Globalization and the conflict between Christian and Muslim society

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9. Why do you think globalization is connected to the conflict between Christian and Muslim society? Considering the integration of Muslim immigrants in Europe, what do you think is the main problem to be solved now? Do you have any experience with this minority (Muslim immigrants) making demands and the perception of it in official places?

Jana Hybášková:

I never said globalization is connected to the conflict between Christian and Muslim society. There is no connection whatsoever.

Muslims in Europe are not a unified group. We can not generalize about their situation. The situation of Moroccans in the Netherlands differs from situation of Algerians in France, and the Kurdish situation in Sweden differs from that of Turks in Germany. We find among them huge religious, legal and ethnic differences. Any equalization is a mistake. We have to inform ourselves about their social and economic situation. We have to try to avoid their social exclusion, as we do now with the Roma population to support by all means their inclusion in our society - our country. We have to support their inclusion by all means in our society. The key issue is education and language. They should have an equal opportunity to gain skills, habits, norms, and education as our children do. Then they can be more close to finding more equal opportunities to enter the labor market and to improve their social position. Then, if they are confident and satisfied citizens, I am sure they will keep their customs and manners, knowledge of Islam as an additional cultural capital, not as the confirmation of social exclusion. The issue then is to design proper systematic way of social inclusion and equal opportunity.

The important political issue is the way many EU states interfere in Muslims' religious affairs, often with disregard towards differences between Sunnis and Shiites, between Turks and Kurds and Arabs, among Malikis, Hanbalis, for instance. We should be much more sensitive to our approach to The Muslim Council, for instance, in Germany. Neglecting one group because of another does not help.

Irmawan Rahyadi

Thank you Jana for the answers. I would like to say that the answers are interesting and insightful. The reality in the Arab peninsula as a small example in the grand scheme of globalization really makes me realize we are dealing with a huge issue here.

Since Jana was an expert in Arab matters, I tend to pay more attention on the questions related with this. So let me start with the perspectives of terror that at this time is always related to the Middle East a.k.a Arabs. As Jana mentioned that this so called "terror" phenomenon has been around for over centuries in different parts of the world, that means the origins of Arab terror were never proved. The relationship between terror and globalization is not proven, she said.

Jana then in different answer said that globalization is much more manageable in the hand of society which could keep the strategic threats to a minimum. I would like to link my next question with the fact that you said a certain religion is much more difficult to open up to modernization. Since education and language are important elements in supporting the inclusion in modern society. In this case are you neglecting second or third generation Muslims who “turn to religious roots” and at the same time can participate in modern society, such as in Europe and North America?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Jana Hybášková

Dear Imrawan, Thank you very much for your question. For me, it was the best one. And please, consider my answer my humble opinion, since it is very difficult to judge another region if you are not its adherent. I do not have any problem with Islamic “usuliyya”. Coming back to roots, when you feel you cannot find a clear answer as if centuries of tradition have laid dust upon a religiously illuminated truth, you try to do everything to dig back. We Christians read the Qumran Scroll, study Gnosis, we have apocrypha to try to discover what Jesus really meant…If we do so, it is not extremism, it is not curiosity, it is true belief as if we want to have it made clearer. I know many fundamentalist Muslims who are really pious people, who know Islamic Music, Islamic art, who contribute to Ccharity, who pray, and who are blessed by deep belief and of trust… So I can never ever neglect them. A more complicated issue usually lies with the answer: ” No, it is not the Quran al karim, it is how experts see it, it is in Bukhari"… As if the Quran is not a sufficient source, and people seeking truth are relying on the interpretations. Even this is o.k., unless the interpretation is misleading them. We people from post-communist countries are extremely suspicious to all those who feel, who like to impose their truth upon us, who try to say, we have the truth for all, for the majority, we are bolshevicks./ meaning is the same/. So if someone tries to seek answers to globalization, and ends with quoting Nasrallah, al Manar TV, and sheikh Qaradhawi, this is where the problem lies. In Western Christianity we had Protestantism. It caused millions of deaths, and the reformation was one of the bloodiest eras in our history, but it came with a recognized reinterpretation, which is not the reinterpretation of some. Islam no longer has its Caliph; it does not have the highest reinterpretation body. Maybe this is part of the problem. How to find a proper reinterpretation, the modernization question’s answer in real Quran for today's Muslim second and third generations living inside Europe is the big question for me. This is the way forward to our common future; this is how we have to operate. Not to stop imams bringing tapes to Europe with messages from Middle Eastern interpreters, but maybe to open together the second and third Europe Muslim´s right to reinterpret?

Monday, 14 December 2009