germany has historically done a good job of snuffing out Holocaust denial, its leaders seem content enough to deny that Hitler’s ideological allies are incrementally claiming Germany as their own.
If you’re wondering what that taste in your mouth is right now, it’s probably irony.
This is an interesting piece of news for those Christians who continue to assert that the anti-Christ (anti-Messiah) will be European. As we have been predicting for years now, Turkey is where westerners should be focusing such attention. Now, a book from a Turkish author is beginning to raise eyebrows.
A second-generation Muslim immigrant in Austria has authored a provocative new book in which he argues that Europe’s future is Turkish, whether Europeans like it or not.
The book’s short, sharp and confrontational title says it all: “We are Coming.”
The thesis is: “Regardless of whether or not you [Europeans] like us [Turks], whether or not you integrate us, whether or not you want us in the European Union, our influence in Europe is growing. We are more numerous. We are younger. We are more ambitious. Our economy is growing faster. We are stronger.”
The author, a 25-year-old Austrian-Turk named Inan Türkmen, says his objective in writing the book is to change the terms of the debate about Muslim immigration in Europe.
Türkmen — who was born in Austria to Kurdish migrants and speaks fluent German — says he is sick and tired of the way Turkish immigrants are being portrayed in the European media. He believes the time has come for Turks to fight back.
Taking a page from the playbook of the American Tea Party movement, Türkmen says he wants to establish an “angry citizen movement” (Wutbürgerbewegung) in Europe. His Turkish Tea Party would unite Turkish immigrants in Austria, Germany and other European countries to protest against European “arrogance.”
Note that Türkmen is not calling for a partnership with Europe; his tone is more in line with a desire to see Europe subjugated to Turkey.
With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood via the “Arab Spring,” look for Turkey to continue to become even bolder. Remember, the Brotherhood was created for the sole purpose of restoring the Ottoman Empire in what is today Turkey.
Read it all:
by Soeren Kern
An immigrant group based in Bern has called for the emblematic white cross to be removed from the Swiss national flag because as a Christian symbol it “no longer corresponds to today’s multicultural Switzerland.”
Ivica Petrusic, the vice president of Second@s Plus, a lobbying group that represents mostly Muslim second-generation foreigners in Switzerland (who colloquially are known as secondos) says the group will launch a nationwide campaign in October to ask Swiss citizens to consider adopting a flag that is less offensive to Muslim immigrants.
In a September 18 interview with the Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung, Petrusic said the cross has a Christian background and while the Christian roots of Switzerland should be respected, “it is necessary to separate church and state” because “Switzerland today has a great religious and cultural diversity. One has to ask if the State wants to continue building up a symbol in which many people no longer believe.”
In the interview, Petrusic said Switzerland needs new symbols with which everyone, including non-Christians, can identify. As an alternative to the current Swiss flag (see image here), Petrusic proposed the former flag of the Helvetic Republic (see image here) which was officially introduced in 1799 and consisted of green, red and yellow colors. “Those colors are similar to the current flags of Bolivia and Ghana and would represent a more progressive and open-minded Switzerland,” Petrusic said.
The proposal to change the Swiss flag has been met with outrage across the political spectrum and is sure to fuel anti-immigrant sentiments in Switzerland.
Sylvia Flückiger a councillor with the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP) said the demands are: “Totally unacceptable. With our Swiss flag there is nothing to change. The next thing you know, they will demand even more, that we change our constitution.”
Marianne Binder, spokeswoman for the center-right Christian Democrats (CVP) said: “This is just what was missing, that we need to change our flag. The Swiss flag is part of Swiss identity, precisely because it is inviting for all to want to be involved…even the immigrants.”
Stefan Brupbacher, general secretary of the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) said: “This is utter nonsense. The Swiss cross is an extremely successful and valuable global brand. It is a symbol of success and quality. We will tightly hold on to it, out of love for Switzerland.”
The issue of Muslim immigration to Switzerland has been a hotly debated topic in recent years and the flag controversy is sure to add fuel to the fire.
The Muslim population in Switzerland has more than quintupled since 1980, and now numbers about 400,000, or roughly 5% of the population. Most Muslims living in Switzerland are of Turkish or Balkan origin, with a smaller minority from the Arab world. Many of them are second- and third-generation immigrants who are now firmly establishing themselves in Switzerland.
The new Muslim demographic reality is raising tensions across large parts of Swiss society, especially as Muslims become more assertive in their demands for greater recognition of their Islamic faith.
