tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV April 24, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
>> is islam a religion of peace or a jihadist ideology? theus -- theus a question provoking sharp questions here in germany. it says that unlike christianity or judaism islam pose as threat to democracy. at first glance developments in the arab world might be seen as supporting the claim for popular movements there have largely been stifled.
how combatable are islam and democracy that's what we want to talk about on "quadriga" with woodland kramer. she sa it dends on w slims understand and live islam. muslims can be good democrats. and tip bauer is a political scientist and an expert on islam. she says the recourse to religion is often used to coverup simple power interests. this is true for islam and other religions as well. and bill posner. he says being religious means serving god before the state and in this case islam is no different from buddhism and christianity. let's begin by taking a look at what's driving the a.s.d. it won quite a bit of support in regional elections with its anti-migration stance. so this this latest turn simply
a faurter refinement of that zeno phobia? >> i think so to an extent. it's a shift of focus because the majority of refugees that have come into the country the past few years are of muslim creed and religion. but i think they also feed into a widespread feeling of unease and possibly even a sense of threat among segments of the population and they're constantly feeding into it. i think adding to a very, very problematic atmosphere in the country. posner he fact is ellen that the number of migrants have been falling since some of the initiatives that have been taken by the government. is this a desperate ploy on the part of the a.s.d. to stay in the headlines? >> no. it's -- what they realize is the more radical they get the more they tap into the vast number of
people who haven't voted, who don't vote, who are dissatisfied with the system as a whole. nd they take xenophobia, islamophobia as an event for the whole parliamentary system. so saying that islam is somehow undemocratic is like caling the kettle black because what the a.s.d. is after is attacking the whole parliamentary system as nonrepresentative of what the people really think. >> populace pears everywhere at the moment are in revolt against what they call political correctness. is that part of what this anti-islam talk from the a.f.d. is about? >> some -- somewhat, yes. because the political correctness was for example used last year when there was a million refugees pouring into germany. so what they see is that -- that there's nobody who is really
descending occidental interests or the interests of germany, the right wing and those on the extreme right and what they say is they want to create a picture which is to say the islams they are too soft and they are avoiding germany to develop and to have the strength what they shall have in the world. >> polls this week showed the a.s.d. with record numbers if an election were to be held this coming weekend. the a.s.d. would get 13.5% of the national vote. that's only about six percentage points less than the junior partner in the governing coalition the governing democrats. that puts them with the greens and kramer. does that mean people like to new message of anti-islam? >> it's very difficult to say. i would come back to this word a term, rather, of unease and
lateened sense of threat among people who would not vote right-wing if they were at the polling station, i would argue some of yes, it's expressive of a wider sense but it's also a conscious urge to push people further in this direction. i would say that we're not yet at the polling station. we'll see what comes over the next few months and of course, the other parties they are active trying to shift the focus of attention to other issues. so as to sort of take off some of the weight that's been put recently on the question of immigration and cultural cohesiveness and authenticity. identity politics are truly interesting. of course, we also have to look at the contra dictions between depicting german values on the one hand and this claim that be
true to -- true western values that the a.s.d. is putting forth. points?it win is it winning points with this talk? >> it is and it will. it's happening all over europe. and it happened in the 1920's and 1930's. you know, this is what you do. you mobilize people's unease. you turn it into angle. you direct that angle against a part of the population. be it jews, be it muslims, be it whatever. it's says to say it's different and not they're the same as us as you use it for political ends. t works in poland for mr. ka chinsky. it worked in the 30's for mr. hitler. and so this is -- this is just -- it's bad.
it'ser visit. -- it's evil. and evil works. >> the head of germany compare this is talk on the a.s.d. on the part of naziism? >> i think this might be a little bit exaggerated regarding the die mention which it has -- dimension which is coming out right now in germany. it's something that we haven't seen in 40, 50 years. i think we see a part of the ciety coming up and having a weight inside society which they did not have before. maybe because they didn't speak out like you said because they didn't vote. i think there's something else. i think there's -- like a feeling of parts of the germans right now that they don't understand the world anymore, that it's not the world they
used to know. it has become more complicated. germany has taken a lot, a lot of years to understand that it's a migration country especially he right part of the conservative part of the population tries to deny that and say they will go back. now is the point where they have to recognize there are many people coming from outside and the difference of religion or maybe a different culture and they come here to stay. and so i think what's going on right now is a lack of capacity to a changing situation and to understand that in the globalized world things are different and germany is different. >> that's a detailed description of the unease that you talk about, professor kramer. do political elites get that? they have roundly condemned these statements by the a.s.d.
