As Sam Harris says, “The problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam.”
What’s in question here is the dilemma of the dualism of the koran. A complete ignoring of the Medina (ultra violent/intolerant) portion of the koran, does not negate it one iota. I could only hope for that portion to somehow miraculously drop off from each and every copy of the koran, but its there to stay. But one thing is for sure, the further a Muslim removes him/herself away from Mohamed’s intolerance and violence, the more likable they become.
So from time to time we will have wonderful people rejecting one koran in favor of the other (earlier Meccan period), but it does nothing in removing the Medina period from the koran as whole, and it’s that version we are at constant war with. This is the battle that Ahmad Mansour won in his life, but it does nothing to remove the Medina threat from our lives, it’s always going to be a constant threat to our liberties and way of life.
NOTE: Sorry for the Google trans, working on a German translation.
Mansour: Because wherever Islam is living, which requires almost all the people in life, it forces the corset of religious rituals and dogmas. Thus Islam is incompatible with democracy. There is so many stories in the Quran that can move people to think. Even examples to argue with God, to have a different opinion. And as long as that is suppressed as long as in our minds a punitive, vengeful, patriarchal God dominates many predominantly Muslim societies will not be able to live a human Islam that is compatible with democracy.
Ahmad Mansour: Yes, most people here in Germany do not know that in Israel, mostly more than one million Arabs live together peacefully with Jewish Israelis. This Arab population belongs to Israel since 1948, it is a part of the country. Most Arabs live in northern Israel. In cities such as Haifa and Jaffa Arabs and Jews live next door to. However, I grew up in a small village, which is 100 percent Arab. My grandparents were farmers, where as a child I helped sometimes. My father is an ordinary worker at a gas station. My mother is a housewife.
The World: Her parents were not religious, you say.
Mansour: As a child, I have not experienced it at all religious. Today my parents are like a lot. They pray, they were in Mecca and fasting in Ramadan. I think that’s part of the development of many Muslims, actually all people. With age, especially with the fear of aging and death, they are religious.
The World: And yet it managed an imam to address you.Do you think he has addressed consciously shy guys or outsiders?
Mansour: He has addressed many young people, to lure them into his Islamic school. Also with me he has hit a point: I wanted to belong, get recognition. I was very good in school. They said I was talented. And played a major role in the Imam. He wanted young people that what they have in mind, which can proselytize. They are dangerous.
The World: You have said of himself: “I was an Islamist.” What did the Imam exactly make you do?
Mansour: It all started very harmless, for example with grammar exercises. The language of the Quran is Modern Standard Arabic, which I knew not in everyday life and found it fascinating. In addition, it also had the positive side effect that I was better at teaching Arabic at school. And so I enjoyed going there and worked his way quietly. Each week, I somehow learned a phrase that belittled me and others as religious students raised over them. The increases in the head.
The World: What is Islam for you?
Mansour: hatred. Hatred against Muslims who do not appreciate Islam against women who wear a headscarf against Europeans, Americans, dissenters. That was like in every sect, one was filled with these phrases and resentment until they are believed. Eventually I wanted to proselytize himself, wanted to save others from their seemingly miserable life. You could not argue with me. I was convinced that everyone must submit and go with us.
The World: Spooky it, as the Imam took you and other guys at night to the Graveyard. And they had to put in an open grave. He wanted to make you afraid. He spoke of death and of hell.
Mansour: Yes, that was horrible. The punitive God plays an enormous role in Islam. Violence was normal in my life. It was on the agenda that I was beaten at home, unfortunately. This picture of God fits so well to the image of the strict father. And so I was submissive. A God who is merciful, I did not know then.
The World: If you live near the Mediterranean and fun-loving Tel Aviv, then you can not escape this maelstrom, do you?
