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GLOBALIA

Quarterly | Issue 01 | January 2008
Magazine
EUR 6, USD 9, GBP 4.50, AED 32, MYR 29, ZAR 60

A new focus on the world
Malaysia: Dr. Mahathir, the man who
supports the Dinar economy.

Markets: Halal market analysis. The industry
is undergoing a shift.

Islam and the Poets: a Muslim perspective
on European thought.

Civis Britannia sum. A legal essay by Ahmad Thomson, page 22

4 EDITORIAL
By Abu Bakr Rieger.

6 COVER STORY
Far from retiring: Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad.

10 FINANCE
Dollar on a downward spiral. Seven countries that may
abandon the US dollar.

12 INTERVIEW
Mother of all money? Conversation about the
financial system.

16 MARKETS
Halal market analysis. The industry is undergoing a shift.

22 LAW
Civis Britannia sum. A legal essay by Ahmad Thomson.

26 WORLD
EURASIA
The Western Balkans. An assesment by the European Union.
Muslims in Croatia. Interview with Mufti Sevko Omerbasic.

CONCEPT AND EDITORIAL

Freiburg attracts many tourists, page 54

30 WORLD CHIEF EDITOR
Abu Bakr Rieger
GLOBAL
PUBLISHER
Modern politics. On the political consequences of terrorism. IZ Medien GmbH
Beilsteinerstr. 121
33 GERMANY 12681 Berlin
Germany
Forced to change. An evaluation of Muslim organisations.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Sulaiman Wilms
38 INTERVIEW
DISTRIBUTION
Al-Andalus shines on. The new Mosque of Granada in focus. IZ Medien GmbH

PRINTING
42 MEDIA msk marketingserviceköln
Leagues ahead. Germany: Islamische Zeitung
GLOBALIA Magazine reserves the
leads the discourse. right to shorten letters. Readers’
letters, guest articles and quotations
do not necessarily represent the
44 CULTURE opinions of the Editors, nor do
The poets and Islam. A Muslim perspective articles by named authors.

on European thought. PHONE
+49 (0)30 240 48974

50 LITERATURE MOBILE
A visit to Globalia. On the famous book +49 (0)179 967 8018

by Jean-Christophe Rufin. FAX
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54 TRAVEL E-mail
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Pearl of the Black Forest. Europe is to be found in its
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EDITORIAL

GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008

EDITORIAL

a sinister world in which everything was
EDITORIAL forbidden. In 2004 the French author Jean-
Christophe Rufin published a similarly eerie
BY ABU BAKR RIEGER
novel entitled Globalia. In Globalia, Rufin
describes a world devoid of history in which,
The new models which seek to explain our he explains, everything is allowed. Rufin is one
of the great European thinkers who, in the age
situation – be it the meaning of our lives, our
of technology, sees not only political
cultures, or our sciences – must take a complete sovereignty threatened, but human freedom
view. GLOBALIA strives to indicate some of these itself. At a literary fair in Cologne, Rufin was
asked where he saw hope for the human
new views and ideas.
species.The Frenchman’s simple answer was,
“We need a Book.”
Dear Readers, People make history. Trade between people
brings peace. One of our aims is to stimulate I hope you enjoy this and the forthcoming
We are very pleased to present to you our new discussion between the elites who trade Issues of GLOBALIA Magazine.
magazine, which is published in Berlin: globally.We will examine especially the points
GLOBALIA Magazine. of view of important business-people, thinkers Warmest regards,
and artists from the new urban centres of
After some preparation we are finally ready this world such as Berlin, Istanbul, Dubai and Abu Bakr Rieger
to launch a media project consisting of Kuala Lumpur. Editor
traditional printed publications, a creative
Our editorial objective, and with that our
website, and a progressive multimedia
journalistic goal, is to portray the latest
offering.
developments on the great continents. As
Muslims we will of course be observing the
Together with some new partners we hope
new, constructive role that Muslims have to
to build a strong place in the market for this
play.
truly global magazine over the course of 2008.

In this Issue we acknowledge the work of
The world is in constant change, and to
one of Asia’s great political figures, Dr.
understand the way it is today we have to
Mahathir bin Mohamad. The success he
think in global terms. The extraordinary
brought Malaysia is undisputed. His efforts
technical achievements of recent years have
to defend its political sovereignty against the
expanded our horizons, yet they also threaten machinations of global speculation deserve
our freedom, our traditions and our cultural a review – for they too are a story of success.
distinctions. The relationship between Like Tayyib Erdogan, the similarly successful
economics and politics has also changed Turkish Prime Minister, Mahathir has often
dramatically over the past decades. The new defended Islam against false accusations.
models which seek to explain our situation Neither politician would accept the idea that
– be it the meaning of our lives, our cultures, terrorism can be “Islamic”.
or our sciences – must take a complete view.
GLOBALIA strives to indicate some of these When the visionary George Orwell published
new views and ideas. his famous future-novel 1984, he described

4 5

COVER STORY In 1981 there were only two universities. Dr. a peaceful order FAR FROM RETIRING which includes the vast numbers of Muslims who are Europeans and Asians. but he also expanded (GAPID) for Muslim developing countries. speaks about the role of European Muslim Union (EMU) – Mahathir’s poised development of our economy and infra- Muslims and the future of the Eurasian rhetoric captivated the audience at his first structure was phenomenal. the press drew a to power. officially stepped down from the post which he had taken up in 1981. Director of JUST World Trust. an is a politician to whom the concept of intellectual link between the continents. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister speech of 2007. stated the politician. Mahathir. former Head of Istanbul – this time hosted by the European from 88 to 374. retirement remains distant. In His thinking revolves around a new nomos trade relations and brought foreign investors GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 .” claims Chandra continent. developing its own gravitational force rapture-point: “He spoke out for the poor Mahathir is now busy founding a think-tank following the epoch of trans-Atlantic relations. after Mahathir there were 16. “What he achieved for the State. MAHATHIR’S ADVICE IS STILL SOUGHT 31 October 2003. His enthusiasm climbs to tours and a series of honorary positions. At almost 78 years of age. is northern Malaysia. the head of the the head of the Malaysian government Malaysian government officially stepped down. In 1981 there were only two universities. and the oppressed. after Mahathir there were 16. DR. hospitals Istanbul 2007. positive balance. At almost 78 years of age.As for what had been As for what had been achieved in the country achieved in the country since Mahathir came since Mahathir came to power. for this enormous land-mass. The independent think-tank based in Penang. which he used to forge an Muzzaffar.000 to 15. the press drew a positive balance.300. The number of doctors rose from 2. Between lecture Eurasian continent.

Muslim 1 February 2007. Perdana terrorists may exist. and capital is demanding possibility of a meeting between Islam and the most powerful countries in the settlement that it should be able to go anywhere and do modernity. COVER STORY into the country. explain and understand the thy-neighbour policy would therefore give a response was to remain cool. followed the logic of the 23 May 2003. American broadcaster PBS Global Peace Initiative there certainly can be no Islamic terrorism. Currency innocent civilians is either murder or an act “Prosperous countries. The Prime Minister’s could. but.” 20 September 1997. are the 3. So generations. a Palestine. at the annual seminar of test on at least one occasion in the economic On suicide bombings the World Bank in Hong Kong sphere. continues Chandra. Bosnia or Iraq. We should not shy away from are more likely to be peaceful and less of a speculators attacked the national economy accepting that. And the deliberate killing of Prosperity and peace tanks. It should be to technical progress. at the annual seminar of Muslim. of course. We don’t also just collateral whose deaths are necessary need currency trading. It should be made illegal. Interview with Amir Taheri the World Bank in Hong Kong 6 7 .We need to buy money for operations to succeed?” And indeed. on the other hand. capitalism could expand and throughout the world. Both of them are of the view that the Muslims On currency trading On “Collateral damage” can achieve a real future only with an “I mention all these because society must be “If the innocent people who died in the attack protected from unscrupulous profiteers. Once communism power. it was by other methods. Mahathir. speech to the Non-Aligned Movement philosophy follows all of the categories of Otherwise we should not buy or sell currencies in Kuala Lumpur as we sell commodities. adhering to Islamic tradition while being open Iraq are considered collateral. It is integrity in the 1990s was not by armies and a grave sin. was always active on behalf of people who were oppressed. but they both embody the continuously attacked by guerillas and because of that.” reason.” whatever it likes. He does not leave Iraq. not with anarchic violence. Mahathir causes of suicide bombing and acts of terror. Mahathir. for which American soldiers were show its true self.” is nothing but a cynical neologism. The two does not end in conquest and subjugation of choose their so-called free-market system as Muslim politicians may belong to different the people. It is no longer constrained Istanbul before meeting in private with Turkish by the need to be nice so that people will supposed to die. His thinking was put to the practical 20 September 1997. Once we have done that we burden to the rest of the world. During the Balkan War Malaysia stood firmly at the side of the persecuted Muslims. Mahathir’s powerful political only when we want to finance real trade. who died in New York. He ensured that Malaysia was able to develop quickly and at the same BEETWEEN WAR time remain stable.” sovereignty that was at stake. better return than a beggar-thy-neighbour understood that it was his country’s political This is not difficult to do in the case of policy. both are convinced. destruction of Iraq and talism and communism. On the war in Iraq On capitalism “What has this war gained for America and “It’s quite obvious that when the Eastern Bloc Though some years have passed since he left Britain? Nothing except the unnecessary death was still there.000 unproductive and immoral. The assault on Malaysia’s national “Suicide is expressly forbidden in Islam. whether in Palestine. I know economic concept. but I am Neither politician sees a contradiction in dying from lack of food and medical care in saying that currency trading is unnecessary. it was a tustle between capi- of American soldiers.” The analyst considers AND FINANCE Mahathir’s greatest service to be his attempt SELECTED QUOTES to build up international relations. of terror. There is no democracy in was defeated. interview with the US- An appeal to the American people. Invading a country today Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan. Both agree that ‘Islamic terrorism’ of international disputes. on Afghanistan and those who have been I am taking a big risk to suggest it. 2003. and the 200 in Bali stopped. A prosper- and with it the ringgit. The occupying forces would be opposed a centrally planned system.War is no longer an option for even to restrain capital. Mahathir’s advice is still sought higher oil prices. nowadays there is nothing terrorists.

develop a good capacity for governing our present situation of European Muslims and actually they are better off than their communities and countries.. In of industrialising and producing their modern We see Muslim countries being invaded and reality this world is as much for the Muslims needs. have we tried? The obvious weak or they do not really regard other answer is that we have not. in medicine and so on.. poor and not capable of development. COVER STORY THE MUSLIM WORLD TODAY EXCERPTS FROM A TALK BY TUN DR. which the individual performance of Fard al-’Ayn cannot expiate. We should be happy and We see a state of denial among other Muslims support – if not convert non-Muslims – we grateful to Allah. at inflated prices.. And we see Muslims as it is for those of other faiths..) Muslims – Role and Responsibility” was and prosperity of the world. there are still Europeans who are Muslim. then they have ever been before. If we look back changing world they are not innovative. In fact some countries today are not well-governed and are contend that being miserable.) (. The education standards are low and Muslims slaughtered. that the community is well provided for and is a blessing. (.. which must be performed by a member or some members of the Muslim community. They are largely Today we hear open condemnation of Islam oppressed is what makes them good Muslims.. the whole community would bear the sin. consumer communities or nations incapable as a religion which promotes terrorism.. unable even to can look after its well-being. in agriculture and food production. richer than (.) we must notice that the greatness of the always depending on others to come up with Islamic civilization was due to the efforts new ideas or products which they then buy Yet we see many Muslim countries richer made and work done by the early Muslims. In a fast their brothers and sisters because they are all The question is. subhanahu wa ta’ala.) In the midst of this wealth we products of modern knowledge and are quite January 2007. In the first place we must But there is little that is pleasing about the they are poverty-stricken and miserable.. In fact even for their own defence they have to source their weapons from the non- Muslims. Muslims as their brothers.) If we want Islam to be respected... (. although successful people.. oppressed and looked down upon. to win feel spiritually lost. Thus it is incumbent upon a Muslim community to have experts in the fields of defence. so That there should be European Muslims at all see Muslims and Muslim countries languish.. I believe that many Europeans ing in poverty and misery... GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . but this has not Muslims are certainly backward in this field. as I said earlier they do not produce great and their countries unable to help or protect scholars as they did in the past. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD IN ISTANBUL incapable of even producing their own basic needs. They Tun Dr..) (. (. tormentors and oppressors.) But there is also Fard al-Kifayah.. are now accepting Islam because they have feed themselves. that where they claim that although they are being have to show that Muslims are good. given at the Eurasian Symposium of the been used in the interests of Islam and the They have become the consumers of the European Muslim Union in Istanbul in Muslims.. We see Muslim were the most successful people. Failing which.) This is self-deception of a high degree..) We know that at one time the Muslims even their rich detractors. (. (. Most Muslim indeed of Islam and the Muslims generally. much less to develop and lost faith in Christianity or they themselves prosper their communities and nations. (. Mahathir’s lecture “The European countries holding the key to the well-being succeeded in building a great civilization.

