Muslims should get sensitivity training, not us


By Henryk M. Broder, SPIEGEL ONLINE – January 25, 2007,

The West seems to have no trouble offending the Muslim world these days. What should we do about it? We might as well surrender. After all, we’re already on our way.

This essay is an excerpt of Henryk M. Broder’s book “Hurra, Wir Kapitulieren,” (“Hurray! We’re Capitulating”) published by Wolf Jobst Siedler Verlag in 2006. The book spent a number of weeks atop the DER SPIEGEL bestseller list.

Ten years ago, in the spring of 1996, the world still seemed more or less okay. The towers of the World Trade Center dominated the Manhattan skyline, the American president had an affair with an intern, the Helmut Kohl era was coming to an end in Germany, and intellectuals killed time by debating over whether Francis Fukuyama was right in claiming that we have reached the “end of history” and whether capitalism had truly triumphed or socialism had merely lost the first round. In those days few were aware of the fine distinction between Islam and Islamism.

One had to look very closely to recognize the first signs of a brewing crisis. In Berlin, the Rote Grütze theater group was performing an enlightening piece called “Who Said Anything About Love?” To advertise the play, posters depicting a young man and a young woman, naked and full of innocence, were handed out in schools.

The schools had no qualms about displaying the posters, until a school official from Berlin’s Tiergarten district requested a permit from the city’s education authority. The agency turned down the request, arguing that the poster could hurt “the feelings of non-Christian pupils.” The education authority was acting preventively and with what amounted to exaggerated concern for a cultural minority that had yet to be integrated into permissive German society. No Muslim pupils had complained about hurt feelings, nor had their parents expressed concerns about immoral harassment.

That was 10 years ago. Today everything has changed, except the resolve not to hurt the feelings of Muslims. The issue today no longer revolves around a group of Berlin pupils with an “immigration background,” but around 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide — many of whom are thin-skinned and unpredictable. At issue is freedom of opinion, one of the central tenets of the Enlightenment and democracy. And whether respect, consideration and tolerance are the right approach to dealing with cultures that, for their part, behave without respect, consideration or tolerance when it comes to anything they view as decadent, provocative and unworthy — from women in short skirts to cartoons they deem provocative without even having seen them. CONTINUE

January 25, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Yes – one of the biggest problems is the “all religions are the same” crowd. To be blunt, they display an immense ignorance of the purpose of religion.

    And when you hear muslims in their unsurpassable arrogance, say that they are doing the work of Allah – that they with their miserable little minds have to do the work of the omnipotent, the creator all all that’s seen and unseen in the Universe (presumably because they can do it so much better) – what more can I say?

    My suggestion to them is to let the Omnipotent do his own dirty work so that they can get on with taking a good look at the dirt in their own egos. In other words, they should mind their own business.

  2. Sorry am I missing something????? The Koran explicitly states( Forgive my missquote), ” I am a tree there’s ajew hiding behind me come and kill him.” I have negatve respect for ALL Muslims! I truly believe that the sword is mightier than the pen! yES i AM HORRIBLY PREJUDICE bUT i BELIEVE JUSTIFIABLY SO!!!!!!!!!!

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