THE POLITICAL PAGE

November/December 2006

The Integration of Islam in Germany

Dear Readers...

I honestly regret that we have to publish this theme as a double edition. When I asked myself “why?”- I became aware that my requirements for quality in this ‘Political Page' had grown so much through the double edition that I questioned whether it was a good thing to produce something less good and complete than it justified. In addition to this, the information gathered from various sources has, over and over, been praised by the readership. Thus, I tried again to throw light from different angles on the complex problem of the integration of Muslims into German and European society. Under the section BACKGROUND, it is important for me to bring a word of faith which will then automatically lead into prayer, to stand against the widespread panic about Islam and the general No-Future mood.

INFORMATION

1. The Islam Conference

Perhaps, the 27th September 2006 will enter the history books. Some people are already saying that it was something ‘historical'. On this day, the Interior Ministers Wolfgang Schäuble called for the first ‘Islam Conference' in Berlin. It met in the Charlottenburg Castle, the residence of the tolerant kings of Prussia. It was to provide a symbolical framework for the first meeting of a conference which will be continued for 2 or 3 years. The final goal is to create a basis for a better integration of the Muslim population in Germany. The conference was host to representatives of the German state from different levels of activity.

On the Muslim side, we have to say that there is no umbrella organisation, which is able to act as a counterpart, and no individual who could represent the Muslims in Germany like, for example, Bishop Karl Lehmann for the Catholic Church and Bishop Wolfgang Huber for the Lutheran Church. At present, there are 16 Muslim associations in Germany, joined by various local mosque associations. The representatives of the largest organisations were invited. However, it is important to realise that , out of the 3.5 million Muslims in Germany, only 10-15% are members of an association and are thus legally represented, another 10-15% occasionally go to the mosque, and 70% do not practice their belief actively – they are simply ‘cultural Muslims'. The representatives of the associations can thus only speak for at best 10-15% of the Muslims population living in Germany.

The head of the Islam Council was present. Also the Islamic Association ‘Milli Görü's , which is being reviewed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The head of the Central Committee of the Muslims in Germany , who represents German and Iranian Muslims, was invited. The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DITIB) in Turkey was invited, which is led by the ‘Office for Religious Affairs'. Also the General Secretary of the Alevit Community in Germany was invited; it is a very open and friendly community, but it is not acknowledged by the conservative Muslim community.

The conservative Muslims also protested against secular Muslims, for example Seyran Artes who was invited to the conference. She calls herself the Advocate for the rights of Muslim women and stands against forced marriages and honour killings. Also the author Necla Kelek, the German-Turkish author Feridun Zaimoglu, and the regional SPD politician Bads Mohammed were invited. They are all Muslims but are critical in part of Islam or at least of its representatives. Minister Schäuble has put his ‘guest list' together very carefully, and it achieved two things in this way:

(1) After the 3-hour meeting, one noticed that the Muslim representatives were discussing and arguing between themselves, more than with the German side. The discussion was not only a confrontation of Muslims against State.

(2) The theological and organisational problems of the Islamists were exposed. They had to reach a conclusion: (a) a continuation is only possible through tolerance and a different way of thinking; (b) politically, a splintered Islam can achieve nothing. Wolfgang Schäuble has tried to learn form the experience of his European neighbours.

2. The European Neighbours

France has 5 million Muslims, the largest Islamic population in Europe. In 2002, the state initiated the Central Council of the Muslims in order to have a counterpart. But the council is exhausted by internal wars. Above all, this construction is not really accepted from ‘above'. It is the same experience of internal conflicts as in Berlin, only that Schäuble had only organised a conference and not a leadership committee, which cannot work in that way.

Regarding the riots in the suburbs in October 2005, it proved that they were not of a political or religious motivation but were simply an expression of downtrodden and neglected young people. Integration has something to do with jobs. And this social integration had not been realised.