Mansour: At first, I knew the world outside my little village. I’m not gone off every day to play football or eat ice cream, but I’ve discovered this other world indirectly. In 1991, when Saddam’s missiles fell on Israel, I was interested for the first time Israeli television. Before we only saw Jordanian and Syrian programs. And then I looked at once well as European and American Teens series. For me, a whole new world, the desire aroused in me. I not only wanted to watch on TV, but also the experience. I was very happy when I was 18 and had my driver’s license. So I took my dad’s car and drove to the nearest town to the movies. That was a big taboo. Because cinema was the devil’s tool, even for non-religious people such as my father. Cinema meant modernity and modernity promised drugs and alienation.
The World: How important was then education for your family?
Mansour: My mother always said, read a book once and do not talk nonsense. And that’s why I wanted to read a book. Books I’ve only discovered at 18. My first book was about Nietzsche. After that, I just wanted to read. For my father, education was very important and he wanted that all his children are studying.
The world: you have then studied psychology in Tel Aviv. Can we say that Freud helped to overcome Islamism?
Mansour: Yes, and also the open and direct speaking in the seminars on politics, sexuality, history. And that was expected of me to think critically and to question things that did me good. And of course the city of Tel Aviv itself, because I have since met people who did not fit into these stereotypes of my Imam. These were not “the Jews”, “the enemy”, the “kill us” wanted, but friends who have helped me with papers, who drank coffee with me, who are out with me, who even visited me at home. The hatred did not matter at once. For this, the women but then an even bigger one. I was curious, wanted to see, wanted to feel love. And by love, I was free.
The World: And the imam?
Mansour: “Come back, my boy,” he often said. He has also repeatedly tried to scare me. He told me of people who had stopped to pray and then died in an accident. And how they stewed in hell. This went on for almost a year so he gave up.
The World: They went to Germany. Why?
Mansour: It was only after I had finished my studies in Tel Aviv and as a psychological supervisor for three years I worked in the Department of anorexic children in a German hospital near Tel Aviv, where children were treated from the entire Middle East. After that, I worked as the only Arabs in the marketing department of a pay-TV channel. Everything was beautiful, smelled the time around the year 2000 after peace. Until the second Intifada everything zunichtemachte. The attacks, the traumatic images and the many checkpoints on my way home evening I could not long endure: Suddenly I shuttled between two worlds, the ever-distant from each other. When I was nearly killed in an attack, I said to myself: I do not want that. I have to go somewhere else. All my friends were also married now, and my family exerted a pressure on me insane. The Goethe Institute you advise me. And I liked that. Two weeks later I was in Berlin.
The World: And now you are here in Berlin as a street worker with male Muslim youth and look after them.
Mansour: We work with the “Heroes” project with young people whose Turkey, Lebanon, Kosovo or other Muslim countries, family background spans. But they do not want to be put in a box with honor killers or those who are forced marriages in order. You want to show that there is another way. You want to attract attention, but not negative, because they are criminals and ghetto kids, but positive, because they stand up for this company. They are studying. Here they see their future. The characters are open, which are essential for this country.
The world you call them pathetic “Heroes” heroes. If you think of the new case of rapper Bushido, which should be tied in in Neukölln with a Lebanese criminal clan that would die laughing and call these guys wimps.
Mansour: Too bad he is so successful with its violent and misogynistic songs. Since the latent machismo mainstream society tolerates very well with the traditional thinking of many Muslims. Most Western European men would be 30 years before even died laughing when they saw a man pushing a stroller, or a gay mayor. Times change, and also in the immigrant milieu, it is fermenting. While on the one hand, there are still traditional images of men. On the other hand, there are also groups like us with the “Heroes”. For me they are exactly the models that are needed in schools and youth centers. These are types as the next door, only that they know more, think more mobile and have learned to convince with arguments instead of fists.
The world you work psychologically?
Mansour: We clarify about fears and taboos and convey knowledge about psychological dynamics, such as when we ask: What is honor?We also operate educational theater, with sketches and improvisations. In the traditional, patriarchal education critical thinking is not provided. Since include obedience and group sense. And then it opens a teenage territory when he hears of another, the question whether it is ever okay that you imprison his sister that one marries a woman who is a virgin, or because the family has chosen the woman .Be forced Marital also the young men! The guys will just come a light.
