Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Is that why the Austrian newspaper Die Presse has published two recent articles that exhibit common sense about Islam?
Or are the Austrian media beginning to come around to the point of view of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff? The authors of these articles say things that sound almost like what you might read here, at a site whose mission is to defend the ramparts of Vienna.
Elisabeth had this to say about these two articles, both of which have been kindly translated by JLH:
First, an examination by Detlef Kleinert of Islamic intolerance and violence:
Die Presse, a supposedly liberal paper (liberal in the European sense, as opposed to the American context), now and then still permits the publication of the truth outside the religion of multiculturalism, tolerance and mutual inclusion. Detlef Kleinert, a retired correspondent for a German newspaper who lives in Austria, has once again managed to sneak in a commentary that in the eyes of the establishment must be felt as a punch in the head.
I was told that in the face of this commentary, my conviction appears even more ludicrous, since Kleinert’s words are but a very shortened version of my seminars. I can’t disagree.
The second article should be read with the first one in mind. On the less than auspicious occasion of the opening of the Saudi-sponsored, Austrian- and Spanish-supported tolerance center, its Saudi secretary general was interviewed by Christian Ultsch, also of Die Presse. Ultsch has exhibited knowledge of Islamic doctrine in the past, and, though he could have pushed even harder, he was able to expose the general secretary for what he is: a taqiyya artist using his finest painting techniques. Mr. GenSec is the Michelangelo of Taqiyya. Read for yourself.
Next, an interview with the general secretary of the new King Abdullah center in Vienna:
We Muslims Cannot Co-Exist With You
by Detlef Kleinert
Why the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world is increasing. Where sharia reigns, non-Muslims have lost all rights.
In Tahrir Square in Cairo, a recent placard announced: “85 million people want the implementation of sharia.” About 10,000 Salafists had gathered to demand strict adherence to the Koran in the constitution. What this means in practice was explained by a terrorist, after he and others had murdered 60 Catholics in Iraq: “You Christians are all ‘kuffar’ (infidels); we cannot co-exist with you!”
So it is that, worldwide, about 100 million Christians are being persecuted, humiliated, and ultimately murdered. Especially in Islamic countries. The more strictly the Koran is enforced, the more merciless is the systematic displacement, the murderous terror.
Some examples: In Indonesia in recent years, more than 1,000 churches were burned. In the last 30 years in Egypt, more than 1,800 Copts have been murdered for religious reasons. In the Fall of 2011, imams in more than 20 Upper Egyptian mosques called for an assault against churches and the murder of Christians. Security forces withdrew.
Religious Hate Propaganda
Religious hate propaganda is not confined to mosques. It is played on tapes everywhere, in bazaars, in taxis and in private residences. Islam researcher, Rita Breuer: “In most Muslim-leaning countries, it is no longer necessary to be secretive about spreading anti-Christian propaganda. It is acceptable and in many places even in good taste.”
The consequence, according to Breuer: “Equal rights for non-Muslim citizens cannot exist in an explicitly Islamic-tilted country.” Where sharia reigns, non-Muslims have lost all rights. “There has never been an Islamic state without religious discrimination.”
Rita Breuer, who has long been active as an aid worker in Islamic countries, also explains Islamic hate of Christians theologically. Sura 4, verse 171 says unmistakably: “Jesus, son of Mary, is the envoy of Allah.” Naturally, the religious founder of Christianity, God’s son, cannot, may not be more divine than Mohammed, who was “only” a human being. Therefore, belief in Jesus Christ challenges the entire Islamic belief structure. So the “idolaters,” according to sura 9, verse 17, “will abide forever in the fire.”
Religious Freedom is only Theoretical
Here there is nothing of the compassion which Mouhanad Khorchide believes he sees in Islam. (“Islam is Compassion,” Herder Publications). And when he says contemporary Muslims should regard the Koran in a historical context, that may apply to educated Muslims in Western lands. But, where Islam is the state doctrine, other principals are in control.
In Turkey, for example, where there theoretically is religious freedom. Rita Breuer: “In nominally laicist Turkey, you can observe an outright hysterical persecution of the Christian mission and whatever it is assumed to be.” In 2007 in eastern Turkish Malatya, two Turks who had converted to Christianity and a German pastor were “gruesomely butchered.”
It’s not an isolated case. In sharia, apostasy — dropping out of the Islamic faith — is punishable by death. In many Islamic countries, apostates are under sentence of death; elsewhere, the “merciful” representatives of the faith call for lynch justice. In Egypt, for example, “many imams call the faithful to the killing of converts,” says Breuer. “Whoever follows their call need fear no punishment.”
However, while it is churches in the Western world that preach tolerance and many theologians babble about a “dialogue between equals,” the climate of hostility finds ever more adherents in the Islamic world. Breuer: “The wave of re-Islamization in the Islamic world and renewed politicization of religion is like a creeping poison for the inter-religious climate, and works considerably to the disadvantage of Christians.”
The liberals have not prevailed in the internal Islamic dispute — the radical Islamists have. There is no question — this will also have its effects on the varied trends in Islam in the Western world.
Pseudo-Dialogue is no Good for Anyone
And let us not forget: the sham dialogue here at home is not helping endangered Christians in the Islamic world. They are directed to a clear position taken by Western churches. It is like a denial of reality, when theologians — as in the Catholic Church in Vienna — repeatedly paint a positive and idealized picture of Islam. An Islam which is compatible with Christian values — the “true Islam of peace and freedom, of equal rights for all people, of tolerance and pluralism.”
Except, as Rita Breuer knows, “This allegedly true Islam does not exist.” On the contrary, the hate campaign against Christians is growing, here as well. “Even though actively militant Muslims are a minority, passive acceptance of violence is very high.” This is a sentence which should make everyone ponder migration and integration.