Great Britain: No European country has dedicated itself to such a multicultural “line of least resistance” as Great Britain: headscarves everywhere; Muslim holidays observed in schools; praise for the multiculturalism is a state mantra; the creation of a Muslim parliament was tolerated without objection; and when the Muslim Council of Britain was created in 1997, the government was delighted to have, finally, a counterpart… but it was blind to the forked tongue speaking; friendly on the outside and preaching hate on the inside. And when the MCB protested against a planned bill outlawing forced marriages, the bill was withdrawn. Meanwhile, very officially, there is even a young Muslim working as a member of the foreign office who is able to join discussions as ‘the councillor for Islamic Affairs' when decisions have to be made. (In 2002, he praised the first Palestine female suicide bomber calling her an “example for every female Muslim”).

The radicalisation of young Muslims spread rapidly in the 90s. Thousands of people went to Afghanistan and Pakistan to be trained for the holy war in camps in ‘Londonistan'. The dreadful attacks in subways and buses were the result. And then there were the attacks which were thwarted just in time, including 12 airplanes with liquid explosive material on their way from England to the USA, to be exploded over big cities. The attacks were planned by men of the third generation of British Islamic extremists. The MCB distanced itself half-heartedly from these attacks.

Gradually, Tony Blair's Labour government understood that they were maintaining a dialogue with the wrong people at the MCB. Last summer the ‘Sufi Muslim Council' was created. Compared to the MCB, it stands against the ‘political Islam' and for the ‘spiritual Islam'; it wants to be 'a voice to for the silent majority of moderate Muslims'. The government was relieved.

In Austria, already in 1912, after the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the imperial and royal Reich, Islam was legally recognised by the state. This was the underlying premise behind Muslim ‘guest workers' receiving the state of a ‘public cooperation' after the immigration of 1979. At that time, the Austrian state created an ‘Islamic Faith Community”. Every Muslim can join the community as a member for a fee of €43 and participate actively (and passively) in elections of the community. The association is led by individuals and the communities of the mosques act only as advisors. The influence of the mosque communities is significantly lowered through this construction. The community is responsible for the religious education, curriculum and it controls the Imams. The whole thing works almost subliminally.

The Netherlands have a quite unique approach and an active minister of integration, Rita Verdouk: Through a subsidies policy - of millions of euros - she introduced theological training courses for Imams at many colleges and universities and a bachelor degree. They made up the curriculum. In the mid-term, the Netherlands will no longer allow Imams who are trained outside the Netherlands to enter the country. The murder of the film-maker Theo van Gogh has changed the Netherlands profoundly: It turned from a liberal into a restrictive state.

The secularisation of the Muslims in Europe causes a lot of worries to the mosque associations in the Netherlands. Although Islam is an important characteristic for their identity, the majority of Muslims are no longer practising their faith. From 1998 – 2002, the regular prayer attendance dropped from 44% to 35%. It is the younger and better educated people who are mainly affected by this.

3. Fields of Foreignness

Since the terror attacks of 11th September 2006, the time of lighthearted encounters between the West and Islam - the time of “multy-culty”, the plaything of the political left wing - has come to an end. The West woke up and the USA declared war on Islamic terrorism. On an international level this has led to restrictions of civil rights and a war in Afghanistan (2001) and then Iraq. The world order has shifted. The word, ‘the war of cultures' (Samuel Huntington), began to circulate. In domestic policy, we suddenly became aware of how many Muslims had already immigrated to the country and are now in their 2 nd and 3 rd generation as local residents. The question of the integration of the Muslims into western culture became urgent, and especially when, in the spring 2006, it was realised that the attacks against the 12 English airplanes were planned by young, 3 rd generation Muslims with British passports. Thus, the terror had reached to the heart of the western nations.

Due to the incomprehensible terror attacks of the Islamistic activists, the populations of the western countries asked themselves a crucial question: What does Islam actually mean? Politicians, the Lutheran Church (to a large extent) and the theologians of Islam assured them that the Islam was a friendly religion; that these terrorists, who in their fanatism killed so many innocent victims, were going far beyond the teachings of the Islam.