Mahathir.The juiciest cuts of the Balkan economy in the age of globalisation earned him the the Dinar could be used as a Central Bank have long been sold off.” according to Mahathir. and after the respect of the whole world. summer 2007. conclusions he had drawn from the currency have to be paid in gold. Mahathir sees great stated Dr. a transactions will be reduced considerably Bosnia.” business-people.000 years. Sarajevo.” Mahathir of the difficult challenges of globalisation. COVER STORY Enlightenment entirely. international trade.24 g of gold. and these GAPID event. rate fluctuations will no longer be needed. enabling the price of import. He announced that his government had necessity to move the Gold Dinar around. At a democracies are challenged less by Islamism established the methods for its use. Mahathir knows the developed mechanisms for the use of the surplus or deficit can be credited or debited harsh rules of unfettered economics. nature. The country could not be particular country.The After a life in politics. not in any way as a replacement for any country’s currency. Dr. Bosnia needs a buyer for its saved by amassing irrational debts. would almost completely eliminate the European intellectuals who believe that risk of speculation. Prime Minister Mahathir bin the balance-sheet difference between the economic future in the bitter wind of global Mohamad actively began to apply the imports and exports of two countries would competition. Gold has a particular value based on demand for the material. This would mean that traders would Conference it was still uncertain whether the not need to deal with physical Dinars. Mahathir against future imports and exports. “This will reduce the crisis. since the cost of world for the future of the little nation of global threat of a totalitarian capitalism. Mahathir at the opening of the potential for the south-eastern European Text Khalil Breuer Islamic Capital Market Conference in Kuala Lumpur. one Dinar equals 4. was convinced that using a currency of this had linked his political experience to an Mahathir finds himself very much in kind. He did not insignificant. The moribund national airline and investors for the accept any of the IMF’s super-loan rescue local gold price would determine the expansion of modern transport routes. “Its value may fluctuate depending on the difference 8 9 . while one Dirham corresponds to 3 g of silver. which is based on the value of gold economic vision. Mahathir attempts to make use than by capitalism.” . the tradition of reason between the demand worldwide and in a nation in soft tourism and in its power and and rationalism. he believes that Muslims capitalism which no longer stands in need of because reserves to cover massive exchange- are not so much born politicians as born democracy. In packages. people remember with respect the of Europe watched his brilliant crisis. Mahathir’s fourth tenure. and also allowing local goods country’s sovereignty are more of an economic and 1998. agreement with the scepticism of those major itself. politician’s efforts to ensure the state’s survival management of the financial collapse of 1997 ed goods to be compared in Dinars and the during the Balkan War. reserve. Today. threats to the local currency. The proposal explicitly intended the gold currency as a means of exchange in Putrajaya became a new administrative centre during Dr. and the Dinar. His defence of political sovereignty to be exported. What is becoming can be applied to rectify any problems that of his excellent international contacts and apparent.. With ingenuity.According to the standard of the second Khalif. “It will allow international trade to mobilise the economic strength of the Islamic stood by some European thinkers – is the continue growing. and only little nation could really look forward to an In 2002. Mahathir thus linked tradition to modernity. the elite exchange rate between the local currency Bosnia. In view Gold Dinar in international trade. “We have already Scene-change. Furthermore. The Islamic Dinar and Dirham were part of Islamic Law for more than 1.. but these fluctuations are water reserves.‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. politically speaking – as under- occur. Not without admiration.A pragmatist.

500 billion. a number of countries are considering Saudi Arabia shift its investments to currencies of countries a shift away from the dollar to preserve their The Telegraph reports that for the first time. along with the US Federal Reserve. other than the US. The kingdom is taking “appropriate measures” to protect SEVEN COUNTRIES THAT MAY ABANDON THE US DOLLAR itself from letting the dollar cause problems for its own economy. that currently considering a move from the dollar. FINANCE The Greenback is losing more and more buying power. Korea announced its intention to result. Here are seven of the countries Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates making plans to diversify for the future. South Korea isn’t doing a whole lot to change that. Its value is dropping. Experts fear that a break from the dollar in Saudi Arabia considering a move from the dollar. They are concerned It is no secret that the dollar is on a downward about the threat of inflation and do not want spiral. and how they will affect its value and the US $3. and the Fed isn’t to deal with “recessionary conditions” in the US. a region that manages It is no secret that the dollar is on a down. Hans Redeker of BNP Paribas believes doing a whole lot to change that. As a result. could set off a “stampede” from the dollar in the Middle East. some this creates a “very dangerous situation for countries are considering a shift away from the the dollar. Although they are simply assets. This is does not mean a large dollar drop isn’t in the GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . These states are management of $800 billion. Its value is dropping. ward spiral. seen as a signal that a break from the dollar DOLLAR ON A DOWNWARD SPIRAL currency peg is imminent. and the Fed economy. As a In 2005.” as Saudi Arabia alone has dollar to preserve their assets.

around. Chavez announced opening dates. and has dollar’s status as a cheaply-produced US order to mitigate risk. Russia is “discussing the possibility global financial order. or even the euro. plans to move the remaining 15% to export is a vital part of the American economy. it serves to make demand lessens.Although it’s not and has publicly encouraged others to adopt Japan be traded for yen instead of dollars. Russia put an end to its dollar peg. Russian Central Bank First option” of huge dollar liquidation in response US. stop using the dollar. Chavez Further. a Khartoum committee recently opting to move towards a euro alignment. the sanctions are reported to Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev remarked. Although Obviously. made a similar recommendation in response establishing a Russian stock exchange which to US sanctions from former President Clinton. to attempt a break from the dollar in the choosing to establish barter deals for oil. and private businesses to do commodities in dollars. currencies like the United Arab Emirates Losing this status could rock the financial Sudan dirham.” Russia’s intentions are After already dropping the dollar peg in 2005. established under Hugo Countries are growing weary of losing money Chavez. planning to convert its economy. In 2006. but there are indications “Most of our reserves are in dollars. bi-lateral exchanges of its oil with its possible to trade oil and gas in non-dollar developing country customers. the Central Bank of Sudan President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in this past August. Recently. shorting the US its usual an imminent abandonment of the dollar. lives of both Americans and the worldwide Sudan is. and that a yuan revaluation. to possible trade sanctions intended to force have had little effect. they have Iran is not alone in its desire to establish an Text The Muslim Observer 10 11 . This exchange would make it currency is in trouble. we have noted in the past. Simply put. Additionally. the euro in particular. gas. As of the revenue generated from the use of the Petroleos de Venezuela SA to change its dollar October 2007. after considering the dollar’s rate against want any undesirable phenomena in the from the dollar is intended to allow the the euro.As well as any implemented in the future. from the dollar and towards the euro. This time paid for in roubles. and a number using the dollar. would allow “oil. they have made it clear China has more trouble up its sleeve. Iran has plans in the works to create follow through on an abandonment of the recommended to OPEC that they “take an open commodity exchange called the Iran dollar.Additionally. after a $100 million sale the same. clear how many of these countries will actually similar arrangements. of them want to end the US oversight that subsidy. They have discussed pricing oil in euros. The investments to euros and other currencies in currencies for 85% of its oil exports.” or in other currencies. Many of them want to Latin American countries and Cuba without Iran is perhaps the most likely candidate for protect their financial interests. In September. government alternative to trading oil and other Korea is planning to sell $1 billion of US bonds departments. Although China “doesn’t that the economy is suffering due to these is a cause for concern. A decision to move Sudan away that. dollar holdings to the euro and other Russia currencies. Russian in the near future. In 2004. 31 Sudanese companies have become no secret – in the past.” Then in dollars does serve as a “bargaining chip”. China has the However. In 1997. FINANCE works. What does this all mean? These barter deals. a concluded that proposals for a reduced move that could produce a large shift away Venezuela dependence on the dollar are “not feasible”. its value drops. it is clear that its status as a world advantage of high-tech electronic barter and Oil Bourse. fact they have shown overt disapproval. as Venezuela holds little loyalty to the dollar.” its large sum of US country to work around these sanctions as of changing the reserve structure. instructed Venezuela’s state oil company clear Iran’s intentions for the dollar. an abandonment of the dollar is words.” He went on to explain restrictions. In Regardless. subject to sanctions. once again. future. There are whispers that the Bank of recommended commercial banks. China is threatening a “nuclear doing trade or financial transactions with the reserves. it is clear that Sudan’s intent is Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter. and other goods to be China but the implementation failed. preventing them from that they are wary of holding too many dollar Currently. as for oil transactions. 2005. allow Venezuela to trade oil with 12 Iran on the falling dollar. Iran receives non-dollar dollar will be sorely missed if it is lost. In 2000. Officially. Chavez is not shy about this decision. power to take the wind out of the dollar. Iran requested that its shipments to comes with using the dollar. the oil bourse has missed at least three of its bad news for the currency.

in their turn. lead to inflation and a Banking’. globalisation.This super-capital. Mohamed Abbas: Let me explain that in a bit more detail. What do Muslims think about topics such The enormous liquidity required for that is as financial methods. growth. Dubai-based Internet firm involved in gold and silver trading. globalisation. By Mohamed Abbas. INTERVIEW MOTHER OF ALL MONEY? A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM What do Muslims think about topics such as financial methods. In other words. climatic catastrophes. which GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . the whole world is globalisation was based on the freely talking about globalisation and all things moveable utilisation of large capital sums for associated with it. a remain inflation-neutral and protect their owner from depreciation. The original ‘empowering’ of Globalia: Mr Abbas. The global consolidation beyond what is naturally compatible – we see of the world economy has caused the this in the continual acceleration of simultaneous management of large capital environmental pollution and the associated amounts in different markets and continents. Do you see a implementing consolidation and acquisition connection between that and the re. It was this and silver come in – as documented protection hot topic which we discussed with against inflation and the decline of value. if any. so to speak? his own personal opinions and not necessarily those of his employer. most of what we have heard has been about so-called ’Islamic- Banking’. and world Mohamed Abbas: I see only an indirect economic growth. This is where gold capitalism with an Islamic face. Indebtedness and money supply has been about so-called ’Islamic. The following Globalia: So these money supplies are views expressed by Mohamed Abbas are the fuel of globalisation. and alternatives to the predicted speculative crisis in the world’s finance markets? Until now. and made possible through ever greater alternatives to the predicted speculative indebtedness – look at the USA – and through crisis in the world’s finance markets? a worldwide acceleration of growth in money Until now. most of what we have heard supply. globalisation causes unnaturally high liquidity. who is responsible for their inherent value the precious metals customer relations at e-dinar FZ LLC. strategies that had to be coordinated awakening interest in gold and silver? internationally. both of which are extended connection. an attempt to re-create loss of purchasing power.