The ensuing controversies are fuelling a debate over the role of Islam in Swiss society and how to reconcile Western values with a growing immigrant population determined to avoid assimilation.
Swiss courts have been jam-packed with Islam-related cases in recent years. In one case, Muslim parents won a lawsuit demanding that they be allowed to dress their children in full-body bathing suits, dubbed “burkinis,” during co-ed swimming lessons. In another case, a group of Swiss supermarkets created a stir by banning Muslim employees from wearing headscarves.
In August 2009, the Swiss basketball association told a Muslim player she could not wear a headscarf during league games. In August 2010, five Muslim families in Basel were fined 350 Swiss Francs ($420) each for refusing to send their daughters to mixed-sex swimming lessons.
In September 2010, the secretary of the Muslim Community of Basel was acquitted of publicly inciting crime and violence. The charges were pressed after the 33-year-old made comments in a Swiss television documentary saying that Islamic Sharia law should be introduced in Switzerland and that unruly wives should be beaten. The judge said the defendant was protected by freedom of expression.
In November 2010, Swiss voters approved tough new regulations on the deportation of non-Swiss immigrants convicted of serious crimes. The measure calls for the automatic expulsion of non-Swiss offenders convicted of crimes ranging from murder to breaking and entry and social security fraud.
Also in November, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the approval or extension of residency permits should be closely linked to the efforts immigrants make to integrate themselves. “Compulsory schooling must be respected. Children should attend all courses and exceptions made on religious or other grounds, for example in swimming classes, should no longer be possible,” Sommaruga said.
In December 2010, the Federal Commission on Women’s Issues called for Islamic burqas and niqabs to be banned in government offices and in public schools. The government-appointed committee said the move would prevent gender discrimination.
In January 2011, a 66-year-old Turkish woman living in Bern was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for encouraging the father and brothers of her daughter-in-law to carry out an “honor” crime against her for her “risqué lifestyle.”
In May 2011, voters in canton Ticino, in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region, collected enough signatures to be able to launch a referendum that would ban burqas, niqabs and other Islamic head dresses. If the referendum goes ahead, it will be the first time in Switzerland that citizens have been asked to express an opinion on burqas.
Also in May, Swiss Defence Minister Ueli Maurer said increasing numbers of Swiss Muslims are training in Islamic militant camps in countries like Somalia and Yemen. In an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, Maurer also said that under current Swiss laws it is difficult to prevent Islamists from raising funds.
Meanwhile, an administrative court in Bern is expected to rule on the fate of a minaret in the town of Langenthal. Minarets are the tower-like structures on mosques from which Muslims are often called to prayer.
Muslims in Langenthal, a town with a population of about 15,000, had been given permission to build a minaret five months before a constitutional ban on minarets took effect in November 2009, but opponents of the project say the earlier approval is now null and void. The case is still working its way through the Swiss legal system.
In November 2009 Switzerland held a referendum in which citizens approved an initiative to ban the construction of minarets. The initiative was approved 57.5% to 42.5% by some 2.67 million voters. Only four of Switzerland’s 26 cantons or states opposed the initiative, thereby granting the double approval that now makes the minaret ban part of the Swiss constitution.
In July 2011, the European Court of Human Rights rejected two cases brought by Muslims against Switzerland’s constitutional ban on building minarets.
A seven-judge panel at the Strasbourg-based court said that it would not consider the cases as the plaintiffs failed to show how the ban harmed their human rights and they therefore “cannot claim to be ‘victims’ of a violation" of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court enforces.
The minaret ban represented a turning point in the debate about Islam in Switzerland.
The initiative was sponsored by the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which says the minarets symbolize the growing self-confidence and intolerance of Switzerland’s Muslim community.
The SVP has described the minaret is a “symbol of a religious-political claim to power and dominance which threatens — in the name of alleged freedom of religion — the constitutional rights of others.”
The SVP has backed its claim by citing a remark by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has implied that the construction of mosques and minarets is part of a strategy to Islamisize Europe. The pro-Islamist Erdogan has bragged: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” Erdogan has also told Muslim immigrants in Europe that “assimilation is a crime against humanity.”
In recent years the number of mosques in Switzerland has mushroomed; there now are over 200 mosques and up to 1,000 prayer rooms dotted across the country. Critics fear the mosques are facilitating the establishment of a parallel Muslim society — one that is especially welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.
Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.