However, on the opposite side there are - and this is becoming increasingly clear at this time – dozens of quotations from the Koran which demand the oppression, or even the murder, of unbelievers in a ‘holy war' (jihad) being celebrated as the conquest of the world for Islam. History reminds us of the bloody conquests of Islamic expansion. First and foremost, new processes were discovered which were hard to understand for the west, which uncovered deep feelings of foreignness between its citizens.

Assessing these processes since the turn of the millennium, we can group them into four ‘fields of foreignness':

3.1. The position of women

The headscarf dispute started when a young teacher in Baden-Württemberg opposed the education authority which forbade her to wear her scarf during lessons. Discussions ensued in the media and the community.

The European court of justice in Strasbourg has explicitly allowed Turkey to forbid the wearing of scarves in public institutions. If this is possible in an Islamic country, it cannot, according to Norbert Lammert the president of the Bundestag, be wrong in a country which is culturally Christian.

As a result of this, reports appeared in many magazines on the subject of forced marriages of minor girls, a thing which, according to German law, is punishable as child molestation .

People were dismayed when they finally became aware that the Muslim religion permits a younger brother, in order to save the ‘family honour', to kill a sister who rejected her marriage (see the case of Hatun Sürücü).

The Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Art. 3 says that: (1) Everybody is equal before the law; (2) Men and women have equal rights; and (3) Nobody is to be discriminated against on the grounds of his origin, race, language, country of origin and background, his beliefs, his religious or political convictions.

3.2. Freedom

In February 2006, the ‘Jyllands Posten', a newspaper in Denmark, published satirical cartoons depicting Mohammed. When the Danish government refused to ban the cartoons, Danish immams travelled to various Islamic countries where they publicised these, and other unpublished cartoons, involving Mohammed. With one voice the Islamic world - form Indonesia to Morocco via Nigeria - erupted with virulent protestations and incidents involving burned churches and murdered Christians. The world seemed terrified and reacted in ways ranging from excuses to mild protest. Freedom of the press? What is that?

The Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany art. 5(1) says that: ‘The freedom of the press and the freedom of report via radio and TV broadcastings and films are guaranteed. They are not subject to censorship.'

In September the artistic director of the German Opera in Berlin voluntarily withdrew the production of a Mozart's opera after being warned by the Intelligence Service against possible terrorist attacks. These were due to the fact that, at the end of the piece, the hero Idomeneo comes in carrying the heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddah and Mohammed. Policy and the world of art strongly criticized the withdrawal as a premature reaction. Freedom of the arts? What is that?

The Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany art. 5(3) says that : Art and science, research and teaching are free.

On 12th September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI made a speech about common beliefs. Including a quote from the Middle Ages, he criticized Islam for being a religion which allows violence on principle, in order to spread its belief. Soon the Islamic world protested again, churches were burned and an Italian nun, a benefactress of the Somali people, was killed in open street. The Pope offered ambassadors of the Islamic countries a private audience in the Vatican and assured them that this quote was not reflecting his own opinion and that he respected highly the Islam. The Pope withdrew his words because of pressure in the streets in the Islamic world. Freedom of speech? Even the right to voice criticism? What is that?

The Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany art. 5(1) says: Everybody has the right to express and publish his opinion through spoken words, writings or pictures.

Due to these global over reactions, the situation of Christians in Muslim countries was also brought into the public light; asylum seekers' rights, for individuals persecuted for their faith or who menaced in their home countries, gained greater importance. Those individuals who convert from Islam to the Christian faith are especially threatened. Even in Germany, to change one's religion is a high risky move for Muslims. Freedom of religion? What is that?

The Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany art. 4 says: (1) The freedom of religion, of conscious, and the freedom of religious or ideological confession are inviolable; and (2) The practising of a religion without disturbance is guaranteed.