glossed-over inflation figures that central a combination of the cost of obtaining and per cent annually in the USA and the banks use for their official reports. rather have interest payments. guaranteed inherent value which is based on measure of money supply. Globalia: Is that why the topic of gold is more popular than ever? Source of wealth: South African worker in a gold mine. The necessary liquidity is based on bring any new value along with it. e-dinar works with Emirates Gold (the largest gold and silver producer in the Middle today is in the service of fewer and fewer Western countries are today creating new East) to produce the Gold Dinar and Silver people. While the state uses this situation to finance its financial mis- management. This inherent value prevents a growing considerably faster. as the guaranteed through the ‘free market most important means of payment. thing we have certainly seen in recent years. and in the long-term we as workers and normal salaried employees are the ones who suffer from this ruinous monetary policy. the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) the market. and demand in Eurozone. Mohamed Abbas: As you might probably know. unencumbered ver prices therefore rise more quickly – some- finance the indebtedness it causes. producing them. Historically. The Dinar and Dirham satisfy any moral or ethical requirements. On a practical proportions. they have a to speak – and the M3. since it is currency in the history of humankind. gold and silver are ideal to avoid the indebtedness forces a growing slice of the its value. The M3 growth rate is transported and refined. 12 13 . all the other words. aforementioned inflation. Although this ought to provoke some reflection. stopped measuring and publishing the M3 at reduction in purchasing power. then without end – until the trees are used up. no-one seems to resist. Muslims in accordance with the exact successfully freed itself from the need to historical standards. Since gold and silver gross domestic product to be spent servicing with the result that every year the existing are not created out of nothing. is used as a means for total economic money at a rate of up to 13 per cent per Dirham as the traditional currency of the consolidation (call it globalisation) and has annum. money supply is Interestingly. the citizen is left struggling with more and more cheap money. the global use of capital is from? way from China to Europe and Africa. from existing money. most likely in order to allow gold and silver are regarded as immune to In other words. twice as many euros will be in circulation as there are today. their rarity. In poorer regions.When inflation is high. which have taken on alarming of nothing – and it is not backed up by highly symbolic in character. In Globalia: Where does this money come were used for more than 1200 years. gold and sil- liquidity needed for globalisation and to of money higher and higher. as the broadest clearly closer to real inflation than the too. While this steadily growing inherent value like gold. The increasing indebtedness and a growth of the born in a magical fashion – it is created out Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham are therefore money supply. the by bothersome criticism. so purchasing power. in order to guarantee the it to keep driving its miraculous reproduction inflation. grows at 12 to 13 low. and are economy’ and as such cannot be brought into Mohamed Abbas: The new money doesn’t the most significant and enduring bi-metallic question. Instead it ‘borrows’ level. INTERVIEW For the Eurozone this means that in seven years. the end of 2006. money is being printed money loses a corresponding share of its to be wrestled out of the ground. as it were.

and were to lend out the same single euro between 20 money supply growth would tend to bring an used as an accepted means of payment all and 40 times. Thus for the rich countries there that the first European gold and silver only possible if you accept money created remains only the unattractive prospect of currencies of the late Middle Ages were based out of nothing. The question is not if.000 tons (nearly USD European gold and silver currencies in the use except a Dinar and a Dirham. and their basis banks.All types of promise of payment – and by 2000 per cent in ten years.” In the year 4 billion at today’s market price). (a 2. A lesser known fact is miraculous increase of wealth is of course explain.At the same One of the effects of a new gold standard also by normal daily transactions. Muslim coins quickly established themselves why Islam prohibits promises of payment as in the trading centres of that time such as a means of payment. in the Bretton-Woods Agreement. That is eyes. time this was the formal end of gold as the would be that the retroactive backing of the reserve currency. as soon as new paper money is such discipline themselves – such a process Globalia: Can you tell us something about created. laid the foundation 695 of the Christian calendar. jewellery and coins – houses of northern Europe. and also copied. The a physical gold and silver currency. and Muslims money growth to gold – governments have money’. in which its per-ounce price rose A new gold standard can only be implemented power. all the some kind of backwards-looking romanticism. The spread of come upon mankind when nothing will be of amount to around 160. means of payment must possess an inherent cent – and one of the biggest bull-runs on gold value that corresponds to its purchasing in history. in turn. bonds and derivatives – lies in the European Renaissance. arts and trade return to some kind of gold standard? stocks and shares. Such a poorest countries in the world. the bank is earning 100 to 200 per cent the West rather than delay it – something more than 1200 years. said: “A time will certainly including all bullion. may not have involvement with interest. They are the most annually from the interest on loans covered which. That medium sized hall. the late Middle Ages. INTERVIEW Globalia: Does this mean we should worldwide paper value – including money. which was anchored you choose. and found their way Muhammad. and would fail miserably with confronting their own collapse with open on. financial system. Mohamed Abbas:As you likely know. Only then will gold find its way back in payment transactions. The Prophet Let’s look briefly at some key figures. To give you a visual idea.5% tax calculated on standing wealth).The wondrous reproduction world’s paper money by gold would cause a Globalia: Why is that? of paper money which began in 1971 resulted 50 to 100-fold increase in the gold price – in extreme inflation and raging interest rates something which in reality would not be Mohamed Abbas: The Qur’an specifies that a – up until 1980 both were well over 10 per feasible. because they are necessary fiscal discipline would be to link to its historical role as the ‘mother of all inextricably linked to interest. the extremely profitable. who in turn lend it at higher interest passed the point of no return and are on in Islamic Law? rates to their customers. For amply demonstrated their inability to maintain example. was finally gold in the world could be stored easily in a This is demonstrated by the payment of Zakat dissolved by President Nixon in 1971. it is ‘loaned’ at an internal interest could no longer be implemented in the the reality of the Gold Dinar and the rate by the Central Bank to the commercial developing world today. the Khalif GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . does not apply to the important and enduring bi-metallic currency by its customer’s cash deposits. While Venice and Barcelona. Even if it were possible to reinstate Mohamed Abbas: As I mentioned before. but than that – are forbidden and cannot be used Although the only way to reconstruct the when. somewhere between USD 250 and 400 billion. incidentally. for the flourishing of science. We have already Silver Dirham in the past. the resulting Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham are the system means that a commercial bank is able deceleration in economic expansion and traditional currency of the Muslims. the Muslim coins. In the context of the course for a financial collision in the world fractional-reserve system this business is economy. the last depending on which estimates and sources For Muslims the use of gold and silver is not official gold standard. meant the removal of what was then a partial which has to be paid in gold and silver – and backing of the US dollar by gold. At five per cent interest per economic and financial collapse forward in the way from China to Europe and Africa for year. as I will in the history of man. in 1971 gold after the inevitable collapse of the world our modern paper money is nothing other cost 44 US dollars and by 1980 it cost 850. The fractional-reserve a partial gold standard. may the blessings and peace of the world’s above-ground gold stocks – from there to the largest cities and royal Allah be upon him.

and so on – ‘Islamic country with some 200 million Muslims. in the medium- financial system and bring the term. We are in all the regions of Islam with the inscription. These lands have not yet had the us. In Indonesia the ‘Islamic Banking’ schemes. The only difference is in 20 to 25 per cent. In addition alternative for the peoples and regions soon take definite steps towards a gold and he ordered that all human and animal figures which have been hit especially hard by silver currency. This order was upheld for will take shape? Globalia: Can you give us some final the next 1200 years. Interestingly. opportunity to form a middle class. an ever larger Globalia: But have there not been many proportion of the population profit from the attempts to ‘islamicise’ the dominant continually expansive and. Since they haven’t nothing to lose. and an average daily income of less on the Western banking model. on the Western model. In our establishing the official standard of ‘Umar Banking’ is just as weak and sickly as the work with developing countries we orient ibn Al-Khattab. how do you think it replaced by letters. and in no than one US dollar. century. the means of payment Indonesia is the most populous Muslim Impression from the gold bazar in Kuwait 14 15 . thereby without inherent value. Citybank and UBS can be seen concepts in Malaysia and Indonesia since the striving the hardest to attract previously end of the 1990s.Typical inscriptions were words from your practical experience? “La ilaha ill’Allah” (There is no god except Mohamed Abbas: The gold and coin trade in Allah) and “Alhamdulillah” (All praise is due the Western world is naturally very strictly Mohamed Abbas: It is interesting that the to Allah) on one side with the prayer on the regulated – for example through taxation. we see ‘Islamic Banking’ as Rupiah’s annual devaluation of over 30 per nothing more than an insignificant variation cent. changed the basics – such as the mythical reproduction of money. then the advantages of a the semantics and the calculation model gold currency for Indonesia become obvious through which the banks siphon off their – and above all because they simply have profits from the customer. From the reasons interest is enormous. be removed from the coins and that these be globalisation? If so. the Dirham was produced nothing to lose you can only win. No wonder. and the fact the official currency of Islam until the fall of individuals stand on top of the impoverished that the coins can only be purchased through the Khalifate at the beginning of the 20th masses. Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham enjoy great Prophet “sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam” (May The Muslims must of course respect these popularity with coin collectors and precious the peace and blessings of Allah be upon laws. This him) and sometimes verses from the Qur’an Dinar in the poorest countries of the world. INTERVIEW ‘Abdalmalik minted the first Dirhams. ruinous monetary policies. euphoria about ‘Islamic Banking’. In the following years. If we set these key figures way an acceptable alternative to it. and so they corresponding products into line? take no interest in an alternative money system which tends towards being more Mohamed Abbas: Yes. Gold and silver remained in which a small stratum of extremely rich quality.Allah is Eternal”. their cost-effectiveness. As soon as a middle class has formed. That gives them a certain exclusivity. there is an outright restrictive. But we see a natural market for the metal investors throughout the world. certainly has to do with their outstanding on the other side. from an against an annual increase in gold price of Islamic perspective. and now our work is neglected Muslim customers with their beginning to bear fruit. given the I gave earlier. the Western banking giants such We have been presenting our ideas and as HSBC. Globalia: Do you see the Dinar as an confident that Indonesia in particular will “Allah is Unique. ourselves around the motto: If you have order of the Khalif.

