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Posts Tagged ‘European Islam’

Özdemir: Η Ευρώπη πρέπει να δημιουργήσει το δικό της ισλαμικό πολιτισμό

Posted by satyrikon στο 30 Ιανουαρίου, 2010

Η ΕΠΑΝΟΔΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΣΛΑΜ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΥΡΩΠΗ

Mahinur Özdemir

A Belgian deputy of Turkish origin in the Brussels Regional Parliament has defined the absence of an Islamic culture containing European elements as one of the main causes triggering xenophobia and Islamophobia, especially against the Muslim minority living in Europe, and has urged European authorities to take steps towards building up a European Islam which she thinks will accelerate the integration of Muslim immigrants in Europe.

According to Mahinur Özdemir, the most effective way to tackle religious radicalism in Europe and to fight extremism is to create a European Islam.

“That would also pave the way for non-Muslim Europeans to have a closer look at Islam and get to know European Muslims better,” Özdemir told Today’s Zaman in an exclusive interview.

She also expressed her hope that such an initiative accompanied by the expansion of tolerance in Europe would decrease the risk of religious confrontation “because it would result in providing people who have prejudices against Islam with a greater knowledge of the subject,” she emphasized.

Özdemir underlined that just as Islamic principles have been introduced into different societies, some cultural aspects of these societies which do not contradict the basic pillars of the religion have also had an effect on how Muslims interpret Islam.

The Turkish-Belgian deputy maintained that a European Islam would definitely help European decision-makers and facilitate the integration process of immigrants, most of whom are Muslim, into European society.

“It will be more beneficial for Europe to have an Islam with a European approach rather than a Moroccan or Algerian-oriented Islam or an extremist view of Islam that creates the opportunity for radical organizations to attract more interest,” she said. A Belgian Muslim of Turkish origin, Özdemir said that she has encountered many Christian deputies in parliament who are keen to find answers to their questions on Islam and has had several conversations with her non-Muslim colleagues on the matter. “As a devout Muslim, which is visible because of my headscarf, they ask me questions about Islam,” she said, defining these conversations as a humble platform for cultural and religious dialog.

Özdemir was the first headscarved deputy of any of the parliaments in Europe and was elected to the Brussels regional capital parliament in June 2009, an event which kicked off a controversial debate on secularism, the Muslim minority’s political rights and the political engagement of European Turks.

Özdemir, the youngest member of the Brussels Regional Parliament, complained about the Turkish media’s increased interest in her after the election and said she does not want to appear in the news just because she wears a headscarf. “The media showed great interest in my election. It was unprecedented that at the opening of parliament, there were more reporters than deputies. This was because of my headscarf, and it is disturbing because I want to be mentioned for my work in parliament,” she said.

The young politician voiced her criticism to Belgian reporters for not accepting her as a Belgian citizen. “At my inaugural ceremony, some of the local reporters in attendance told me that the headscarf is banned in ‘your country,’ referring to the headscarf ban in Turkish universities and Parliament. They were surprised when I told them my country is Belgium. This is my country.” She highlighted the inconsistency of European attitudes towards Turkey, arguing that most of the European secularists applauded the country’s critical stance on the headscarf; however, they also accuse Turkey of not being a democratic country, although secularism and democracy are not separate things.

Commenting on the headscarf ban in Turkey’s universities she noted that for her the ban is not ethical. “The headscarf cannot prevent people from enjoying a human right — access to education. I hope this problem will be resolved as soon as possible,” she said.

30 January 2010, Saturday

MINHAC ÇELIK İSTANBUL

ΜΕΤΑΦΡΑΣΗ ΣΤΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ GOOGLE

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