The basis for these regulations is the Basic Constitutional Law of the Federal Republic of Germany established to oppose the long years of experience of the National Socialism. Freedom is treasured and considered to be costly and indispensable. It is the duty of German society and German politics to affirm this heritage in the current historic-cultural confrontation with Islam. And affirming this also means a thorough attention to sub-cultural issues.

3.3. Violence

In the constitution of all European countries, though with different degrees of emphasis, the separation between state and church, policy and religion is fundamental. It was a struggle which lasted centuries – from the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor in 800 AD. in Rome, to the dethronement, in 1918 after the First World War, of the German emperor Wilhelm I who had, until then, also been the head of the Lutheran Church.

From a spiritual point of view, this separation is very meaningful, because Jesus had explicitly established this separation: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.' Christ's invisible kingdom was not to be revealed through a certain state or form of governmental authority (e.g. monarchy or democracy), but within the multitude of believers, in congregations or churches. This has an impact on the society in just the same way as the salt flavours food. But whenever the church tried for a form of government, to dominate in the visible state, a ‘The theocratic State' - the ‘Civitas dei' of Augustin, Calvin or the Baptists in Münster - it always went wrong. The Papacy, over many centuries, is another example, as is the Post-Reformation episcopacy of the Lord-paramount in the Lutheran Churches.

But it is not the same in Islam. For Mohammed, everything is centred on the conquest of the world and the establishment of political power in the name of Allah. In this sense, the establishment of Islam in the world is identical with the takeover of political power in the world.

The enforcement of Allah's rule is carried out through Holy War, through ‘Jihad'. It can take many forms: from scientific discussion with the Pope, through an attempt to conquer democratic Europe through a higher birth rate, to the persecution and murder of Christians in their own country.

Since the Koran demands this war, young men can be motivated to train as ‘warriors of God' and to become living suicide bombers against the enemies.

Islamic theologians argue, and quote from the Koran, that the Islam is a peaceable religion and that these indoctrinated young men are acting against the Islam. But it is plain for all to see how confidently these young men quote verses from the Koran on their death videos, claiming responsibility for, and justifying, their actions. In Europe, Islam is confronted with the separation between state and religion and the condemnation of religious violence. It will take several generations for Islam to reform itself in the ways it claims. Whether it will succeed or not will depend on the steadfastness of European society and its politicians.

3.4. Israel

In Germany, Islam is also confronted with the fact that this country has had a pro-Israel stance for the past 60 years. Today, this fact is obvious: from the postage stamp (celebrating the 40th anniversary of German-Israeli diplomatic relations) to the deployment of the German Federal Armed Forces for ‘the protection of the right of existence for Israel'. In this sense, Germany will always have an impact on European policy.

Immediately after the successful election of Hamas in January 2006, Angela Merkel stipulated three conditions for the continued of the flow of European money to Palestine. Among those was also the challenging requirement to acknowledgement the state of Israel. Also in July 2006, in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, Germany and the USA delayed the request for Israel's withdrawal for more than a week, to gain time for the Israelian army to defeat the Hezbollah.

4. Themes for integration

Without knowing the agenda of the Islam conference, it will have to face the following problems:

4.1. Policy

•  Would it not be better to set immigration quotas from the Islamic countries? At least until the success of integration policies become obvious.

•  Would it not be better to set immigration acceptance qualifications for those preparing to leave their home countries so they can understand the possibility of refusing their entry?

•  Whoever wants to be in the possession of a German passport should take an exam; not an intelligence test but a knowledge test. A better knowledge of the country will raise the status of the immigrants.

•  The provision of the full welfare state benefits does not promote self-initiative; nor does the industrial law that forbids asylum seekers to work. If Germans are expected to take over 1, - EUR jobs, why shouldn't foreigners be expected to do the same?

•  The state has to take on the education of a Muslim umbrella organisation in order to have a counterpart for discussion in the long term. Perhaps, this will be the outcome of the conference.

•  Should the Islamic religious community receive the status of a public association beforehand? Is this still possible?