eyes on the choicest cuts. and retailers are elbowing each other for their Halal Integrity: the cornerstone MIHAS. at that not have this guidance.” market implications are staggering.The focus may shift. fundamental behavioural parameters sent Halal became. and the Deen of Islam.Allah makes placed alongside the emerging potential of likenesses for people so that perhaps the Halal market. MARKETS industry that will need to be tackled with a HALAL MARKET ANALYSIS great deal of skill and intelligence. are shifting their attention onto the Halal him peace. a paradigm shift. While the market swirls with uprooted on the surface of the earth. it will represent a paradigm shift Halal industry: behavioural parameters in the global market. if Halal lives up to its inherent part of the fundamental Ibrahim that are relevant to all of us in the potential. shipping companies. ingredient suppliers. and the floodgates are These four issues form the core components opening. corporate or private company perspective. are in heaven? It bears its fruit regularly similar field. the majority of the other 4. At the inaugural Similarly. and likeness of a good word: a good tree consequent obedience to a Divine command. NGOs and agencies Muhammad. that many of the biggest Halal can make the critical metamorphosis Given that the global food industry. via the final Messenger whose roots are firm and whose branches While kosher commands market respect in a to mankind. It is small insignificant hurdles to be surmounted before wonder. had little or no interest in the Halal sharpened their focus on Halal. may Allah bless him and grant World Halal Forum in May 2006. but the issues Halal is currently in the process of undergoing poultry suppliers. but for the future development of the Halal industry. Muhammad. The early adaptors have • Communication established their positions. Halal is a market “Do you do not see how Allah makes a sent down to us by Allah. governments. it pales into insignificance when by the permission of its Lord. and the simultaneous place around the Halal buffet table with their Halal and Haram form a part of the publication of the pilot of The Halal Journal.With close to 2 billion people their national produce. we see • Finance it entering a new phase. It generally amenable to eating Halal – the superlatives there are a host of not has no staying power. in August 2004. Without the representatives from every sector of the Halal sector as a means of gaining market share for Messenger. nor this opportunity. remain the same. via the final Messenger. flower. Halal became an industry. the defining down to us by Allah. to mankind. and in some cases as they may pay heed. governmental.5 billion people economies. Halal and Haram form a There are some Qur’anic verses in Surat Indeed. The likeness of a having Halal as their number one choice – and a means of developing their own national corrupt word is that of a rotten tree. for the first time. point. banks Malaysian International Halal Showcase. sector until comparatively recently. whether viewed from a there is more than just following your nose. parameter that is based on belief in.These are: THE INDUSTRY IS UNDERGOING A SHIFT • Integrity • Capacity As the Halal market continues to expand. therefore. factor for a new market. most of the application of Halal has been based on The biggest food manufacturers. With the staging of the 1 st restaurant chains. The aroma of revenue is in the air. we would industry assembled in Kuala Lumpur. for the names in every sector of the market have from an emerging bud into a fully-opened most part. meat and There are four key areas within the Halal converting existing procedures from non- GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 .

MARKETS 16 17 .

and the extent to which A halal seal which has been issued in Malaysia GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . transparent and industry-compliant procedure in the Halal market. often with insults and allegations following closely behind. often fiercely. with Halal certification a pre-requisite to accessing the Muslim markets. have fared only slightly better. and it is essential that we. food producers have generally. for a share of the lucrative certification market. Halal certification is a profitable and as yet unregulated activity. where they exist. rather than building them as Halal compliant from the ground up. Halal certification – and even renewals – can take months. as an industry. and with little or no incentive to be efficient. taken the line of least resistance when it comes to getting Halal certification. Government-run certification agencies. and understandably. In the last decade we have witnessed a proliferation of break-away Islamic bodies competing with each other. making efficient production almost impossible. get it right. While this arrangement has enabled a viable Halal market to emerge. This aspect of Halal integrity has become the most critical issue facing the Halal industry. it contains an inherent imbalance that has led to its own set of problems. thereby ensuring that the Muslim consumer has Halal meat available for purchase. Often bogged down in a maze of bureaucratic procedure. Halal certification must become an efficient. MARKETS Halal to Halal. Undercutting on price and turn-around time has become commonplace. Halal compliance has in general been promoted and established by small independent Islamic bodies that have audited and certified the predominantly non-Muslim producers.

and there is no way approaches to Halal depending on where you if they can give an order and then see it to achieve this without improving the look. All of these elements fall within the broader customers’ beliefs. And Muslim lands still under the direct rule of an rests. Certainly. as Muslims. Allah has commanded food producers have. and compromise the integrity of in the Halal market. Putting Our Money Where Our such as environmental and social compliance. and with a primarily net importers of food. Inefficiency services on the other. Developing Capacity Making profit is permitted. ask Allah to give us good in meat. as the causes However. 18 19 . those very component upon which this vast market development of the national economy. and they are preferences. as in the Halal market. The Muslim this world and good in the Next? The plot of better shelf life. Clearly. can be fulfilled. nor areas of the country has been put forward as Doing good is turning out to be good business. healthier. it is in itself Halal. and we seen any need to develop Halal standards for common interest have made the Halal market therefore have a responsibility to demonstrate. circumstance and mankind to eat ‘Halal and Tayyib’. However. nor even the residue an effective way to gain stability and of slaughter. Quite simply. are the and there are a growing number of major causes such as fair trade or animal welfare ones giving them access to the Halal market brands that are following down those paths without constructive input and collaboration in the first place.Animals must be well fed. environmental concern welfare. Mostly lead by non-Muslims. cleaner. requirements and Being a good corporate citizen has an effect scope of the meaning of Halal. fair trade and animal The biggest challenge for the non-Muslims Ethical investment. King or Sultan have a certain advantage Halal-certified products. opportunities that exist in this market. Animal welfare in Thailand and the Philippines. Mouth Is health awareness. also produces the best underdeveloped. of other animals. at both the behaviour. why it is better for Halal any definition or status under the law. but both the Muslim and non-Muslim carried out without the all-too-familiar certification process. MARKETS we succeed in establishing excellence in the us. With the right majority countries have recognised that Halal bureaucratic turf wars. involved in the Halal market is to gain an and fair trade are terms that are showing up authentic understanding of their Muslim on Wall Street as well as the High Street. nor the need to give precisely the arena in which this supplication by scientific methodology. an increasing number of are usually embedded in the actual structure either our products on one hand or our national governments have made Halal an of government in many countries. fair trade and animal welfare are all treatment and slaughter. have up until now been slow to recognise the success in the overall market. watered and not stressed. to us. foundations in place. cannot simply leave others to champion production and certification stages. and others. or a least a potential. environmental obligation to test the hypothesis that Halal challenges and opportunities that exist in the concern. the Muslim countries are we. at present. the Muslims arena of Halal integrity will determine our view. we will have let slip the actual. or if you prefer. How many times do kinder to the animal. economic progress. Halal can be developed warrants a closer look in order to take it to to overlap with many other market factors the next level. their own domestic use. It is not just the corporate sector that is This is not an easy challenge. the in energy conservation. But it has been proven otherwise. those who. those organisations that are leading the way Our scientific communities similarly have an For the Muslim world in general. the market needs more so they should. not Allah. witness the slaughter. if we let the profit motive have too gearing up to meet the expanding demand of delay and inefficient channels of delivery much power. in places such as that were first cut through the corporate from the Halal industry.The best means of nurturing this on the bottom line. It was at one time thought all strengthening market forces in their own understanding is through a genuine that the average burger-eater or coffee-drinker right. for the most part. the development jungle by men and women more at home in particular is an issue of enormous importance of the Halal industry in the Muslim majority dungarees and sandals than pin-stripe suits. We own borders. tool for the is an integral part of the system. safer. and the best choice from all points of For these reasons. as well as being Halal market are many and complex. There are of course varying Amir. they do not see the knife. The stakeholders in the Halal industry collaboration with the Muslims within their did not care very much about ethical corporate must become leaders in these fields also.

In every case. Those Islamic financial institutions that realise benefits – health. provides the full set of parameters for a and upmarket shelves. environmental that there is an emerging Halal market – of the products and services on offer. Look at the fair trade message. Some of the long seen ourselves as running to catch up. It is all based on the people. so the message needed to be we have not even started to develop this are the ones who are going to play the lead. they will have Quality – of service. and sometimes almost impossible to demonstrating convincingly why we are the growth. social. highly in all of these areas. moral. something to be entered into an Excel sheet normal. Halal scores very bottom line. the consensus is that clear proof transformation. Halal. and it remains for the corporations and their marketing teams Delivering the Message Go to the supermarket. as section. tomorrow will represent real cultural. environmental and fair trade products among the sea of all the rest. the rock concert. message across. and there is nothing that is more In this respect. the merchandising. In the Halal market. had to generate a tipping point. For their campaign market arena in which ethical behaviour is as they used every available opportunity. task of reading all the ingredients – micro. the packaging and marketing convincing than being convinced yourself. usury. of product and of life – The Halal industry is today in a similar zone authenticity and integrity. We have to change our bottom up – permeate our directors. read the box. we have a much larger consumer fact that it cannot just try to be usury without of communicating a message. the and services. product ranges aiming for the mainstream values. they will speak for is going play as important a role as quantity to the one occupied by these market sectors the individual identity as well as the corporate in the years to come. we have several coffee chains wrote that he knew he had GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . believe in your product if you do not believe remains an almost totally unexplored area. We. the Muslims. every All of these key factors could have been important as the numbers leading to the available surface and medium to get their written for the Halal market. It saves the helping people to fulfill a religious obligation industry through the next critical phase of confusing. In Halal has the highest potential for brand value economy where ‘value’ refers to more than almost every case the price was higher than and brand loyalty compared with all the rest. over time. but surely we can think of better the organic. We can of course take the alcohol out we have much to learn from the pioneers of They are already actively looking out for Halal of the wine. are examine the labels. top down or exceptions. these groups needed out of their way to frequent specialist shops to educate and inform the public about the and markets to get what they are looking for. this will require a paradigm shift in attitude essentially parts of a message. Customers mindset from one whereby we are quietly and staff. core components of the Deen of Islam. The message. MARKETS Islamic banking is slowly waking up to the However. have for too fundamental aspects of developing the Halal T-shirt. there is a message there. ingredients often appear in micro text! A The brand manager of one of the famous Halal logo makes life easier. No-one will about the benefits and qualities of Halal on coffee shop walls. going ways to use the grapes! lobbies. in it yourself. find the organic to understand how to engineer this cross- The issues connected to Halal and Haram. best choice – for everyone. corporations will have to live their brand this transition. The brand specialists ing roles in the next chapter of Islamic into the purchaser. look at the packaging. market. the question of how we deliver the message messages have even become the wallpaper or as minorities trying to fit in. now tell us that the successful brands of banking. issues that are poised When these values – whether it is from the added value. then we will be able to nurture our look for it and like to see it. The main issue discussed today is whether or of Halal products and services are critical not putting a Halal logo on the product gives issues for our industry. sufficiently compelling to convert the browser aspect of our market. and Halal is pivotal to a decade or two ago in that they were niche one. managers of Halal certification adds value. over of values into the Halal arena. Delivering. In this respect base who do not need as much persuasion. But beyond those three aspects. in its fullest sense. overall. social and religious values. the leaflet. it’s on the – primarily to ourselves and our own products establishing and embodying this message are packet. with a few marked to go through an order-of-magnitude outside in or the inside out. this is the absolute baseline in terms advantages. In part.

representing all that promises considerable financial reward. So far. For those fortunate ones. Making the Transition the elements of the Halal value chain want and at the same time. political manoeuvring. would like to see this industry. Text Abdul Hamid Evans 20 21 . We all have the opportunity to play say. Communication. in principle. national boundaries and geography. MARKETS Big producers find the new market attractive succeeded when he heard on of the baristas and. we have to develop all of the pieces at the same time. Capacity. literally. For many of them. serving stage of growth. environmental and fair trade sectors a decade to take place. Let us not indifference. most importantly. different standards. succeed. now we need to strategise.We need all of them to move The Halal industry is today in a similar zone to the one occupied ahead in concert to allow the metamorphosis by the organic. new market paradigm. There are enough pleasing to Allah. Finance. one that transcends coffee.“We are not in the coffee business. Our chosen industry gives certification issues. or two ago in that they were niche product ranges aiming for the mainstream and upmarket shelves. and this market good in the Next. beyond their corporation and overcome. the Halal industry Things move when there is a convergence of is.There are a host committed individuals of high integrity who We continually ask for good in this world and of obstacles in front of us. competition. is In order to enable our industry to shift gear. For more information. we have talked. This is where the hard work really begins. government bureaucracy and to Halal goes far beyond the limits of their waste that chance. one Stakeholders. act. we are in the people business. Integrity. their commitment us the opportunity to have that. greed. contact info@imaratconsultants.All of these need to be job description. commit. large and small. plan. to see growth and change.com But the wind and the tide are in our favour. serving in harmonious alignment to move to the next an active role in the development of a dynamic people.” race. there are enough elements worlds. beyond financial consideration. giving them the best of both common interest towards a common goal.