aren't they doing enough to reassure those who feel a sense of unease? >> the thing is how do you reassure someone who is xenophobic? society will have to change and of course, i understand that certain people don't sigh why they should change simply because refugees come into the country who they welcome. but that's life. and i do not think you can reassure them. what you can do, of course, is work on social policies and really do something against this -- within the limits of the rule of law, of course, against the violent expression of xenophobia. just like you have to do something against islamism. >> speaking of political elites, this latest controversy arose in connection with a draft party
program by the a.s.d., in which it turns on its head a formulation used by a former president. he said islam belongs to germany. and the a.f.d. says islam does not bloppings to germany. the chancellor reinforced that earlier message. let's take a look. >> for my part, i'd like to report from former german president said. islam belongs to germany. that's true. i also hold that opinion. >> islam is in the a part of germany but we have fully integrated citizens they are part of germany. >> so ellen posner, the second half of those two sound bites she doesn't sound like the neo nazi she is often felt to be. what's to object to there? >> the first part of your
question, does she sound like a neo nazi? of course. she doesn't. she isn't a neo nazi. she is a racist. she's the leader of a party that's going for racism ever more. the point they won't run around with skinheads going like this. that's been proven not to work. now the softer approach. and the second is, what does it mean "fully integrated muslim." am i a fully integrated muslim if i demand that they serve her haran meals? it's my right. there have been attempts to force schools to serve pork in germany in order to exclude these people. i mean, what do you mean by fully integrated? and this is -- this is the kind of soft talk that, you know, in the end the point is to say that they can want be fully integrated because their religion isn't going to allow them that.
>> up to 5% of the population is muslim. a negligable number. is that fully integrated? >> do muslim women who wear scarves are they fully integrated? because for the a.s.d. asked hem to push away -- not to use the head scarf. and so the question is the definition. i think it's clear here. i think the authorities talk about 1,000 people who are triffs or would be terrorists -- possible terrorists and all the others are not obviously. and the most of the muslims here in germany even don't go no the mosque. they don't even pray. that's not our deal to talk about this.
do they pray or do they go to the mo k? don't care if my so-called christian neighbor goes to the church or not. that's their private thing. as long as they stoic our constitution and live peacefully. that's what the big majority of them do. i don't have a problem with them. >> look at this draft program of the a.f.d. does indicate some of the points that it might expect fully integrated muslims to give up professor, kramer. it would ban the cull of the muasen. it would ban the public wearing of both the berka and the nihab. isn't that tantamount to banning the religion itself? >> not necessarily because according to muslims, theologians and lawyers you can practice islam without those elements. but that's a minority position. that's not really representative. i would argue that the problem is that this position stands in conflict with the german
constitution because we are a secular country with the freedom of religion with the bounds of legal requirements and there's nothing in the constitution na bands the wearing of the head scarf. that would be my position. you can argue about the full body veil because that is a different matter all together. but i do not see how constitutionally you can defend the ban on minerettes. when the muez disturbs the public peace there might be a limb to that. but that's not what they're talking about. they're trying to make islam invisible and to ban any expression of muslim affiliation and that is a problem and it does not go together with our laws. >> the draft program appears to want to make a distinction between orthodox islam and other forms of islam and it claims
that orthodox islam is not really john but a political program. would you say that that's true if not for moderate muslims then perhaps for fundamentalists? >> in order, does islam lead to thee ottke si if you take it at its most fundamental? >> yeah, every religion leads to thee yocksi so does catholism and protestantism. geneva.ive -- we've had -- we have theocratic communities like the mormons in the united states of america. we've had parts of jerusalem you try to drive a car friday evening you're going to get stones thrown at you because it's shabat there. 's a tendency in all religions and of course within islam.
it's the job of moderate people within the religions and it's the job of moderate states to curve that. the point is within the islamic world there are such things as moderate states not because of islam but because of the general dictators have been oppressing the majority of the people ever since it cake out of turk and have forced islam -- since it came out of turk and forced islam. >> you said in your statement that in the end there really isn't that much difference between the various religions when it comes to politics and the potential for violence. >> but is that really sflue the bible for example, contains potential ex-sort tations to violence but in fact, few christians would be ready to gird their loins and marning into holy war. >> the question is how you live this? i think the important point here
is how is the influence of religion on the state where you live? and i think that's the important point. people abide to the state's laws . the role of religion is something which goes back to private life. so -- and in the moment in which there's a conflict between religion and the state obviously it is the state law which is -- which is the important one. so i think that makes a difference in the end. and you have -- you said that kama ataturk was authoritarianian. i agree. he was. he was a sort of model. it was an approach step down but he was a model who tried to try to make a secular state work in long m state with a muslim history. there were some things which worked out.