“Is There Another Chance With Dialogue?”
by Christian Ultsch
November 16, 2012
There is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, King Abdullah is financing an international dialogue center in Vienna. General Secretary Faisal A. bin Muaamar bridles at the charge of hypocrisy.
Presse: Saudi Arabia has initiated an inter-religious dialogue center that will soon open here in Vienna. In Saudi Arabia itself there is no tolerance of other religions. I would like to talk with you about this hypocrisy, this contradiction. Faisal: This initiative was presented to 57 Islamic states and accepted by them. King Abdullah included 500 Islamic religious leaders. When he suggested the dialogue center, he was speaking as the Keeper of he sacred places of Islam for the entire Islamic world: Sunni, Ismaili, Sufi. Presse: Would it not be a good idea to begin in your own land, Saudi Arabia? Faisal: I invite you to take a look at the national dialogue center in Saudi Arabia. You have the right to ask any question. But if you want to talk only about Saudi Arabia, a better conversational partner would be the Saudi Arabian foreign minister or the ambassador. I represent the international dialogue center which has been founded by three nations: Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain. The Holy See has observer status. The center is run by nine directing members: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. I am a Saudi citizen. I saw many reforms recently, but it would not be correct to confuse my position as general secretary of the center with what happens in Saudi Arabia. Presse: At any rate, the center bears the name of the Saudi Arabian king. Faisal: Do you know who wanted to give it that name? The members of the directorate asked King Abdullah to have it named after him. Presse: Why is it simpler for the king to begin this dialogue with leaders of other religions than to tell the Grand Mufti not to demand the destruction of churches on the Arabian peninsula? Faisal: You have to understand the nature of Saudi society. Reforms have always gone out from the government and always encountered resistance in society. Saudi society is afraid of imported changes. And that is the last thing I have to say on Saudi Arabia. When someone says he will accept no initiative from another country as long as it does not change itself is setting impossible conditions. Presse: Is it asking too much that people of other faiths in Saudi Arabia should be allowed to practice their religions publicly before the great international dialogue begins? Faisal: This center will be a perfect place to bring religious leaders. And I am sure that and assistant of the Grand Mufti will come. Presse: Why does the Grand Mufti not have to resign, when he demands the destruction of churches? Faisal: That was not a fatwa (legal opinion). Presse: Then what was it? Faisal: An interview with a journalist. Unfortunately, the journalist reported it falsely. Presse: As general secretary of the dialogue center, do you wish Christians to be allowed to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia.? Faisal: That is not a wish; that is the right of every religion. Presse: So you say that it is a human right for people to practice their religion. Faisal: It is not a human right. In every religion there are… Presse: Of course religious freedom is a universal human right. Faisal: Sharia acknowledges all prophets and religions. The only way to achieve recognition and respect is to bring people to dialogue. Presse: Will there be a meeting of the dialogue center in Riyadh? Faisal: Yes, soon. How soon, I cannot say, but there will be a meeting. Presse: And will the Jewish representative, Rabbi Rosen, be allowed to enter the country? Faisal: He is a member of the directorate and an American Jew. It is not true that Jews are not allowed to enter the country. A delegation from Europe or the USA comes almost every week. The problem is Israel, which is not recognized by Saudi Arabia. Presse: I understand that Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter the country. And will Christians be allowed to bring along bibles or rosaries? That is usually a problem with Saudi customs. Faisal: The dialogue will bring much good news. Will we have another chance with dialogue? Do you believe that people can be compelled to change? Presse: No, but I believe in deeds more than words. So it would be a good start if there were religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. Faisal: I would like you to ask 1.6 million Muslims what they have to say about the French ban on head covering. Presse: I don’t understand. France is a secular state and therefore forbids religious symbols in public buildings and spaces. Faisal: Yes, the law must be respected — the separation of religion and state. Presse: Exactly the opposite is true for most of the Islamic world. Faisal: Yes, and after the Arab Spring, you will see what happens in Egypt and Syria. This problem will continue. It can only be solved by dialogue. In most Islamic countries, the constitution is based on Islamic law. Not even democratic countries believe in the separation of religion and state. Western culture must have a dialogue about that with Islamic countries. Presse: I think that one of the reasons your government is sponsoring the center is to burnish its image abroad. Faisal: Saudi Arabia is making great contributions in many world organizations. Ask UNESCO, to which Saudi Arabia has made significant donations after the USA ceased its giving. Presse: How is the center being financed? Faisal: Saudi Arabia will support the budget for three years. The annual budget will be between ten and fifteen million euros. The center will have a maximum of 25 employees. We want the most qualified people in the world. Presse: How many officials of the Austrian foreign ministry will move to the center? Faisal: From Austria, only representative Bandion-Ortner, who was nominated with the help of a headhunter, with a co-worker. I guarantee that there will be no influence from the three foreign offices. Presse: Perhaps the influence will come first. Faisal: I will not allow that. Presse: That is difficult, when Saudi Arabia is paying for everything and you — a Saudi Arabian citizen — are the general secretary of the center. Faisal: The nine members of the directorate are very tough. We want to create a crystal-clear, transparent system. Presse: You were vice minister of education in Saudi Arabia. Do you know what Saudi Arabian students can read about other religions? Faisal: Yes, and you would be astonished at what has happened in the past three years. Presse: So there is no fundamentalist Wahhabi rabble-rousing against other religions in the schoolbooks? Faisal: You will hardly find anything. But there are extremist activities outside the schools. There are extremists everywhere. Presse: Thank you for the open dialogue.