Palmerston on the 25th of June 1850. Indefinite detention without charge. When the chief captain the end of World War II in countries such as article with a Latin title without providing a commanded that Paul “should be examined Vietnam. Peru. Columbia. and “evidence” obtained through appears to be oblivious of the hundreds of torture used in court – we are all aware that these thousands of innocent woman and children things happen.” selectively. and uncondemned?” (Acts 22:24-5) a common bond. General advised that regime change was not stop arbitrary condemnation. equally. these were ties ‘which. whether. a is not based on any oath of allegiance and is British subject. House is to give. for example. on his being tortured in And although. held himself free from indignity. was refused meant to apply to everyone.As Edmund Burke put which this . all were British subjects by “I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict given their allegiance to the United States of virtue of that allegiance. Chile. empires come and CIVIS BRITANNIA SUM go. when he citizenship could easily be his most valuable And although international human rights law could say “Civis Romanus sum”. Lord Palmerston. Britain’s Prime Minister.” said Lord America – and therefore. in days of its protection.’ In a moment Cicero.. a man’s British old. they were not entitled to are as strong as links of iron.. British subjects the world over. The Pax Britannica has gone the way of the Pax Romana – and the Pax Americana is A LEGAL ESSAY BY AHMAD THOMSON a far cry from its predecessors. deemed necessary in order to have a tyrant GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . of difficulty or danger. In 1849. Paul asked a centurion: “Is it Afghanistan. Argentina. the Attorney This plea. All owed allegiance to the But then of course none of these victims had British sovereign. following that it. Piraeus. bonds and permissible under international law as a scourging. so also a possession. “Civis Romanus sum” – “I am a Roman citizen”. as the Roman.’” (Time. 1971) no restriction on his being “examined by scourging”. sufficed in ancient Rome to order to elicit information. witch doctor and the Bengali peasant shared Roman. by the Valerian Law he Lord Palmerston would not have ordered the inevitable civilian ‘collateral damage’ of the could not be bound. by scourging”. If Paul had not their weapons and then betrayed their trust citizenship as St. justification for the invasion of Iraq. torture.” He is right – and yet he or trial. without President Bush has publicly declared that hope. could boast as proudly of their entitled to such protection. shall feel confident that the watchful eye and compensation by the Greek government for everywhere – in practice it is often observed the strong arm of England will protect him injuries he had suffered at the hands of some against injustice and wrong. the Gold Coast lawful for you to scourge a man that is a a few. Iraq and Palestine – to name but the Australian sheep farmer... when Don Pacifico. did not save them from their Palmerston told the House of Commons at the who had not given their allegiance was not fate – and yet the UN troops who collected time. Paul did when he said: ‘Civis been a Roman citizen. in whatever land he may be. “. Jewish merchant of Malta. and by the Sempronian blockade of Piraeus in order to secure justice shock and awe bombing spree that was Law it was forbidden to scourge him or beat for him. Romanus sum. of its citizens. the condemned unheard. there would have been were immune from prosecution. No Roman citizen could be If Don Pacifico had not been a British subject. without independent legal representation “those who murder innocent woman and children are evil. who have been killed by means of the American military-industrial complex since No-one in this day and age can begin an him with rods. though light as air. sent the British navy to blockade Implicit in this oath of allegiance and the The human rights of the victims of Srebrenica. March 8. protection afforded through it is that anyone for example. quoting ancient reasoning. LAW As with everything in life. that is. quote or two: “In the bygone days of Empire.

It is not surprising. with no remedies of accepting to be told what they may and grounds of a suspicion which does not even or compensation either for the victims or their may not report. inter alia. be extradited rights law. in this climate. or worse still. and of journalists who did not take which we are told has been promulgated to con think-tanks seek to marginalise 22 23 . and ‘evidence’ obtained request or indeed a prosecution in the UK. a combination of rendition suspicion. that neo- dollars. protect us. anyone can be arrested on the accepted as unavoidable. without independent legal representa. these things happen. torture. we can. Isles. LAW London: police and young Muslims in front of a Mosque in Brixton and his henchmen ultimately hanged was the precaution of being embedded – that is. without to the USA even when there is no prima facie world in which we live – harsh realities which hope. arrest? the ‘arrest’ of people who were kidnapped and exchanged for a bounty of a few hundred We all know that under the current legislation. We are told that such measures are A British citizen may say. for example. maybe even be wounded or or disinterested? What if being called for torture and Guantanamo Bay style executed by mistake – we are all aware that Muhammad or Khan is enough to warrant detention camps has guaranteed. “Civis Britannia intelligence-led – but what if the intelligence sum” – “I am a British citizen.” But for an We all hope that we will not fall under is mistaken. evidence to support either the extradition impinge on our daily lives even in the British tion or trial. through torture used in court – we are all aware that these things happen.These are the harsh realities of the Indefinite detention without charge. have to be reasonable – and if deemed surviving relatives in accordance with human necessary. cynically uncaring unfortunate few.

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then it can happen anywhere. blind prejudice. inhuman treatment. but who had taken part in making what appeared to be impossible happen. torture and institutional murder – to the extent that the people whom he criticised tried without success to have him blown up and killed. LAW mainstream Muslims and misrepresent Muslim organisations in the name of promoting social cohesion. without a trace of bitterness in his voice. so that ultimately their quarry should be cowed into tolerating their intolerance. And then when the apartheid state was dismantled. Volume 5. Dhu’l-Qada 1428. while knowing full well that the intended result of their strategy should result in the opposite. arbitrary arrest. “If this could happen in South Africa. November 2007. detention.” Published in The Muslim Lawyer. who had not only witnessed what appeared impossible. He had spoken the truth in the court of a tyrant. he did not busy himself with seeking revenge. He had spoken out against ignorance and bias. As Justice Albie Sachs humbly concluded. but rather he busied himself with establishing justice and making his part of the world a better place. This is why I found the presentation of Justice Albie Sachs at the Minority Lawyers Conference 2007 such a source of inspiration and hope: Here stood a man who had been given a unique experience in life. Issue 1. Text Ahmad Thomson GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 24 25 .

The report acknowledges that Tirana Federation that brings together mostly that dominates in Albania. against corruption. the European law. organised crime and entities. and they lack resources.” The Commission considers that growing fast.” Limited capacity has been recorded in democracy and the rule of Despite some economic progress.” and affects the business climate. maintained even while the external deficit has not been implemented properly. As in all has further widened. and the described as weak. responsibility. the inadequacies energy sector. are not sufficiently involved in Bosnia has made little progress in the fight because of “corruption and shortfalls in policy-making. While it is recognised that Bosnia has made strides in reducing its dependence on the Bosnia and Herzegovina international community through the The Commission says that Bosnia and replacement of international judges and Herzegovina has been lagging behind in the prosecutors by local ones. it states between the central state and its two entities. However. “Urgent measures are needed to ensure effective functioning of state-level institutions. “which remains organisational capacity. disregard of the Dayton Agreement. regional links. “Inadequate implementation Bosnia. and that border performance of executive and legislative back reforms. Albania remains a “significant transit country constitutional reform have stalled. “Political parties’ has continued to investigate and prosecute Bosniaks (Muslims) and Croats. the European Commission leadership’s endeavours. the Commission says it is not continuously played the constructive role in have been in the focus of the Albanian aware of any progress in coordination regional stability. and notes that macroeconomic stability has been that the National Anti-Corruption Strategy At one of the mass graves in Srebrenica. “Overall lack of will to cooperate continued to hold human trafficking vigorously. and the Commission considers more determined action is needed.” the report It notes that judicial reforms have made very for human beings. “The legal framework to fight of the rule of law continues to impede the organised crime is in place but law smooth functioning of the market economy implementation needs to be improved. However. considers that the political system has not that corruption remains widespread in the the Bosnian Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the improved because of the democratic culture country. and AN ASSESSMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION nationalist rhetoric. Albania’s economy has been problem. This is blamed in part on IN THE WESTERN BALKANS “complex institutional arrangements. due to the crisis in the Western Balkans countries. transparency and efficiency”. However.” Civil society in Albania is notes. the judiciary’s function has been of a poor standard report says. Discussions on judicial field.” the report says Albania The fight against corruption and organised While Albania is recognised as a country that crime is acknowledged by the Commission to In addition. and politicians in Sarajevo and Banja Luka.” the progress report concludes. the capitals of Bosnia’s two autonomous Union says that corruption. limited progress during the year. EURASIA reform agenda. are criticised for not demonstrating ethnic tensions are continuing to obstruct a willingness to take further political progress in the Western Balkans. the report notes GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . the rule of law is in the fight against organised crime and seen as influencing Albania’s economic corruption remain a cause of concern in development.” says this year’s progress report. Its representatives. particularly in the electoral and controls have been strengthened. advocacy skills and widespread and constitutes a serious independence. institutions has remained poor.

EURASIA that “the fragmentation of the judicial system and disparities in the legal framework continue to hamper the operation of the judiciary.” However. and overall macroeconomic stability has been maintained. and to meet key European Partnership priorities. Macedonia Frequent tensions and problems in achieving constructive dialogue between major political actors have undermined the effective functioning of political institutions and led to a slowdown of reforms in Macedonia. The slow- down in reforms is seen as the result of an unfavourable political climate and weak domestic consensus on the fundamentals of economic policy. “Further efforts are necessary to combat intolerance and ethnic discrimination. according to the European Commission’s assessment of this EU candidate which has yet to start accession talks with Brussels. due in part to religious intolerance.” the report says. The report points out that cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.” the report says. it recalls that full cooperation with the ICTY is a precondition for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement as part of Bosnia’s integration with the EU. The report says that the absence of communication between key leaders in the 26 27 . The report says that Bosnia has made little progress in establishing a functioning market economy. “The persistence of very high unemployment remains a major cause of concern. The economy itself has expanded rapidly.” Human rights and the protection of minorities remain problem areas. ICTY. has improved and that “it is now at a generally satisfactory level. but there are still threats to fiscal sustainability.