•  When and how will the training of Imams in German Universities take place, not with separate Sunnite and a Shiite colleges, b ut with Islamic students attending as and with Germans.

•  It has been clearly proved that integration in the host country is not possible without language skills. Much effort is needed in this area.

•  We need courses for adults, especially for women, courses which teach our Christian history and customs, and the basic laws and the rights and duties… but also about Christianity and Islam.

4.2. School

•  Immigrants have to know that school is compulsory in our country.

•  Children, who did not learn German in kindergarten in order to follow lessons at school, have to go for special classes.

•  For the children of immigrants living in a culture and linguistic ghetto, full-time childcare would enhance their chances in education.

•  Muslim families have to accept that their children have to participate in all lessons like biology (including sex education lessons), music, swimming and sports for girls, and that they also have to participate in class outings.

•  What has to be done in order to offer the children of immigrants a better education than the secondary modern school that can barely give them a better apprenticeship?

4.3. Work

•  Full integration into German society is impossible without work. Holistic self-esteem and the real understanding can only come through gainful employment.

4.4. Identiy

•  For the first time, Wolfgang Schäuble officially talked about ‘German Muslims'. But do we want German Muslim or do we want Muslim Germans? The Muslims in France consider themselves to be French; those in England regard themselves as Muslims first of all. What do we want in Germany?

•  The Turkish Muslims in our country do not come from Istanbul but usually from the Turkish hinterland, from Anatolia. When these migrants come to us they first of all experience the shock of a big city and then the shock of the European culture. Thus, we can understand:

•  The creation of ghettos in Berlin in which one can live without hearing a single word in German;

•  The cultivation of customs from at home in those places

•  That cultural rights and rules from the home country also apply there – even honour killings.

•  Whoever grows up there identifies himself with Turks and not with Germany even in the 3 rd generation.

•  Whoever lives there wants to marry a girl from Anatolia, who is completely dependent on him and not one of the local Turkish girls who are more confident in their surroundings than the young men.

Is there any way to bring Germany into the ethnical ghettos in a positive way? This is the basic question. The Chinese in San Francisco's Chinatown consider themselves to be Americans despite the ghetto they are living in, just as the Blacks in Harlem do, and the Latinos.

Will this only be possible through the effort of associations or community?

4.5. Religion

Will Islam be successful in accepting that its beliefs have to be modified to fit within the framework of the German basic law, and that it has to carry it out with spiritual and theological effort:

•  the separation of religion and state

•  equal rights for women with all this implies

•  a democratically form of government

•  the clear refusal of violence in the Name of Allah.

It will take years for the groups to understand this. Much prayer is needed because it is a matter of the basic tenets of Islam. On the other side, the basic law cannot be bent. It is about Basam Tibi's statement: “ This can only be changed if Europeans are bold enough to Europeanize Islam. Otherwise, Europe will be Islamised on the long term.” Stuttgarter Zeitung 04.09.2006).

BACKGROUND

Thoughts and Suggestions

1. The Islam is not a monolithic block

Every shock – whether at a personal or on national level – first triggers irrational fears. These fears magnify the danger and limit possibilities to the point of self-renunciation. They can give birth to reactions which finally creates what we feared and wanted to avoid. (The famous hypnotic staring of the rabbit at the snake).

This first phase ends when the endangered person becomes a realist, i.e. when he becomes aware of his own possibilities and starts to assess the danger in a realistic manner. The threat will be assessed and his points of weakness will be discerned. A confrontation without fear, ‘at eye level', begins.

Nevertheless, the West is still in the first phase. From a political perspective this creates ‘rogue states' and ‘axis of evil', as well as years of ‘close your eyes' and today ‘confronting obedience'. Within the population, rejection and exclusion are predominant. For Christians there is also the ‘spirit of Islam' and the desire to expel ‘them' all from the country. But 3.5 million people cannot simply be expelled. Everybody knows it. What can we do then?

At this point Wolfgang Schäuble had the courage to open the door to the second phase of realism. He says: Germany has become a popular country to emigrate to; Islam has become a part of our country; so Islam will be part of our life. Now, these are the facts. We cannot avoid them but we can shape them. To shape them means to asses the enemy in a right way and to keep an eye on the danger; but it also means to know our own strengths and to bring them to play. This is what Schäuble tried to do through his Islam conference. Through his invitation, he proved to Germans but also the Muslims that: There is no one Islam, there are an infinity of shades of it and groups, beginning with the ‘cultural Muslim', to the Milli Görüs, to the free Alevites and eventually to the strict Wahabites. There is no way to know all the groups from the outside, but we need to understand that Islam is as diverse as ‘Christianity', and that there exist groups which distance themselves from each other just as the Churches do. Islam's weaknesses are its internal disputes, just as in Christianity. This makes the Muslims appear more human in some ways. You can meet the other on eye level. They have the same problem as we have.

For Muslims in Germany, it was new experience that their plurality had become obvious in public through the conference. But this is good for them and brings them down ‘to the carpet' of reality. The conference forces Muslims to an internal dialogue and if they want to achieve anything on a political level, they are forced towards tolerance and compromises.

Another thing is similar to Christianity. All Muslim groups refer to the Koran: the 38 sages who wrote an open letter to the Pope, presented the Islam as a peace loving religion via verses from the Koran; also the suicide bombers refer to the Koran, which calls Islam to the Jihad. And even more different, as in the Bible, there are different ways to interpret the Koran, whereas all of them swore to be the only way. This also leads to very different understandings of Allah – from a distant and unpredictable God, to a merciful God. And this also changes the image they have of men.

The conference also forces Muslims out of their ‘victim's role', through which they portray the innocent as the ‘culprit', a culprit who must therefore apologize deeply and quickly and declare his respect and solidarity (‘the role of a saviour'). All this works at an international as well as a national level (‘don't dare to hurt the feelings of Muslims'). According to the well known rules of the drama triangle: one plays the role of the offended one and blames the other before then jumping into the role of the rewarder. At the end of the game, everybody feels miserable because everybody put something on for the other one. The only way out of this game is by returning to realism and telling each other openly and honestly how they feel about each other. There is room for this in the conference.

‘One Islam' does not exist. Although everybody considers himself to be part of the ‘Ummah' of believers and thus have an identity mark, a thing which, for them, when compared to the western culture, is not unimportant. But as soon as united action is required, the unity of this pseudo-ethnic grouping (according to Basam Tibi) falls apart.

The largest group of the Ummah in Germany is that of secularized Muslims. They are the quiet majority. Who is representing them? In England they have the new Sufi Muslim Council. Wouldn't something like this also be possible in Germany? Those Muslims are more interested in practical questions of integration and the future of their children. They have already come halfway towards Europe. They should be included in discussions. They are possibly the bridge towards a friendly cohabitation rather than the elected representatives of associations.

The large majority of Muslims in Germany consider that the Basic Law and the principles of the Islam are incompatible. Nevertheless, the majority of them - around 70-80% - have decided to renounce religion (i.e. attendance at mosques with religious preachings) in order to soften or to resolve the tension between the religion and the German culture. This is the tacit convergence of Muslims towards German culture. With a diplomatic support from the state this will be accelerated.

2. Divide et impera!

Divide and rein – an old political rule.

The first step has already been taken with the heterogeneous assembly of the conference.

The next steps would consist in giving room for Muslim diversity. Just as there are Lutheran, Catholic, and Orthodox religious lessons, there will also be Sunnite, Shiite and Alevite religious lessons, and also training for Imams. If the state accepts and promotes the diversity in those areas where it is allowed to do so, the state will gain friends and will overlook the divergencies among the German Ummah, at the same time.

It is very important for the state, but also for society, to understand that, because of the diversity of the Islam in Germany, there is no unique answer, a so called ‘patent remedy' to the integration issue, but that answers are needed for each Muslim group.

For the great mass of the tacit majority:

•  Language courses, and an introduction to the Basic Law of the country/Christianity;

•  Activities in kindergartens and schools;

•  Getting to know each other at parties; mutual invitations to religious festivities and fasting (without attempting to convert the other one);

•  Personal invitations.

For the representatives of associations in the conference:

•  Steadfast and clear statements regarding the state's framework of the freedom of religion;

•  Paying attention to the ‘loophole' of interpretation;

•  Professing the German state's attitude towards Israel;

•  Positioning the German state regarding Turkey's joining the EU;

•  Umbrella association and public corporations;

•  An awareness that agreements can be broken very easy by Islam.

For the learned:

•  Profound and factual theological discourse.

For economy and commerce

•  Trade is possible if it is mutually beneficial;

•  Reduction in dependence on Arabic oil through the development of domestic or other resources;

•  Attention to the billions earned through the trade in oil in German companies and at the stock exchange. The search for alternatives!

For Islamists

•  Tolerance of the tolerant Muslims; but intolerance of the intolerant and those that spread of violence. Anything else would be a ‘deadly tolerance'.

•  Coherent general concept of the legislators from ‘services' to the legal authorities. It is not acceptable for a ‘sleeper cell' to be brought behind bars only after his bomb has exploded: The purist prosecution has to be enforced with prosecution by circumstantial evidence.

3. More self-confidence, please!

What we hear sometimes sounds like the third and final verse of a Minnesingers song. Islam is healthier and the Muslims have more children, they are ready to make sacrifices, to fast and even give their lives; they all still believe in God, even though it is the wrong one; the oil sheiks are controlling the supply of energy and with the money they earn from it they buy what we offer in our large companies; they are establishing their own bank in order to bring the dollar or euro down; and with the billions earned with the oil commerce they are forcing us to built mosques and accept their Imams.

Then in the second verse of the mourning song over the crusades, comes the loss of faith of the Christian West, the softening of Christians and the complete decline in moral standards, the abortions and that God is beating us with the scourge of Islam which is even ruining us as a people. And in the end there will also be the apocalypse.

Nothing, really nothing at all can change the serious part of the situation. And not a few books point only to the desperate situation. Even the spiritual seriousness of the sins of the country cannot be set aside; not even that everything points to the end of the world.

To keep an eye on all these things means; that is Realism.

But it is only one half of the realism on a national, European and spiritual level.

4. My questions for any disheartened persons

•  Do you still believe in the triune God as the one and single God who rules over everything and who guides the people?

•  Do you believe that God is angry about our sins? How important do you then consider the priestly prayer on behalf of the believers to be in all churches? Does it has an importance? – then do it steadily and know that you will pull God's pleasure down upon our country.

•  Do you believe that the spirit will be poured out upon all flesh in the last days? Can you see this pouring even on the Muslims in your place, when you pray? Among the Muslims there are more visions and appearances which are pointing toward Jesus, as there are in Churches. God not restricted to the limitations set on Him by Churches and congregations.

•  Wouldn't it be a good idea to invite a Christian couple with a Muslim background from a Muslim country into your church to spread the gospel among the Muslim fellow believers? The mission associations would like to help you.

•  Didn't God use Europe to spread the gospel into the whole world after penetrating our culture for centuries? And the first missionaries in the world were Germans - the Moravians. They didn't come with the sword and greed for profit but as messengers for Jesus alone. Has God withdrawn his call from Germany? No, never! But he is waiting for us to grab it again. On the one hand, right on our doorstep by inviting Muslim people into a German house; on the other hand worldwide, as teachers and fathers among the people.

•  If we do not grab our calling, we will go down. If we grab our call, the Muslims will be amazed and desire a God who loves like a father. We will experience precisely what we believe and speak into being. Our belief is decisive regarding Germany, Europe, the Muslims and their gaining ground.

