Islam in Germany
By Faisal Kazi, 1-06-98
Assalaamu Alaykum, I would like to give you my honest opinion about what most of the people here in Germany think about Islam.
1. Most people relate terrorism with Islam due to the media influence in general in the west. You never hear any positive thing about our religion, only the bad news.
2. Islam is considered to be very intolerant and a rigid religion here. Germans normally mind their own business i.e. nobody is really interested in any body elseís way of life. What I know of them they really enjoy their privacy and donít allow any body to interfere in their affairs. They think that Islam gives detailed guidance into oneís life style from clothing to waking up time etc. This is in general not acceptable to them.
3. In general, Muslims are considered to be backward. When these Germans notice that the Muslim community (after 1400 years) is still busy deciding minute physical details like the lengths of their trousers, the type of beard, methods of cleaning etc. instead of trying to catch up with the new technical changes which are influencing the whole world and are changing the shape of the world with an immense speed, they are put off.
There are many Turkish people living here since the last 25 years but they still donít speak any German. In general, their education is very poor.
4. It is generally seen that Islam is forced on the people. We have a large Turkish community in Germany and the young girls are forced to cover their heads although they donít want to do so. Germans believe in doing things only if you want to do them. Only if it comes from oneís heart that is if you are totally convinced about it should one adopt it. This attitude of the Turkish community is considered to be against the basic human rights and brings hypocrisy in the characters of the people. As you also know, in our country Ė Pakistan -- most of the people have double personalities: one image for the society and one the real one which nobody gets to see. In Germany, we donít have this problem. Every body is really the way you see him or her which makes life quite easy as you can really read the minds of the people. They have the courage to face what they do and not hide it. As a rule of Allah, the good is more powerful than the bad; So there is no need to impose it; if you are on the good side you donít have to impose it on any body: the good emerges triumphant itself. So this is the basic difference in thinking. I also believe that we should present our religion in a way that the people themselves think it to be the best choice for them.
5. Another very strange state of affairs which faces us that if Islam is the best religion of the world why the present Muslim state of backwardness, lagging behind in every issue, suffering and being dependent on the west.
Actually, nothing is more convincing than success. If we manage to accelerate our people and country in the different fields of life, then the world will automatically become interested in our religion. Unfortunately, seeing our present situation, we are a nation which is only leading in corruption, debt, lack of education, human right abuses, money laundering, killings etc.
These facts sound rude, but facts are facts.
I think that the time to talk is over and we only have one choice and that is prove our teachings by pure actions. Letís do something and not talk. I think that in the earlier times, Islam spread in the world as at that time the Muslims were the most advanced and strong people. Much more educated as compared to the west. So letís concentrate on real issues which we are already facing and which are destroying our society. I think this is our duty, and if we further fail in these matters our future generations will turn more further away from our heritage and religion.