Turks suspicious towards German Government
After eight business men with Turkish background (and one Greek and one police woman), living in peace and harmony within their home countries for many years, were murdered out of the blue in Germany by the Neo-Nazi duo Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, supported by Beate Zschäpe, from 2000 to 2007 (NSU or Zwickauer Zelle), and the local internal secret services and the police were unable to discover the killers for ten long years, the strong minority of Turkish origin in Germany of almost three million people became suspicious of the German government. Asked at the end of 2011, a majority of 55 percent of Turks in Germany thought that the killers were "in one way or the other supported by the German state". This was the result of a poll of 1000 people questioned via telephone by the Center for Migration of the Ankara based Hacettepe University, which was discussed publicly at the large HUGO Conference in Ankara last week. Only 21 percent answered with "No", with one quarter abstaining. 60 percent believe the German politicians want to manipulate the truth.
This mistrust was invigorated when the Higher Regional Court in Munich, where the trial against the only surviving terrorist, Beate Zschäpe, was supposed to start on April 17, 2013, distributed the 50 seats for journalists as usual on a "first come, first serve" bureaucratic basis, thus in fact precluding foreign media from Turkey or the New York Times or The Economist from covering this important event. This shows how quickly a friendship can turn sour and mistrust arise between different cultures in Europe.
On Friday, April 11, the Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that an adequate number of seats must be given to the Turkish media because of their special interest in the case, after which the Higher Regional Court in Munich decided to postpone the entire trial, which will now commence on May 6, 2013.
The large conference Migration, Islam and Multiculturality in Europe by the HUGO Research Network and Hacettepe University discussed these developments and Islamophobia in Ankara. It was organized by one of the best experts, Dr. Murat Erdogan, who as well serves on the International Advisory Board of the World Security Network Foundation.
The President of the Turkish Republic Abdullah Gül announced a new law for immigrants to Turkey, which became necessary as this prosperous country is now the target destination of migrants from Asia and Africa. He praised social diversity in a global village and the need for dignity and respect for human rights. Migrants should be seen as an enrichment of society, especially in Europe with an aging population.
Prof. Rita Süssmüth, the long-time President of the German Parliament, asked not to focus on differences but "what we have in common". Women must become the main supporters of dignity and human rights due to their struggle for equal rights in the past. We should welcome challenges as they can become catalysts for revision and reorientation.
Islamophobia in Europe is mainly rooted in the bad image of Islam due to female discrimination and extremists killing innocent civilians in 9/11 and later in London and Madrid. This inflames the fear towards Islam and the Muslims.
Without more equal rights and respect towards women the gap between the Christian and the Islamic worlds will persist for much longer.
The benchmark of respect and tolerance between each other should be the mutual UN Charta with its 1945 demand for equality of men and women and the role model of Khadijah bint al-Khuwaylid, the first wife of the Prophet.
She was an emancipated and very successful businesswoman, hired young Mohammad who was 15 years younger, proposed him to marry her. She became the Mother of Islam as the first Muslim and supported the Prophet with love, protection as member of the most powerful clan in Mecca, and her strong financial means.
The Islamist extremists with their perversion of faith and nationalism must be isolated on both sides as well. Islam never allows the killing of civilians and restricts the use of force to self-defense.
The silent majorities in West and East must stand up and promote the true Christian and Muslim teachings of respect. Only this way mutual respect can grow.
The World Security Network is participating in this important process by promoting The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect – rules and best practices for everybody, parents, educator, religious leaders, politicians, media, sports and culture. It especially emphasizes how to enhance tolerance and respect towards other religions, ethnic minorities and races (see www.codesoftolerance.com and Facebook). We must highlight the Golden Nuggets of tolerance in our religions and actively promote them using best practices from all over the world.