Search This Blog

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Land-grabbing mosques

A German Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor reckons that the building of huge mosques throughout Germany is nothing short of a “a bid for power and influence, a land grab”.

Ralph Giordano, aged 85, makes his remarks in an interview today’s London Times – an interview, says the paper, “that is likely to stir Muslim anger”.

But it takes so little to stir up Muslim anger, so you may as well just get on with it. Somewhere, a Muslim will be angry whatever you do.

The Times goes on:

The comments from Mr Giordano came as the Muslim community of Cologne – about 120,000 strong – prepared to lay the foundation stone for yet another giant mosque, one of more than a hundred that are being planned or built across the country.

Barely six weeks ago another mosque, capable of accommodating 1,200 worshippers, was opened in Duisburg in the nearby Ruhr region of northwest Germany.

Spiky minarets are starting to punctuate the German urban skyscape – and the rumble of discontent from non-Muslim Germans is growing louder. One result is that the issue of immigration seems sets to be on the agenda in the general election next year.

And, if it is on the agenda, and it’s because of this creeping Islamisation, who is to blame? Germany’s non-Muslims?

“When I first saw the blueprints for the grand mosque in Cologne, I was shocked,” Giordano says. “It sent a completely wrong signal, it was a bid for power and influence, a land grab, not a place of prayer, so I told the mayor: Stop this mosque now!”

He received hundreds of supportive letters, he says, when he said this in a public discussion that was filmed and published online.

He says, “They all struck the same note: Mr Giordano we are afraid as you are of this creeping Islamification but we can’t say anything in public because we will end up being branded as neo-Nazis.”

Just as in the UK. Dare to criticise – to notice, even, to dare to make the observation of – the encroachment of one particular religion (as we’ve seen, to the cost of women’s dignity and equality, with our allowing Islamic sharia courts) and you are an Islamophobe, and that word usually connotes the accuser’s opinion that you are a racist, because the appeasers are only too eager conflate religion and race when it suits them.

Giordano sidesteps this neatly as he finds himself in the company of far-right activists. “Of course, you have to distance yourself clearly from these people – obviously their racist, neo-Nazis arguments are quite different from mine – but I am not going to be muzzled just because people are fighting on the same issue with false arguments and a false ideology.”

No comments: