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Liberal Islam’s Failure to Launch in Germany

July 10 2017

Last month, Germany’s first “liberal mosque” opened to much media fanfare. The woman behind the project, a lawyer named Seyran Ates, aspires to be Berlin’s first female imam and has proudly proclaimed that “there is no contradiction in being a Muslim and a feminist.” But, Vijeta Uniyal writes, the enthusiasm of the German and American media has not been reciprocated by Muslim groups in Germany or abroad:

German reporters and press photographers, eager to give glowing coverage, thronged to witness the mosque’s opening on June 16 and easily outnumbered the handful of Muslim worshipers. . . .

[What’s more], the media-driven PR campaign backfired, as the news of the opening of the Berlin liberal mosque reached Muslim communities in Germany and abroad. . . . Islamic fanatics from near and far started flooding the Berlin mosque with death threats. . . .

[According to] the British newspaper the Guardian, [Ates] said she had received “300 emails per day encouraging me to carry on,” including from places as far away as Australia and Algeria, but also “3,000 emails a day full of hate,” some of them including death threats. . . .

After countless death threats, the newspapers reached out to Aiman Mazyek, head of [Germany’s] Central Council of Muslims. He shrugged his shoulders and said there were 2,100 mosques in Germany and he “doesn’t need to comment on each and every one of them.” . . . .

This response, writes Uniyal, is typical for Germany’s major Muslim organizations whenever the government and press try to showcase a gentler side to Islam.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: European Islam, Germany, Moderate Islam, Radical Islam, Religion & Holidays

Germany’s Bid to Keep Israel off the UN Security Council

March 21 2018

The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action:

As a good-faith gesture, the Western European and Others Group promised Israel that it and Belgium would run uncontested for the two open 2019-20 [Security Council] seats. Then, in 2016, Germany announced it would also run—even though it already served as a council member [multiple times, including] as recently as 2011-12. . . . [U]nless Belgium yields, Israel’s hopes for UN respect seem doomed for now—and maybe for the foreseeable future.

Why? Diplomats have been telling me Israel violates too many Security Council resolutions to be a member—as in the one passed during the last weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, which marked Jewish holy sites as occupied Palestinian territory. But is building a porch in [the West Bank town of] Ma’ale Adumim really such a huge threat to world peace?

How about, then, a report released last week by UN experts on the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions? It found Germany violated a council ban on sparkling wines, exporting $151,840 worth of bubbly and other luxury goods to Kim Jong Un’s cronies. Or how about, as the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal reports, German companies exporting to Iran banned materials that were later used in chemical attacks in Syria?

Never mind. Germany (and Belgium) will surely benefit from the UN’s habit of magnifying Israel’s violations beyond all proportion. Thus, Israel’s petition to join the most prestigious UN club will likely be rejected, thanks to a late entry by a shameless [and] cynical German power play against the Jewish state.

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, United Nations