However. Kosovo Despite delays determining its long-term status. participate fully in EU policies because its institutional and administrative capacity is insufficient. The Assembly’s work has shown improvement during the past year. “The boycott of insufficient progress has been made in Parliament by one of the major opposition tackling human trafficking. It is said that the country has been parties as well as the poor quality of implementing administrative reform gradually.” the report says. of political institutions. it says that Macedonia still faces major shortcomings in implementing and enforcing legislation effectively. The report concludes that Macedonia cannot. The Commission notes that the Ohrid Agreement. has functioning of the political institutions.“Further efforts has been maintained as structural reforms among the different institutions in the fight are needed to implement the agreement fully have made further progress. EURASIA country and the behaviour of the opposition uneven. against organised crime is assessed as and to consolidate confidence between the It acknowledges that Skopje has made further efforts to improve its ability to assume the obligations of membership. while implementation of the 2001 begun.” noted the report. continues accelerated growth. UN-administered Kosovo has managed to maintain stability regarding democracy and the rule of law. and civil service legislation is fight against graft in the country has yielded a six-month conflict between ethnic Albanian little used. which is the third in a row to be published separately from Serbia. but in the GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . cooperation between the President and the The report on Macedonia notes that the while it is confirmed that the second phase Prime Minister has hindered the effective country has made some progress in political which relates to fiscal decentralisation. The economy in Macedonia has registered a markedly some results.” The efficiency of public administration has Kosovo: Muslim grandfather with his grandson. ethnic communities. as yet. “Public administration remains weak report says. The report notes that while large political parties representing the different have had a negative influence on the work quantities of drugs have been seized. and the Commission’s widespread and constitutes a very serious to contribute to the consolidation of assessment is that macroeconomic stability problem. but recalls that “corruption is guerrillas and the security forces.” the criteria.” the report says. shown some improvement. which brought an end to and inefficient.” The coordination of activities democracy and the rule of law. but the Commission considers that “the Assembly’s law-making and administrative capacities need strengthening. “The status issue has continued to dominate Kosovo’s politics.

We want to strengthen these have a sounder. Even though we might money-laundering have been transferred only not very good. better approach to Islam. Mufti Sevko Omerbasic: Despite our document. of the Deen. eight new madrasas. Bosnia. Investigations in a number about Islam and its discourse can be seen schools and many Islamic institutions have of cases were concluded but no court both among the ‘Ulama and the common established. Commission.Young people are on the other insufficient rule of law. which has consumed both Bosnia. Sanjak and Slovenia. trafficking remains a serious problem. Fundamental changes in politics Muslims in my Region is little different from and in state structures demand a new Responsibilities in the field of combating that of the Muslims in other regions – it is approach to religion. three high money-laundering. Globalia: With whom are the Muslims and says that economic crimes remain a major cooperating? Mufti Sevko Omerbasic:The Muslims in the challenge. The judicial system in Kosovo also has serious inadequacies. Civil servants are still MUSLIMS IN CROATIA vulnerable to political influence. region are able to solve their problems with- Mufti Sevko Omerbasic: Muslims in the out help from others. Montenegro. communism had no education in the basics be seriously impeded by political uncertainties. Kosovo’s central and local administration remains weak and inefficient. the Muslim in Western Europe.” The Muslims in these regions have lived long report recalls that the number of cases of in isolation without knowing what other Globalia: How do you view the situation organised crime investigated increased Muslims were doing in the rest of the world.This requires a questioning of one’s own relation to the Deen. New forms of spreading Islam with new people are necessary in order to attain Mufti Sevko Omerbasic:The situation of the The economy has also been influenced by future visions. Cooperation with other Muslims is. “Uneven even among intellectuals.” the report INTERVIEW WITH MUFTI SEVKO OMERBASIC says.” Mufti Sevko Omerbasic:The situation of the situation. Since the Kosovo’s provisional institutions. There are communities wounded souls. Those who grew up under notes. that there is no strategy to prevent or combat After communism the Muslims of the important to us to improve our activities and the illegal transport and use of drugs. as demonstrated by “Kosovo is one of the main traffic routes for Balkans have lived for a long time under the reconstruction of our Mosques in drugs to Western Europe. Kosovo. It also notes the lack of specialised you like to receive from abroad? prosecutors to deal with money-laundering. Macedonia and Sanjak. Ignorance Yugoslavia. the report notes also their material and their spiritual substance.” Globalia: What are the main problems in your Region? Text Malik Sezgin Article Gjeraqina Tuhina. they capacity and weak infrastructure. Globalia:What kind of assistance would report says. “economic development continues to who are in contact with each other: Croatia. while tion of the Muslims in your region? considerable difficulties in Croatia we operating in a complex legal environment in should not be discontented with the which there is considerable uncertainty. “Drug Balkans experienced a lot of suffering.The Muslims have break-up of the former federation of progress can be reported in combating a wrong approach to their Deen. we are striving to catch up with partially from the UN administration to produced shortcomings among Muslims.”The report and Kosovo. concludes that Kosovo “has made little ties. limited production There is close cooperation with Macedonia hand part of the Internet revolution. market economy. As the report those in the West.” people. The period of transition has be behind. so there may be conflicts with the older progress towards establishing a functioning generation. The creativity. of the young Muslims? substantially in the first half of 2007. However. Brussels 28 29 . however. “It is weak and vulnerable. The cooperation among the young Muslims is quite serious because Muslims in the Balkans is better than among they have come out of the war with Kosovo’s unresolved status. sentences have been handed down yet. according to the Globalia: How do you view the situa. EURASIA assessment of the report’s authors.” according to the communism.

Quite aside from the debt-traps of the could only be rescued by an unrealistic union GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . IMF and WTO. the masses of the poor. within a ‘world interior of own totality. is today the subject describes the pressure to change that is clearly political dialectics has no more adversaries. even freedom (which in his view triumph seemed assured at the opening of the system. were to need democracy? remained to unfold across the planet – from a Western point of view at least. While the Islamic world plunges into nationally bound democracies. GLOBAL Newspaper headlines after the attacks in London. in the not- point in recent political discourse. global capitalism no longer and its big brother capitalism have really operative despots. – but also for non-Muslims. is not democracy. Sloterdijk is without alternative. the problem is radically intolerant capitalism. democracy and capitalism. of new but very real opponents: archaic economic disorder. therefore. and a sprinkling of nationally so-distant future. over here many are believes that. Since the hordes of terrorists. were to penetrate all of that system’s political institutions so deeply that The political consequences of terrorism are its own purported political form no longer especially devastating for the Islamic community offered any kind of democratic correction to it? The problem. So it was that democracy’s reflecting on the shadier aspects of that capital’. a new and fundamental MODERN POLITICS question is being posed: what would happen ON THE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES OF TERRORISM if capitalism. fall of communism. Already the great majority of all conflicts are There is little doubt that the mass murder of 21st century. only democratic culture anti-globalists. of considerable suspicion. which by definition West. were it not for the emergence due not to a ‘Clash of Civilisations’ but to 11 September 2001 represents a turning. has now arrived in its casino capitalism. What then if. including in the being exerted by global capital on the The democratic culture. The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk rivalry on a world scale has run out of rivals. Political And yet that supposed model of success. which economically encapsulates democracy.

in the reduction of debt fairly cosy. But this cosiness may be deceptive. it is widely known that superficial debate does not wish to make the political realm is cleft with deep time for that. “What kind of democracy?” But the prevailing In the Islamic world. Involvement happen if democratically elected governments is becoming abstract. mountains and in our natural right to acquire The Melilla refugee drama showed that the the world’s resources. professing a belief in democracy is Europe and its actual policies. He the support of the West. comparing them with for a share of scarce resources. The much-vaunted Enlightenment of which Of course. We as Muslims.We still ‘believe’ life between Berlin and Baden-Baden is still in endless growth. Earth remains an unsettled place. In the Arabian lands. What would the “Close-doors” button in a lift. however. an electoral-dictatorial mode. the masses that democracy will asking. is Soviet Union. are the very people to begin dictatorships. the fault of the modernism of our global as in the USA. And yet and with a government that undertakes the the Muslim intellect remains unsettled by the dirty work of monitoring the workers. Zizek also identifies the when everyone knows full well that barely a creeping erosion of the democratic form in despot would remain a day in power without that enthusiastic role-model. participation parties? appears almost illusory. the West. which is an indicator of mean today? Is China a democracy? Or is the just distribution of prosperity from within China perhaps a kind of new capitalist Ideal Islam. claims Sloterdijk. Zakat. and finally a media-dictatorial principles of order. conditional on an answer to the question. led by required as we are to embrace democratic despots and little more than makeshift values obediently. GLOBAL of asceticism and democracy) is a matter up world’s new divide does not lie between for debate. operate. 30 31 . inconsequential. as the emergence of the political figure of Homo in China. The space in which freedom can cultures. Berlusconism is marauding in Africa and they are not the European test-balloon of the emerging establishing a Nomos. we are so proud here in the West persists in and compared with large tracts of our planet.The establishment of Camps transition to post-liberal forms: “We have the around the edges of our affluent society and choice between a party-dictatorial mode. It is in our relationship Neo-authoritarian Age. is shrinking. as the hypocritical question aimed at Islamic nations Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek so – whether they are capable of democracy? – powerfully states. has been degraded in the Islamic world State with unfettered freedom for capital. who has nothing left but his body. Our wealth depends examines the weight of real possibilities for to a considerable degree on the daily battle political participation. to the in Riyadh or Tripoli were to sell their oil to third politically minded human being.What are human rights worth without bring them civil rights and a just distribution civil rights? What does global democracy of prosperity. as in the Sacer. contradictions. it separates the Rich and the Poor. and we Materially speaking we Germans still live in are living through nothing other than a a sheltered zone. Our corporations are mode as in Berlusconi’s Italy. avoiding the economic realm. to a politically insignificant ritual. a state-dictatorial mode.” with the South that the gaping chasm is revealed between the Christian claim of Today.

Their suicide appears a secular activity. but with scarf-wearing women political observer will also have noticed that and a ban on alcohol. Islam respected other ways of life in close proximity and for hundreds of years on end. On the Muslim side measures. The alternatives. As Muslims we do not just longer fighting for Lebensraum. inscrutable German incapacity to necessity of a global empire. and in organic life-pattern. that is. GLOBAL The magical multiplication of money is one considers Terror/Al-Qaida to be an community – but also for non-Muslims. when advice cause is unthinkable. They are the of the important anti-globalisation movement not disappeared. In the public arena. beneath Terror’s clouds of dust. he has no values. Neither is it. says Zizek in his brilliant analysis preludes of a persecution which must be a phenomenon it not only enhances the Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Islamic thinking lives from the defiles that very existence which should have autonomy of its own terminology. it is as if all that exists and within the value-scheme. The denunciation of belief has now assumed camp and leash are the reasonable civilising shocking proportions. Muslims – a movement which has invigorated the geopolitics necessarily returns. Meanwhile. democracy deliberately overlook the people’s who simply has to know at last what he right to self-determination – the sole basically does not know and spiritually could The limitless political term ‘Islamist’ is of legitimate subject of democracy. he is basically an animal. An imaginary typical. that our cars. ends bad. hence in political theory is sought about Islam. The outrageous acts themselves what is needed is a critique of Islamic pursue an inescapable bio-political logic: the modernism – but a critique which leads into perpetrator utilises his body. they want genuinely feared – quite aside from the Global Security State. the Dollar is the most highly prized from the debate. not out of Islam. The key points are against an opponent imagined to be clear: Islam is neither an ideology nor a overwhelmingly more powerful. but not his faith. Islam. and like every room behind the door. and since inhuman. even to the the term racism has been silently removed A reliable friend in the “war on terror”. The political consequences of terrorism are especially devastating for the Islamic Text Abu Bakr Rieger. One of the absurd aspects of the capitalist religion. John Gray land of orthodoxy. He has totalitarian life-form. We are no who never knew the context of mosque. He is not character as a credible alternative way of life. terrorists. As a modernist other simplification it is one of the known An analysis of terrorism today shows that as ideology. Berlin GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . as an nothing left other than this body. wanting to die for a political recognisable. But more to the point is the cultural asset of all. without economic respect orthodox religious life-practices. never experience: whether there is another course a gross simplification. annoyance. even Islam itself is hardly In liberalism.All’s bad that without the flowery language of tolerance. the limits of wealth have of course a very modern entity indeed. In either case. Islam loses its absolutely no worth whatsoever. For Western democracies the problem upbringing. a system with totalitarian contravention to the Revelation he finally ambitions. What is interesting Qutb’s modernist terms). even an enemy. but for oil for market and Zakat in their places of bemoan the superficial loss of image. which is why good old dismal children of modernisation. it also legitimises the capitalism without capitalism. and now members of longing for recognition which can be observed now is how to democratically ‘legitimise’ their revolutionary ‘Shock Troops’ (one of Sayyid among today’s Muslim functionaries is in fact thirst for new resources. regrettable fact that. But this does not preclude in all this is that the founding acts of to Zizek more the action of someone in doubt. the terrorist or were hair-brained fundamentalism or a banal suicide bomber is a political figure of esotericism. Even brought him to the Next World. accompanying symptom of globalisation and has only to reflect on the obvious weakening However. Cage. political debate.

