It is Open Mosque Day in Germany.Trust your instincts.
Despite Ramadan fasting, the Muslim community was working Wednesday to counter the perception among many Germans that Islam is a danger.
The body language of some of listeners is plain: their arms are folded, an attitude of scepticism. Others listen more sympathetically as Can explains some basics of Islam, standing in the car park outside the mosque in Cologne.
[ ... ]
Ferdinand Brune, 60, already has an opinion. He has obtained a German translation of the Koran and written down at home all the objectionable verses he could find.
"There are places where it calls for violence against the infidels. I find that pretty scary," he said.
Brune, a building technology engineer and member of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union, said he was going to meet the Muslim clergy and challenge them with their own holy book.
When he did, an imam patiently told him that Koran has to be read as a whole and cannot be interpreted by taking single statements out of context. [Damned context...everything's always taken out of context! --ed.]
He said Mohammed had never waged a war of attack, but had only fought in self-defence. [Evidently, it's self-defense when you wipe out those who won't convert to the religion you just invented. --ed.] Brune nods politely, and lets the answer stand, without saying whether or not he has been convinced.
[ ... ]
The older Cologne man, 65, voices his suspicions differently after the tour.
"It has probably made me a bit more tolerant," he says. "But I still have this unpleasant sense that these people are trying to get a foot in the door and take over our place."
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Selling Islam to Germany
German Muslims are holding "Open Mosque" days in Germany in a massive PR offensive.