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Sonntag, Oktober 26, 2003
Growing German self-Esteem
The last weeks, we had some discussions about the question if Germans could also be seen as victims in WWII and so on. I know, there are some topics in the world, like the Israel/ Palestine conflict, where I as a German better hold my tongue in cheek, because whatever I say and however right or wrong it will be, people will jump on it simply, because I'm german. I can live with that, so no whining here. World isn't always fair.
Somehow I think, the German self esteem is somehow growing, even when our economy is going down and our unemployment rate is going up, somehow I notice that, beyond any revisionism, Germans get some self esteem back.
I don't think, this is wrong.
Germany is a great country. I really like living here for many reasons. In Europe Germany is one of the bigger partners and also in the world has Germany its part and role, be it in teaching policemen in Afghanistan, be it working in former Yugoslavia, be it things in Africa and so on. Germany has, as I perceive it, developed to a team-player in the European team. They had the guts to say no to George W. Bush when he wanted something the Germans didn't want to, and to bond with the French, which isn't easy, really not.
Then, this victim-discussions, I also see as a sign of a growing self-esteem and now, also the discussion about Muslims in Germany.
As I have stated before, to keep it short, I don't mind any religious problems, anyone should believe in what he or she prefers, but religion often comes as politics and when it's that part, it becomes dangerous. I don't mind women wearing a headscarf if they decide to (and not their male family members), but for a teacher I don't think it's appropriate because it's primarily a political sign and just secondarily a religious one.
But the simple fact that this discussion is possible, shows to me, that Germans start thinking about their role in the future world and politics, what I think it's a good sign.
Calm down! Any of you who feels tempted to lecture me about Germany's past in WWII and before and the Nazis and what they have done to the world (and not just the Jews), save your breathe. I'm pretty aware about this. But I also think, as many Americans, BTW, that Germany as a big partner is doing more good and maybe paying back in a better way, than a Germany full of people who let hang their head in shame for what their ancestors have done.
So, this IMO new found self-esteem also lead us to researching what one of the Muslim Schools in Germany is teaching to its pupils. The King Fahd Academy in Bonn near Cologne is one of the bigger schools for Muslims and one of the teachers there called his pupils for the Holy War in the Friday prayers.
The school suspended the teacher and german authorities now take a close look at their teaching materials and decide if the school might have been closed.
Juergen Roters, the police commissioner in Cologne is someone who really is pretty careful about what he says to whom, but he is reported to have said: "It is my goal to close this school because we have indications that fundamental Islamic doctrines are being conveyed in instruction and call for violence".
Yeah - will be interesting what will happen to this school, Mehmet Kaplan is still in Germany and his son is still living in the house where his father has called for murder.