Berlin Cologne: joint press conference with the heads of Muslim organisations in Germany. or their descendents. and 32 33 . Tunisia and Morocco came opening temporary prayer rooms. Creative quarters of which are either Turkish citizens projects are crucial. Muslims Islam. Gradually. has triggered an interest in the subject of or guest-workers.4 million Muslims in Germany. Every three months or so we had regulations governing the unity of immigrant Today there are more than 2. Muslims and characterised by crises.” families. the main factor in this process being permanent places to practice their religion. and a growing number of new indigenous Muslims Existing Islamic organisations will have to evolve (estimates range from 60.000). GERMANY Text Sulaiman Wilms. Mounir Azzaoui. In order to meet their religious needs. if they want to represent the Deen and the next Observers estimate that there are currently 3. a long a more permanent immigration had their organisations searched for more debate about cartoons and statements by evolved. but before presence in Germany.000 to 200. A notable Muslim presence emerged in under the spotlight of public scrutiny. the Pope. a former spokesman workers from what was then Yugoslavia and founded associations which went about for the Central Council of Muslims in Germany later from Turkey. and these (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland. which Germany with the arrival of the Gastarbeiter. 600. Representative polls show that 84 per cent of all Muslims want to After decades of a somewhat informal stay in Germany. ZMD). their children (who are noticeably better integrated into German AN EVALUATION OF MUSLIM ORGANISATIONS society than their parents). in which the daily prayers are established. to Germany. the Muslims have recently come German citizens.000 of them are already Introducing Muslims in Germany existence. From the 1960s onwards.000 prayer rooms something even bigger to discuss. At first the influx was regulated were the first visible signs of a Muslim stated that “the last five years were by restricting the duration of stay. terrorist attacks. roughly three generation of Muslims in Germany. The landscape of German Muslim now FORCED TO CHANGE comprises immigrants.

but none of these rival the IGMG or IGD in membership numbers or political leverage. Organised Islam in Germany Organised Islam has until now been dominated numerically by organisations that are constituted and separated along ethnic lines. Ayyub Köhler. a former industrial centre in the Ruhr Conurbation. which has Turkish roots. ZMD) and the Islamic Council of Germany (Islamrat für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland). Dr. Another 140 large-scale mosques are currently at the planning stage. are “matters of religious and social education and training.” These. and the inde- pendent Union of Islamic Cultural Centres (Verband der Islamischen Kulturzentren. The strongest of these are two Turkish mosque associations: the Turkish- state-influenced DITIB. and of these. veteran German Muslim and President of the Central Council. four are currently setting the tone.” The new mosque in Duisburg. the dominant member of the latter being the Milli Görüs Islamic Community (IGMG).VIKZ). Both umbrella organisations have dozens of other members. More and more young Muslims consider the GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . Then there is the support we offer in legal and theological matters as well as activities to improve conditions for practising the religion. IGD). Two umbrella organisations also exist: the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland. he says. GERMANY 159 recognisable mosque buildings have been erected.The most important member of the Central Council is the Arab-rooted Islamic Community in Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland. which has the greatest number of Mosques. is one example of more than a hundred in the coming years. sees the ‘internal tasks’ of his umbrella organisation in the “support of and care for the communities and member organisations.

Malik Sezgin. which will soon be the avant-garde time with representatives of the four biggest to its size. coupled with independent observers. There is further a growing the German society by the media coverage been stated. with the Muslims in their presently organised ‘Unity of Muslims’. and this. body of public law . Organisations are missing this “because they understand the language of the to more than 30 political. both and the core of their lives should not be and the predominant focus of Islamic conservative politicians. reality.cannot be organisations. Dr. The success of the DIK. when he stated: “Maybe it is time to form by hosting the German Conference on organisations in Germany established in April ask what the so-called ‘organised Islam’ can Islam (Deutsche Islam Konferenz (DIK)). In doing so. the four great Muslim uation. Especially the attempts by Muslim existing bodies within Germany.” solidify a certain hierarchy”. Secretary. The opinion of the well-known German. brought Dr. been done over the heads of Muslims - free from terror and suicide bombings have explains that indigenous European Muslims ignoring the process of consultation at a been hampered by ideologies from the Middle are going to play a role of increasing impor. ‘It is Germany. of only four practising Muslims in comparison of Muslims’. this body of people are indeed doubtful about the given indeed a central problem of the current will find themselves having to be the key combination of representation within the platforms that there is no sophisticated mechanism in effecting a positive change conference . This of course has led heritage of the Germans”. I would rather place emphasis DIK. the DITIB has three votes. GERMANY lingering ethnic focus to be an obstacle to background. the realisation that Muslims . In our encounters in Germany.Angela Merkel. Sezgin. and a future of Islam as a become synonymous with Turkish problems. Fairness demands the acknowledg. the non.All participating bodies have on the younger generation of Muslim men and Schäuble to the meeting table for the second two votes in this new council. held in May of this year. In addition. executive and point when they think in political terms only. The country’s Home woman in the conference.” organisations on their own structural needs. Women who value Islam as their belief existence of a sustainable network of Awqaf.if any at all. on some of the positions of the Islamic through their organisations . “It is a problem that the institutionalised Islam. ground level. “It cannot be like an independent teaching of Islam. Cologne. which deals with the local situation within the country’s Muslim community. Muslims” (KRM). Mounir Azzaoui assesses the given state tance in spreading and maintaining Islam in event. Schäuble illustrated his willingness to talk Founding a new mechanism to achieve the as the general consensus of the German sit. Zaimoglu is of the three task forces with periodical meetings on biggest group of Muslims originates from opinion that one has to deal quite regularly Homeland Security.also come . Difficult Search for Unity Turkish writer Feridun Zaimoglu can be seen Dr. will manifest itself in years to undercurrent as well as an outspoken critique on Islam. The 2007 the “Coordination Council of the do and can’t.the dynamics of the DIK consists teaching. Wolfgang Schäuble. Secretary General of the ment that there also other ethnic groups European Muslim Union. media. however due women. confirms this critique The Islamische Zeitung has pointed out on which are at least partly under foreign on the grounds of ethnical focus of the numerous occassions that the discussions influence. place as well as the intellectual and spiritual academic participants.a longstanding wish for observes a young Muslim student from Muslim organisations. of Islamic teaching as ‘problematic’. The aforementioned Feridun Zaimoglu the three main areas of this critique are Political decisions in recent years have clearly criticised the absence of a practising Muslim facilitated around areas such as the lack of demonstrated this.” In dealing with the case of conference. The of Germans with an immigration Muslim organisations in a a one-day councils chair speaker changes every six 34 35 . incumbent Chancellor. acknowledge this excluded. because it means that Islamic topics with the concept of “representatives who representation. negated any longer is becoming evident. the DIK coordinates Islam in Germany. held during the course of the conference has organisations to totally delineate Islam as himself from an immigrant background. it has for this teaching. skeptics to question the fact that not enough It is confirmed amongst both the younger leverage will be granted to them in the generation of Muslims and the new Muslims Contacts with German Politics process of actively progressing as a that there is a basic backlog in the demand Despite the partial increase of polarisation of community. Dr. questions of Turkey. Muslims skeptical of the latter East.

GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 36 37 . Modalities to have a stronger presence on the Internet of how to apply the rules of Zakat and other in order to publicly clarify the common Concerning the question of Muslim elements of the Islamic life-transaction grounds. the new spokesman given by Allah. there is a lack of independent and yet practising body of Muslims. “The pressure on an overall growing will of the Muslims to The majority of the Muslims were born in Muslims is growing to a point where we have coordinate their communities and to Germany and did not migrate. They have almost no the Council has proven its performance also discovering Islam. the West is based on old conflicts. Leaving all propaganda and arguments between the organisations are of the Coordination Council. these positive faculties “have not been called up by the great structures. GERMANY months and is agreed upon by the four Council is the development of a common for the unity of the Muslims.at least until now. It would be helpful in this context have been fulfilled. and it is only a matter of time to the public. Furthermore. media. who are able to develop visions for the future of Islam in Germany. There is however. Everyone passes through reality any more. for more self-confidence of the Muslims.” Important fields of activity are economy. optimistic. as well as the members. Bekir Alboga. They call for more activities for and by the Muslims of Germany. including native German Muslims.“where there are Muslims who are willing to participate”. teacher. he calls difficult to agree upon. all participants had been very ends here .Ali Kizilkaya. One of “integration of the four Islamic umbrella looking for the mercy of Allah. there is chairman of the Islamic Council. Muslims in Germany. There is still Already in the founding phase of the Council. Complete mutual consent exists in position for the training of future Imams in constant demands of politics and the public” all important Islamic communities in the Germany. is optimistic about the prospects of On the other side of the spectrum. “We are part to understand our existence here as a chance strengthen their daily Islamic lives.” He states further that with the a different door. the wishes of the Muslim base Difficult. a large reservoir of potential capable skills in the community.“They disagreement about the times of the when its leading members stood in front of should not give in too easily to any pressure. but necessary The generation of young and new Muslims has an exceptionally ambiguous stance towards ‘organised Islam’. The main of Germany. So far. Feridun Zaimoglu holds a rather beyond the five daily prayers are much more contrary position: “Institutionalised Islam? I am not interested!”.The unity the press. it is the youth that want and need to have correct Islamic guidance.” the most pressing task for the Coordination organisations. explains “that madness of this time aside. but people are in the end before the new generation settles it. organisations. author and Muslim and also of the immigrants is over” says the activist. states Mounir Azzaoui in conclusion. Until now. nor into esotericism. First and foremost. “The time of the guest workers Ahmad Gross.” beginning and the end of Ramadan. and everywhere else . which leads neither into fundamentalism. rejection of terrorism and racism.

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and its importance for the Muslims has not been erased from the hearts and minds of the people of Spain. INTERVIEW Granada: view on the New Mosque from its garden. Also it is a sign that Islam its activities. Eight hundred of Europe. validity and relevance of Islam in of the new mosque in Granada. this modern age. Globalia: What does it mean to the Muslim world that Islam has re-entered AL-ANDALUS SHINES ON Spain at a time when Islam is being THE NEW MOSQUE OF GRANADA IN FOCUS degraded globally? Abdulhasib Castiñeira: I think it is a sign of An interview with Abdulhasib Castiñeira. years of Islamic civilisation in Al-Andalus left GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . on the institution. Director the vitality.

and that they peninsula. Last year. academic 1970s. INTERVIEW Text Muhammad Dockrat vast reserves of knowledge that are still drawn the non-Muslim population towards this natural and true to us as Muslims. the Prime extraordinary. a living existential element Islam taught that the country was a Christian has been erased from the surface of the Iberian Abdulhasib Castiñeira: I would say in the last country invaded by Islam. but to the upon today by the World Islamic Community momentous undertaking of reviving the Spanish people it is something very new.This has been basically the and relevance of Islam that people are taking there has been an increase in sympathy official Catholic version of history up until the it on existentially in their daily lives. The Islamic era was one authorities. As a living Deen in Spain? the last five hundred years we have been element. validity thirty years. so it is a sign of the vitality. but now it has completely changed.What are the sentiments of of the greatest times in Spain.This may sound Minister said that Spain is indebted to Islam 38 39 . in circles and among those knowledgeable about the textbooks and even in the discourse of the Globalia: The history of Spain is vast and culture and history. in 2006. For and by non-Muslims as well. since the death of General Franco. destroyed our unity. towards Islam in intellectual circles.