The World: What is the Muslim concept of honor so different than the example of Christian Wulff, who said to his honor’s sake, that he goes to court and wants to achieve an acquittal?
Mansour: I would not be described as an honor but as pride. Classic patriarchal honor assumes that men have power over women, and even death. And that the bodies of women, the integrity of a hymen, and the like make up the core of male honor. We’re fighting against.For a sense of honor, which does not use the individual, but the other, the environment, the clan, the village eyes are the power to decide whether or not I am honorably. People should be worn with pride, dignity and power.
The World: In our society, many believe in multiculturalism or at least want any trouble with migrants and cower away from problems. But there are skeptics who see the otherness and isolation of many Muslims a great threat to our democracies in Europe. What is your feeling?
Mansour: Yes, there are two poles of the debate, the ducking and the demonizing, both are dangerous. On the one hand we have the alarmists and on the other hand people who think that “protect” Muslims must, and therefore prohibit any criticism. Thus, Muslims are only incapacitated. But in this debate is not about Islam versus Christianity. It’s about a fundamental conflict of values. What should unite us as a society, are the laws of democracy and human rights.Who denies the values promoted and which are unconstitutional, must be taken against the. But I think a lot has happened in Germany in the integration. In other European countries, I think of France or Great Britain, but the conflicts are much deeper. We should say the positive examples of coexistence in Germany emphasize much more to trivialize without problems. Unfortunately, the Muslim organizations sometimes play a dubious game, because they tend to commit migrants in the victim role.
The World: Are you sure it’s not all a matter of Islam vs. Christianity?The most renowned scholars of Islam in the world, Bernard Lewis, has just claimed in a text, the Islamic struggle against Christianity had reached a new level in America and Europe: With terrorism and immigration would destabilize the West.
Mansour: And what about the Jews? How often they had to experience the terror in Israel Arab neighbors and countrymen! In the fight against democracy, there are changing enemy. Today it is the Christians, yesterday it was the communists, and tomorrow it will be the atheists.Terrorists and fanatics need scapegoats, and they find it very quickly.
The World: How dangerous are the Salafists in this context?
Mansour: You will love to play down because the Salafists have been in this country only occasionally become violent. But what is violence?Since last posted a single fanatic detonates a bomb to wipe out many lives and destabilize the sense of security of an entire country just as happened in Boston. Verbal and symbolic violence exercised in my eyes already someone who says, because you are a Christian, you’re worth less than I do, because I am a Muslim. Sects such as the Salafists fascinate weak people because they control everything, even the question as to which foot you first enter the toilet.
The World: How do you explain that there is no Islamic state in the world that truly respects the rights of minorities?
Mansour: Because wherever Islam is living, which requires almost all the people in life, it forces the corset of religious rituals and dogmas. Thus Islam is incompatible with democracy.
The World: Perhaps he is indeed. This works completely different religion than Christianity.
Mansour: There is so many stories in the Quran that can move people to think. Even examples to argue with God, to have a different opinion. And as long as that is suppressed as long as in our minds a punitive, vengeful, patriarchal God dominates many predominantly Muslim societies will not be able to live a human Islam that is compatible with democracy.
The World: How do you feel today towards Israel ?
Mansour: In that I was able to study in Israel and there was so many chances, I’m glad. I am proud to have met people who have helped me and incredibly eye-opening. I am proud that I grew up in a democratic country, although it probably makes a lot of angry that I describe Israel as a democracy. But it is so. And for me as an Arab and a Muslim, it is incredibly important that the existence of Israel is untouchable. For history does not begin until 1948. Ever: 1993-1996 before Rabin was assassinated by a radical Jews were the best years in Israel for me.Since you had the feeling that everything was in bloom. Suddenly there was no more hatred. And the checkpoints played no role at all. But then, Hamas has ruined everything. It’s time for a change.