education, they have something. they have a core of democratic values. i think it can work. but the point is you have to kick religion out. what they're doing now right now in turkey is that religion is coming more and more. >> i want to come back to the turkish example until a moment. let me ask you this, professor, staying with the question of theology. one muslim intellectual said after the 911 attacks by no means every muslim is a terrorists, most terrorists at the moment are muslims. is that link a theological link or a apply cal link? what's going on? >> it's difficult to clearly sort out whether something is purely religious or purely political. i would think that a whole combination of factors have led to that statement and entities correct. but if you look at the present
situation, the majority of terrorists are muslims and claim to act in the name of islam. but the problem lies in the generalization that you say because that is the fact now it has to be like that and it's within religion. they tell them to do that and those y act and follow injunctions. that's where the problem resides. and the imperative is to deal rather than ists deal with the violent and such which makes it harder because if you constant tell them that they're the same as the militants, how should they act? how should they be part of society if they're under this constant cloud of suspicion. >> let's look beyond western societies now because when we take a look at the arab world, it is the case that popular
democratic movements there appear to be in retreat. >> in the country's first freely contested election the islamic brotherhood took power but the movement didn't hold it for long. after months of turmoil, a cue dethat led by al-sisi, the former general later became general in disputed elections. since then both the military and police have cracked down on opposition even more than during the mubarak era. despite that many ejections except the autocratic regime, they feared if al-sisi was toppled the country could descend into chaos. is this evidence that western
democratic principles simply don't it in the arab world? >> why did the arab spring fail to produce a democratic summer? is islam somehow not fertile soil for those democrat ink -- democratic seeds that were planned there? >> on one end you had islamic party who is said they did politics in the name of islam. in fact, it was a power play. and they didn't want to share. they were in the tradition of dictatorship like the dictator who is had been forced to leave. so in most of the countries people who did not agree to them, they thought the only other alternative was the other sight. we have come to the old
polarization with this sem lar lead which has established a dictatorship before and is establishing a dictatorship before. here in yemen, same thing and iraq, the situation is different but it's also along the lines of power play in the end. and religion is being used for this. >> the done country -- the one country that's being held like that is tunisia. how stable is democracy there? >> impossible to say because i would fully agree with what was said. i would not look at religion as the decisive element here. i would look at the complicated mixture of economic problems and power politics and the fight betweener let's there are islamists elites and muslim elites in these countries. so it's not just one side only. so tunisia will suck seize r -- itf it saw some of the
solves some of the demick economic d -- problems. it wou have deal wh the economy and if that does not succeed, it will not be a question of islam or not. it will not be a very prosperous society, let's put it that way. >> let me add something to this. the interesting thing is that tuesday thing? sha has since -- in numbers, the maximum of female the islamic state but they really all come from the internal part of the country which is much less developed, where young supreme no perspective whatsoever. that is something where they go where they can identify themselves where they get money from and glory. >> the negative examples don't only drom the arab world. turkey was mentioned as a positive example but the fact is democracy is looking pretty
embattled there as well. >> well, turkey -- democracy is always 'em batted. it's embattled in ukraine. it's nonexistent in russia. nonexisstant in wide russia. look at spain, greece. common. this is not a specific problem. and if it is a specific problem of the arab world it has to do with the fact that all these countries, egypt, syria, iraq were basically socialist countries with state owned everything. the masses didn't have anything. there was no such thing as the middle-class which is the pillar of democracy. it emerges that this middle-class is often turns to islam as a vehicle for gaining power as they have done as the a.k. party has done in turkey. if we clamp down on that and side with the elites who we call secular are just as repressive as anything we know from our own history. then we're making a huge
mistake. we have to -- i'm not sure that, you know, the muslim brotherhood is a partner anymore but they could have been if we turned to them in time. with ve to realize the more that you oppress a religion and a group of people the more they're going to radicalize. this is what has happened. >> professor, a cup of -- couple of sentences. islam and democracy how can we invite a better fit? >> you cansk them about tir eas aut good sopet and good government. what you'll hear rule of law, transparency and democracy. not necessarily -- so it's not islam. it's muslim. >> thank you very, very much. thanks to you out there for joining in. and i hope to see you soon. çó@ç
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