The Blog

"Europeans Have Stopped Defending Their Values"

11:27 AM, Oct 4, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Germany's Spiegel has a provocative interview with Bassam Tibi, the Syrian-born Islam expert who became a German citizen in 1967.

SPIEGEL: The administrator of one of Berlin's opera houses, the Deutsche Oper, has cancelled the Mozart Opera "Idomeneo" out of fear of an Islamist reaction. Is this the first sign of Germany bowing down to Islam?

Tibi: It's not the first sign, but rather a repeated one. Recently we have been seeing more and more acts of submission, the most recent case being the Pope's apology. When it comes to Islam, there is no freedom of the press nor freedom of opinion in Germany. Organized groups in Islamic communities want to decide what is said and done here. I myself have been dropped from numerous events because of threats.

SPIEGEL: You are trying to say that critics of Islam are systematically silenced in Germany?

Tibi: Yes. Even the comparatively moderate Turkish organization DITIB says there are no Islamists, only Islam and Muslims -- anything else is racism. That means that you can no longer criticize the religion. Accusing somebody of racism is a very effective weapon in Germany. Islamists know this: As soon as you accuse someone of demonizing Islam, then the European side backs down. I have also been accused of such nonsense, even though my family can trace its roots right back to Muhammad and I myself know the Koran by heart….

Read the entire interview http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,440340,00.html target=_blank>here.