The authorities of Cologne – a city that, by the way, is considered the capital of Catholicism in Germany – made a decision that allows mosques to call believers to prayer with the shouts of muezzins. Now every Friday, according to the German edition of Bild, between 12 and 15 o’clock from the loudspeakers of all thirty-five city mosques for five minutes will sound “There is no other god but Allah!” and “Allahu Akbar!”
Mayor of Cologne Henrietta Recker in her “Twitter” in connection with the innovation, she explained that this “model project” (so far it is limited to two years) should be considered as a “sign of respect” for Muslims.
According to her, everyone who comes to Cologne “is greeted by the ringing of the bells of the Cologne Cathedral.” Now Cologne as a “city open to the world” wants to protect the “just religious interests” of Muslims.
She answered critics categorically: “Anyone who thinks differently doubts the identity of Cologne and the peaceful coexistence of its citizens.”
Meanwhile, experts on Islam, whose opinion is quoted by the publication, are not so enthusiastic.
Integration specialist Ahmad Mansour, for example, believes that the matter is not in religious freedom, but in this way the imams are trying to achieve publicity, since “the call of the muezzin is a demonstration of their power over the quarter.”
It is important to note here that Islam is one of the world’s great religions. And in itself should not be scary – Muslim communities have been living in Europe for many centuries. And, of course, respect for other cults, which Frau Mayor stands for, is good and right.
But how appropriate is such an obsessive form of religion in Germany, even if we consider that Islam in the country is professed by 5 to 10% of the population, and the Cologne Muslim community is one of the largest: out of more than a million inhabitants, 120 thousand are Muslims.
First of all, historically, Cologne is one of the most important centers of Catholicism in the country. Here is one of the most amazing Christian churches in the world – the Cathedral of St. Petra and the Holy Virgin Mary, better known as the Cologne Cathedral. This iconic Gothic-style building, which was built for more than six centuries, is considered a symbol of Cologne. And the square on which it was erected has been a place of pilgrimage for Christians since the era of Roman rule.
As for modern times, several years ago the city became notorious for the mass rape of German women on New Year’s Eve by migrants from North Africa and the Middle East. Most of the attacks took place in the square in front of the famous cathedral.
The incident shocked Germany. But the behavior of the mayor of Cologne, the very Frau Recker, aroused particular indignation among many then. She actually shifted all responsibility to victims of violence and advised women, in order to avoid harassment, to stay at arm’s length from strangers, appear on the streets in groups and not try to establish contacts with unfamiliar people.
How will the inhabitants of Cologne react this time to the innovations of their chief burgomaster?
This and other questions “SP” addressed Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Regional Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State Humanitarian University, expert of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Vadim Trukhachev…
– History is not new. Back in the late 2000s, there were debates in Cologne over the project to build a mosque, whose minarets were taller than the spiers of the famous cathedral. And then the scandal was huge – for the whole of Germany. But the height of the minarets was eventually reduced.
“SP”: – Are you talking about the Ditib mosque, which was opened in September 2018 by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan?
– Of course. But Erdogan then not only opened a mosque, he called on local Turks to remain Turks and warriors of Allah.
But in general, Cologne and the large cities of Germany are strongholds of the Social Democrats and the Greens, who are more tolerant of migrants. That is why such initiatives are being put forward.
Naturally, this will not go unnoticed. And many will not like it. Therefore, in the future, we can expect that the number of votes for the “Alternative for Germany” in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Cologne, in particular, will grow significantly. So far it is not too significant.
Because then there simply won’t be any other force that will clearly declare that this is no good.
Now, I think, residents are shocked, considering what Cologne is “famous for” on New Year’s Eve 2016. Moreover, Cologne is a special place for German Catholics. And, in principle, German Christians. And such a plan is simply an insult to some of the believers, an insult to German history and German culture. No religious tolerance, no respect for visitors, absolutely does not require such steps, which are taken by the Cologne burgomaster.
This, of course, will not end well. It can only end in endless clashes, squabbles, and the worst thing is human casualties.
“SP”: – It is not very clear why the mayor of Cologne is still in his place. Why wasn’t she dismissed after the events of that New Year’s Eve?
– While the urban German population of West Germany is not ready for an alternative, both literally and figuratively, too. It is not yet ripe.
Still, for Germans who were born immediately after the war, any conversation about the protection of German national values and shrines is understandably akin to something – manifestations of National Socialism. Although, it is clear that from the point of view of common sense this is complete stupidity.
But, nevertheless, such sentiments exist in the urban society of West Germany. And, apparently, a certain number of incidents are needed for the mood to swing in the other direction.
From this point of view, a coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats, which is absolutely loyal to emigrants, can bring the matter to complete absurdity in this matter, which, again, will not end well for Germany.
“SP”: – To what extent do such experiments with religious tolerance fit into the traditions of Germany and Western Europe as a whole?
– This is typical for all countries, starting from France, and further north. The process of Islamization is in full swing. Slowed it down a little in Austria and Denmark. They passed a number of laws that restrict migration. In addition, they tightened the requirements for obtaining citizenship, and in the case of Denmark – citizenship, since this is a kingdom.
The rest of the countries, in general, have made only cosmetic restrictions so far. There, the process of Islamization continues at full speed.
Naturally, this will only exacerbate the situation. And the authorities in Cologne simply put fire to the fuse of a powder keg. Now the question is when this barrel will blaze.
“SP”: – At one time a lot of controversy was caused by Elena Chudinova’s novel “The Mosque of Our Lady of Paris”, but, apparently, everything goes to the fact that the Cologne Cathedral may soon become a mosque …
– Often the most unimaginable utopias come true, as you know. And here, in fact, there was no utopia. Elena Petrovna wrote the book in 2005, if I am not mistaken, but even then in Paris, where she lives, mass pogroms began in the emigrant regions. And in London, the Islamists carried out a series of terrorist attacks in the subway.
In the “tenths”, this phenomenon has already become permanent.
It’s just that the people who have been running European countries for years, they are no longer young, and their brains cannot be altered. Someone who doesn’t fit into the system, like the Austrian chancellor Kurz, they try to simply remove it – so that everyone works in the system format.
We see where this leads and what else can it lead to. Cologne is just a mirror here.
SP: – Hasn’t multiculturalism gone bankrupt?
– In fact, she admitted it Merkel… Moreover, it is open. Not anyone, but Mrs. Merkel herself, admitted that the policy of multiculturalism has failed. But beyond words, nothing actually went. There were only cosmetic amendments that simplify the expulsion of migrants who have committed an offense. That’s all Germany has gone to.
“SP”: – I wonder what percentage of refugees to whom Merkel opened the gates to Europe in 2015, managed to socialize? This is approximately one million one hundred thousand people …
– About this particular contingent, one can only guess. But, in principle, the German statistics are earlier, preceding this period, there is. And it says that 45% of visitors from Muslim countries do not accept the European rules of the game.
But I think the percentage of those who do not accept these rules among the crowd that poured into Europe in 2015 is even higher.
That is, as of the beginning of 2015, the figure was as follows. And these were Turks with Kurds, Albanians with Bosnians, who by the standards of the Muslim world are not distinguished by super-high religiosity. And here already – Arabs, Afghans, Somalis …
That is, even if we take these 45% as a basis, it turns out that in Germany today there are about 5.5 million Muslims, and in absolute numbers, two and a half million do not want to socialize. This means they are potentially dangerous people. At the very least, they’ll just sit on welfare and do nothing. And, as a maximum, you and I understand that.