Wednesday, January 27, 2010

German Mosques Raided Over Wife-Beating Manual

JLH, who frequently translates German-language material for us, has compiled a report about a nationwide raid on German mosques. His account is based on two articles, one from and the other from Die Welt:

Raid On German Mosques

January 20, 2010

In a nationwide raid, police impounded copies of a banned book which called for violence against women. Beating of women is justified as “discipline,” so long as no bones are broken and no bruises left on the body.

In a raid on five mosques, prayer rooms and publishing houses as well as the private residences of three Islamic preachers, police impounded data storage units, computers and banned books. Thirty establishments were targeted in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony. In Lower Saxony, four establishments were involved, six in Baden-Württemberg and one each in Bavaria, Berlin and Saxony

“Women under the Protection of Islam” is the German translation of a book published in Saudi Arabia. Descriptions in the chapter “Beating the Woman” have been declared by the Federal Department for Media Likely to Endanger Young People as both discrimination and incitement to violence

The book, which can be found on diverse Islamic internet sites, had already been indexed as dangerous to youth on January 15, 2009. The applicable passages state that beating women is, to be sure, absolutely forbidden, but is permissible as an ultimate resort when a woman does not obey her husband.

After “admonition” and “warning of Allah’s punishment,” the man should apply the sanction of “avoiding his wife’s bed.” If this is also ineffective, the next stage of discipline would ensue: “Beating without damaging, breaking bones, leaving bruises on the body and under no circumstances striking the face.” This treatment had proven as effective with controlling or domineering women as with submissive women: “These women enjoy being beaten.”

According to police statements, the books were displayed at public events and offered in mail order catalogs, thereby being made available to young people. The books had first appeared in Stuttgart in June, 2009, at a lecture by the Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel (Abu Hamza).
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The 31 year-old Vogel — a former professional boxer — converted to Islam and preaches to mostly young people, whom he encourages to convert. He advocates, among other things, the law of sharia. Vogel lives in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia), presents his interpretation of Islam on numerous lecture tours and offers his sermons on the internet for downloading.

The two other preachers are Sven Lau (Abu Adam) and Muhammad Ciftci (Abu Anas) of the Islamic school in Braunschweig. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has had the so-called Educational and Cultural Center in Braunschweig in its sights for years. It is considered one of the most important hubs of the Islamic scene in Germany.

The three men run the website “Invitation to Paradise,” which recruits for Salafi Islam. According to security authorities, branches of Salafi especially, as extremist forms of Islam, represent a threat to democratic constitutional social order.

It is true that they foreswear violence, but they pursue anti-democratic goals under the cover of religious freedom and adherence to the law. They use propaganda materials in an attempt to embed concepts and values in today’s society, which not only undermine continuing efforts at dialog and integration, but also cancel out the validity of current legal norms.


Dreadnaught said...

I don't see why they should ban this or any book on the principal that we are still a free democracy. Surely it is safer for a society to debate these things in the public arena and expose the inequities of this detestable cult. By banning this and even the likes of Mein Kampf, all that had been achieved is a contradiction of our core beliefs of freedom of speech. We need to turn of the lights and expose these roaches, not give them celebrity status.

ChrisLA said...

While banning any publication can actually bring it more attention, government authorities and pundits can and should shine a bright light of moral outrage on "sacred" commands to commit evil acts, particularly when those evil acts are against local laws. The worst offense than any religious leader can do is to use the name of God for evil purposes. Wife beating is evil. (So, too, are a dozen other acts commanded by the Quran such as marrying pre-pubescent girls, cutting off hands of petty thieves, and stealing booty.)

. said...

I would think that Germany, of all places, would not follow the American lead regarding "freedom of speech." This is an example of true cultural differences that I certainly respect. In Germany, the book should be banned and its authors, if not citizens, expelled from its borders.

The applicable passages state that beating women is, to be sure, absolutely forbidden, but is permissible as an ultimate resort when a woman does not obey her husband.

This statement seems to be completely internally contradictory. I wonder if it is a problem with translation.

. said...

Whereas in the U.S. the book not only could not be suppressed because of constitutional issues, but also shouldn't be suppressed, but rather should be exposed to the light of day for the evil it represents.