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13 January 2015


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Abu Sinan,

"If one looks at Germany's Muslims, mostly Turks, until recently it was almost impossible for someone with Turkish background to get a German citizenship."

The laws no doubt were changed recently. But before they were changed Turks could apply for German citizenship after 10 years as everybody else. And many did. One could complicate matters a little. Strictly some would need dual citizenship, since foreigners cannot own ground in Turkey. In other words if they accept German citizenship they may not be able to inherit their grandmas little house by the sea. I know 'Turkish families' where both father and kids are Germans but the mother still only has Turkish citizenship. Maybe for that reason. I never asked.

Of course Turkish dual citizenship was heavily exploited, since it addresses the lower jaundiced spirits of the masses, by a CDU politician, and he won the election. The 'polite circles', maybe I should use Machiavellian instead.


Would your distinction work for the 'Golden Age of Islam' too. The tolerance and cooperation between Muslim, Jews, and Christians in Spain e.g.

The scholatics were heavily inspired by the thought emanating from there. Just as the renaissance wouldn't have been impossible without the protection of Greek wisdom by Arab scholars.

Would that fit into your basic model?

What are the Makkinejad theses?

Babak Makkinejad

There was no Golden Age of Islam as you describe it.

The Makkinejad Theses states that the areas covered by the old Seljuk Empire have had a distinct cultural, religious, philosophical, artistic, scientific, technical, and literal identity that has persisted to this day.

This civilizational syntheses covering the modern states of Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Central Asian states as well as parts of North and Western Afghanistan is not shared by other Muslims in the world.

A corollary to the Makkinejad Theses is that accommodation with (Western) Modernity could potentially only be developed within those states that partake of this civilizational syntheses.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not wish to discuss the merits and demerits of Ahmadinejad - like any other Iranian or American president, I agreed with some of his policies and not others.

We cannot un-live history and I do want to speculate here - it would take too long.

I would like to point out that on the issue of Shoah, Europeans and Americans have - as the English language idiom goes, "lost" Muslims.

May be with a lot of work and pleading you can undo the damage done, but I am rather doubtful.

Babak Makkinejad

My point about Swabia was this:

How many centuries did it take for Germans to consider Swabians German?

I cannot expect them to be more accommodating to Muslims.

Eric Dönges

Babak, just what are you talking about ? Which "Germans" do you refer to ?

What is today Germany has been settled by various Germanic tribes with similar but not identical languages and culture. The idea that there is a single German nation first came up seriously during the so called "wars of liberation" against Napoleon 1813-1815. And you can rest assured that the Swabians where considered part of this nation since the idea first came up. For proof, take a look at the "Befreiungshalle" built in 1848 (see the German Wikipedia page at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Befreiungshalle, since the English page doesn't have all the pictures). The monument contains 18 statues for each of the German tribes, and the Swabians are represented (as are the Austrians and Tyroleans, who are not part of Germany today).

In my opinion, the primary reason for German xenophobia today is that it is impossible to have a mature discussion about German national identity. But unfortunately, not talking about issues doesn't make them go away.


Why do you pick out Swabia. I have no idea what you may have in mind, or what time in history:

The German south was 'pacified' by Bismarck, only from there on it was part of a united Germany.

Did I once mention it was difficult for me as a descendant of the 'tribe' of the Alemanni, another southern 'tribe' at least I am born there, although I grew up all over Germany, when I was thrown into Swabia at the age of nine?

I have to admit that I had problems there with the kids. A friend from there, later told me that they liked to do that too. They enormously exaggerated their dialect and since I had moved there from the North, I simply could not understand. Some of my best friends were from there later. But it was difficult, I developed a minor epilepsy at the time.

Northern people even have trouble without these child games. Friends of my parents despaired asking for directions, they finally bought a map.

But of course TV had an impact over time and moderated vernaculars too.

The Beaver

Abu Sinan

A good example was/is Zizou when he was still a teenager.
No one was really interested in him when he was playing football in the northern area of Marseilles and he was not good enough for the coach of the Algerian team for international cups until ... ( well everyone who loves the beautiful game knows the end of that story)


Beavor, I am not a big football fan, but I have one close to me. Thus I am mostly up to date, to the point of watching more important games, at least partly. Watching needs company. ;)

Zinedine Zidane burned himself into my brain, and I hated the footfool rules or behavior codes at that point.

When exactly did it happen? Couldn't we place that game perfectly into the height of media discussion of "the Arab mind"?

Charles I

Herb Block was a treasure indeed.

Charles I

"a curious little statistical enterprise. . ."

Not the first nor last example of an Israeli facility with and penchant for moral calculation by the numbers. Apparently armed with the Holocaust and some Charts and Graphs, one can, especially if the comparator happens to be your immediate enemy, profitably shrug off accountability for one's present crimes by contrasting them with an historical numerically superior figure.

I can't find cites for this just now. I have repeatedly heard different hasbara MSM talking heads offer up China with a stray reference to Tibet as a shining exemplar of real mathematical achievement as in "The Chinese killed millions, we only killed a few thousand".

Cellphone video would eventually expose what Palestine is but agree 911 shone a light on it all. shame some of the light is so blinding

To all what a great thread, thanksa

Charles I

There does seem to a ready supply of errant unsuccessful youth dabbling in dysfunction susceptible to a buzzing in the ear, be it from imam, internet, or internal self-loathing. Remorsefully, remorselessly sacrificing/redeeming their miserable selves "for the cause" has a pathetic grandiose appeal to alone wolf loser. It seems to be partly at work in the attack on the Canadian Parliament.

Very difficult to surveil and arrest prior to offense even when on the radar is emerging as a theme. Monitored connection/communication with designated terrorist groups or websites may be too low a threshold for preventative arrest in the West yet enable just the identification with the cause required for self-sacrifice, over and above any tactical instruction or support.

Those type of lone wolves don't scare me much although the disruption they cause and attention gleaned seem staggering. 70 Canadians kill themselves every week without a peep.

What I'd fear most is if small self-identified groups manage to acquire technology and training, apparently as available as weed, enabling an attack on a toxic industrial target that could cause mass casualties and real disruption with minimal input or warning.

Charles I

or one in which some perpetrators escape and some remain to die.

Patrick Bahzad

Turkey's role in the support of anti-Assad "rebel" groups would deserve much more than a brief reply to your interesting links, so I'm afraid but I won't get into it at this point.
Might certainly be enough matter for at least a specific piece on this issue.
I would just like to add that even though arms are being funneled to anti-Assad groups through Turkey, it doesn't mean that Turkey is the actual or only player that provides theses weapons.
Another aspect that has to be taken into account, is that the people who decide and organise these weapons deliveries may think they're arming a group they have deemed "respectable" enough, while in fact, the materail goes in the end to some totally different end-users.

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