•  Hasn't God given us back our national identity and the joy on a long way… from 2001 (‘German culture', Friedrich Merz) to the World Cup in June 2006? Did you understand what happened there? What does it look like, is it a curse or a blessing? God wants us to rejoice again over our fatherland. He wants us to hold ourselves in high regard. He wants us to accept our history and to love our country. He wants us to protect his values and the heritage of our fathers.
Therefore the question: Do you want to lose heart or do you want to stand up for our Basic Law and defend our freedom by living openly for it ‘responsibly before God and the people'. Here it becomes obvious whether Christians are the spine of the society, people who encourage others and on whom we can pin our hope. Because all the freedoms of the Basic Law have their roots in the inviobality of the human dignity. And Man has this dignity because he is created by God. Thus our Basic Law breathes the spirit of the Jewish-Christian belief. We must be fed by spiritual sources.
Here, through this hope, it becomes obvious who prays for Germany: he has a vision and the teaching and is an encourager for many. Since this is easier to bear in the in fellowship with many others, we have the ‘Wächterruf' which is inviting you to participate.

•  Although we have a separation between Church and state, we don't have a separation in our belief between God and policy. We know that God is working in policy and we pray for it. We would participate with pleasure in the ‘religionalising of policy' as observed by Basam Tibi – among Muslims, as well as in the USA – but in our own way. He says: Europe has not been touched yet by it and calls the Europeans ‘religious analphabets'. Let us very consciously – not by mixing power and religion together in the Muslim manner– pray for Europe's parliaments again to be penetrated with Christians and for a political action based on Biblical values.


PRAYER

1. The prayer to the one and only God is something Muslims and Christians have in common. But at the same time this is exactly what has been separating them. Because according to the Islamic teaching Allah has no son - this is blasphemy. But our God is the triune God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thus, we agree with Elijah (1.King 18, 24): „Then you call on the name of God but I will call on the name of the Lord, our God. The god who answers by fire – he is God!” Then all the people said: „What you say is good!“

Do you have he faith that the God whose name we call is able to send the fire of the spirit upon Germany and Europe? Muslims are very open for miracles!

2. Let us pray for boldness and faith for our Christians; and for self-consciousness out of the Christian faith; and out of this for the courage of self-conviction in order to not give in to the intimidation from the Muslim side but to claim the liberty, which guarantees our basic law.

3. Let us pray for us as Christians to make a difference between Muslims and Islamists and to approach the one and resist the others, to show the love of Jesus to the one, to testify and to pray for them and to hold out the German law against the others. Let us pray for discernment and act according to it.

4. Let us pray for the silent majority of the 70% for the spirit of God to guide them and draw them to Jesus, for them to get in touch with faithful Christians.

5. Let us pray for the Muslim Ghettos in big cities especially for the young men without a perspective for their life who are condemned to take drugs and to criminality. Let us pray for practical activities and for protection against recruitment for terrorist actions.

6. Let us pray for Wolfgang Schäuble and the continuation of the Islam conference. Let us pray for the revelation of the good will of God; only those thing shall be decided which are good d for our country and possibly for Europe, too. Let us pray for the next session of the conference on 8/9th November in Nürnberg.

7. Let us pray for a highly effectivity of all efforts of our state regarding the integration: The language support, kindergartens and lessons in schools.

8. Let us pray for protection for all authorities in the elucidation of plans for terrorist attacks, for the protection of the police men and the courage of lawyers to pass right judgements.

Ortwin Schweitzer

Sources:

Fischer Weltalmanach 2006. Zahlen-Daten-Fakten.

Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany

Günther Lachmann, Tödliche Toleranz. (i.e. ‘deadly tolerance'). The Muslims and our open society. Pieper 2nd edition 2005, DIE ZEIT, 5.10.06;

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A:Z:) 27.02.2006 7,4 18,4 4,9 27,9 16,10 24,10

Rheinischer Merkur 24.11.2005; 21.09.2006 05.10.2006; Stuttgarter Zeitung 04.09.2006; Die Welt 05.04.2006; dradio.de 18.10.2006 ( 7:20 a.m.)

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