an open letter to Christian Wulff, President of Germany, by Ralph Giordano
[partial translation attempted by me, apologies to Ralph Giordano for any misrepresentations]
"Without doubt Christianity belongs to Germany, without doubt Judaism belongs to Germany. They represent our Judeo-Christian past, however Islam now belongs to Germany"
This sentence from your speech of the 3rd of October commemorating the 20th anniversary of the reunification of Germany represent by its sweeping generalisation such a disturbing ignorance of the reality, and a premature harmonisation of systems that differ at their very core, that I am almost lost for words.
I won't be so bold as to want to give you a remedial history lessons, but here you are so clearly confusing an Islam that exists in reality with a projected, EU-conform desired Islam, that one has to lodge an objection. For, the political and militant Islam is not able to be integrated, and even the "general" Islam is sufficiently problematic in this respect.
To date Islam still owes an adequate answer to the question if it is consistent with the plurality of ideas, the equality of women, the separation of state and religion, in short, with democracy itself. The lack of answers casts a dark shadow over the 21st century, and Germany, with its failed integration policies, is not exempt.
The fact is that here two cultural systems are colliding that are not only different at their foundations but they are also at a very different stage of their development.
The fact is that here two cultural systems are colliding that are not only different at their foundations but they are also at a very different stage of development.
One, the Judeo-Christian system that, after dark periods in history, was able to achieve enormous leaps forward through the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the casting off of feudalism, the springtime of peoples and its evolution to today's liberal model.
The other, the Islamic cultural sphere, after having had epochs of cultural high points that put the Occident world to shame, still, one can state quite generally, has not been able to go beyond a patriarchal-archaic stagnation: blind obedience, a reluctance to secularise, the lack of equality for woman, authoritarian parental control, and in the grip of unquestioning acceptance of religious authority and edicts.
It is the collision between a culture that does not value individual freedoms and is primarily driven by traditions and religious teachings, and another culture which, after many wrong turns, is individualistic, and predominately of Christian heritage yet secular.
This collision bring with is many barriers to progress. Thinkers of Muslim origin themselves are drawing attention to this; such as the great Turkish writer Zafer Senocak, that does not mince words:"Hardly a single leader of the Islamic faith, not to mention a devout layperson, is willing or able to recognised the core of problem at the basis of their faith Islam. They are not prepared or willing to conduct a critical Analysis of their own traditions vis-à-vis the reality of a modern society.
UPDATE: Somebody has taken my translation as a basis, improved it and completed it. Fantastic, love the internet.