Every day of the year it is open to people. which is the first role of a Mosque. researchers. and I think Granada will become a place of hospitality. we know it in our own surrendered power to the Christian monarchy up until the middle of the seventeenth century history. They now say Islam is not terrorism. All this is very new. We have attended all the assemblies and general meetings of the organisation. and it is the heart of the community and also a place of interaction with society. GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . Germany and France – who come for holidays and cultural visits. INTERVIEW for its history.They remained it in our monuments. teachers. and it is there that our mosque is located. we know it in our cities. Every day there are many activities. The Mosque of Granada is one of the founding members of the EMU. People will Abdulhasib Castiñeira: Granada in history is Muslims remained under Christian rule. to the non-Muslims of Granada – but also to visitors. not only Muslims. everyone recognises that Granada has a very strong meaning and a very significant place in the hearts and memory of the Muslims. we know power in Europe. university groups and schools. It was a monarchy which persecution of the Inquisition. Islam is not the last place in which Islam held sovereign suffered the genocide and religious backwards. The head of the Islamic Community of Spain Malik Ruiz is addressing other European cities? visitors of a celebration. and our mosque has become a model for all of Europe in that it is a mosque open to all people. Globalia: What sets Granada apart from A prominent place. We have a strong contribution to make because we join history and the present day. Not only that but we are situated in the most historical quarter opposite the Alhambra Palace.The Alhambra. because in Spain then in any other European country. protection and discussion for all European Muslims. It fulfils the role of ‘Ibadah.This is the truth and it can grow faster in 1492. and then for another two hundred in large communities. and fifty years the indigenous Spanish of its great beauty and extraordinary craft Globalia: What is the role played by the Spanish Muslim community and the Mosque of Granada in establishing spiritual kinship throughout Europe? Abdulhasib Castiñeira: I think among everyone who comes to Granada – and there are many Muslims from the United Kingdom. meeting.

religions. Kasbi is a gift from Allah of incalculable value. poetry and sayings from his intellectual leadership that the immigrants somehow managed to integrate into society language. which deals with minorities and of Islam in Europe which we do every year. becoming more organised and wisdom and depth that enables him to everyone to aspire to the highest responsibility professional – if you want to call it that – in understand perfectly and with great delicacy of Islam in this age. We are trying to teachings for a thousand years. to be role models very active. in countries such as South Africa. Last publications. They entirely to scholarship. was not Globalia: Granada Mosque has one of high calibre repository of correct knowledge. One remarkable thing with South America and North Africa. our approach. which is very beneficial to dumbfounded when they hear him. He is not just a repository establish that the Muslims have an important seminars. will prevent themselves from being without major clashes or difficulties. and we have a programme of talks and time and people. he is someone communities of Spain met with the Prime the Mosque. immigrant and indigenous populations are and have somehow recreated a Moorish Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula are much better here than in other European presence in the city. which remains connected economy. which has dedicated itself the case in Spain. They have nothing else. For His own life experience. The have created an atmosphere and ambiance of is how a man who never travelled out of condition of and relationships between the Islamic revival with their souks and bazaars. We also visited the Ministry of 6 . which is also a Muslim monument – the Alhambra is always Abdulhasib Castiñeira: Shaykh Muhammad Globalia:All across the non-Muslim world the symbol for Spain. The region of the Souse where he comes from has happened to the economic immigrants of is known as the “spiritual reserve of the the UK. southern Morocco speaks such a high Arabic. after three given him the gift of discrimination and take down the barriers by encouraging years. is exactly Muslims and the migrant population. destroyed. acuity. but they have cultivated. twenty leaders from the Muslim open local and international conferences at books and laws and the Qur’an. He comes from a very well Abdulhasib Castiñeira: That has never been a niche in society and contributed to the known area. local governor. milking goats. We are striving hard to year. Can you tell me something about authorities and to the leaders of the or Singapore. of knowledge – although he is that – he is a role to play in modern lives. What are your expectations a very high level. which in itself is a miracle. but not as industrial workers. reaching out to society intellectually in our We have succeeded in different ways. and the realities of Europe today. He is extracted from another age. to the Muslims in Spain and the community Germany and many others. programmes. We are hoping to host more So he is not just someone who knows the year. the Alhambra is its symbol – as him and his influence on the community? community is of the highest value. He has also been trained as a Qadi. INTERVIEW and the talent of its architecture. divisions between the indigenous hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. to the and promotes itself at tourist fairs in New York Kasbi. Allah has Abdulhasib Castiñeira: We are. and we are visited regularly by the We also plan to invite scholars throughout the He knows how to judge in contexts of place. Is the past twenty years it has also been a model like that of the Sahabah.All of that marginalised and ghettoised. We have an event in July on the who judges and interprets and counsels. this the case in Spain? city in all of Spain where immigrant Muslims travelling on donkeys and going to get water have been accepted and have made themselves from the well. They have defined themselves in Globalia: When I looked at the Granada Maghrib”. there are Granada is a small provincial town with three in Granada. 40 41 . collectively.When Spain goes around the world the finest Khatibs in Shaykh Muhammad His advice individually. Minister. It is by taking a sort of moral and the economy and tourism. which is what makes Granada significant. he tells us. teaching. 7 and 8 which is a summer celebration th th th always with great wisdom and with great Justice. extraordinary Madrasahs with clear intellectual understanding of the for the coming year? that have maintained the same method and challenges of the moment. he has so countries. at responsibilities as Muslims. They have also much eloquence. no ghettos and allowed themselves to be put in Mosque website [insert domain] I could agriculture and no cattle so the land is a corner because they have not taken on their not help noticing that the community is basically desert. the Taj Mahal is for India.

the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Muslims in Europe. and to unify the German-speaking ensure a ‘Middle Path’. The Islamische Zeitung is European media. Islam is a The project is set up as a limited company. of modern-day dialectics. Likewise. It reaches out to the about the Deen to their German non-Muslim publishers maintain certain boundaries to Muslims and to non-Muslim communities neighbours. the team of Islamische Zeitung analyses the present global began an attempt to offer positive information authors.There is a daily updated website Abu Bakr Rieger and its Chief Editor is Muslims to show that Islam is not alien to (with more than 5. the Muslim voice in Germany to denounce suicide stereotypical framework. The IZ offers a fresh perspective – Muslims by means of a media project. direct sales. The small group of young European Muslims editorial perspective is broad. Readers receive the newspaper a multi-ethnic newspaper. The IZ has enabled German more services. having writers from Spain. GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . Twelve years ago a by foreign or local sponsors. At present the IZ is team has defended with similar vigour the Islam and non-Muslim Germans. Its regular interview feature in GERMANY: ISLAMISCHE ZEITUNG LEADS THE DISCOURSE particular aims to facilitate ‘encounters’ with relevant non-Muslim voices. For those who follow the newspaper it is a clear window into modern politics. the editorial this newspaper functions as a bridge between Switzerland and Austria. instead a thrilling phenomenon which is also Currently the IZ has two main cornerstones relevant to people who may otherwise have of activity and is in the process of adding The publisher and founder of the project is overlooked it. Islamische Zeitung (or IZ) has now become attacks. media by providing a positive image of Islam and Muslims. modernist the independent voice of the German. something of a negative taint in mainstream political influence. not dominated For those who follow the newspaper it is a all the more pressing. This is especially Since the editorial team is multi-ethnic and speaking Muslim community. and a condemning terrorism and suicide attacks transport and diffuse ideas. It is fundamentally diverse in that it is demonstrated by the Islamic civilisations of month). It has clearly defined itself outside the media to further their cause. terror and other extreme. chief and deputy editors and and local situation. but stays within the Divinely ordained religion – not a culture or The publishers and editorial staff are not confines of true politics and gives a Muslim a political ideology – yet it has acquired under any particular national or foreign view to the rapidly changing world. Islamische Zeitung was The media has become the main tool to through subscription. The Islamische The IZ aims to bring together Muslim communities of different origins. For this reason the need is also financially independent. IZ is the most read and widely distributed German. It reaches out to the Muslims and to It counters the stereotypes and negative images of Muslims presented in the general non-Muslim communities alike. and hopes Zeitung analyses the present global and local also to integrate Muslims and non-Muslims. Since its launch important for the positive existence of its binding factor is the German language. and never give voice to those therefore perfectly positioned to demonstrate speaking Muslim publication in Germany.000 visitors a day) as well Sulaiman Wilms – both Muslims of German Europe but rather its highest possibility – as as a printed edition (10. especially to non-Muslims – on subjects which The IZ is known to have been the first public are otherwise usually depicted within a Germany’s umbrella organisations aside. deformations of Islam. authors who would attack the Prophet or the that Islam is not a culture of foreigners.000 copies every origin. Sicily. it has established itself all over Germany. alike. MEDIA various cultural backgrounds as well as the LEAGUES AHEAD capacity to unify Muslim and non-Muslim writers. Pillars of Islam. situation. long before 9/11 and has continued to do so Muslims in Europe must assert themselves in ever since. Although the clear window into modern politics. which is why the system of distributing to selected outlets. but basics of the Deen.

Text Mohammed Dockrat 42 43 .Arab and European and understand their epoch and place.” the that have not yet been explored. youth to establish firm grounds on which to applicable to our times. pros and cons of modern-day globalisation. Islamische Zeitung defends the Deen as a (such as different celebrations) and behaviour- living. since we It pays close attention to meaningful events are sailing on troubled waters in every place within the Islamic world. This section covers the that they may be able to contribute to the adherence to correct Islamic teaching different ways of life of Muslims in different future of Europe. cultural activities tread.de The IZ incorporates Muslim scholars of varying historical personalities such as Ibn Khaldun. It is for this reason that according to the traditional Islamic schools regions. indulging the reader who can take hold of the reigns of the future with tastes of Far-Eastern. It globalisation. there is a special emphasis on the feminine and broadcasters to co-operate. In doing this the featuring cuisine. origin from Germany and Europe in order to Ibn Rushd. Open communication is one of the cornerstones of Germany’s Islamische Zeitung. and hopes to aspect of the Deen. also works with media organisations in the Muslim heritage if one considers the Hajj or Middle East. It explores the multi-cultural legacies Islamische Zeitung has collaborated with the of law. In a sense it is part of the epoch. and broadcasts the Apart from its intellectual offerings it contains – is of the utmost importance. following the famous make inroads into new and exciting avenues One of its regular features looks at saying: “Half of the Deen is from Aisha. Of course IZ also invites other newspapers. as well as many countries outside a historical one. as well as contemporary subjects Anyone interested in this dynamic approach section includes articles by respected scholars related to Muslim lifestyle and Islamic to forming a basis for the Muslim community and personalities from all over the Muslim practice. any time via their website: It investigates the biographies of modern and www. clothes.islamische-zeitung. the spread of Islam through markets and Educating and drawing in the youth – trade. conferences which aim to build a future namely: the UK. especially in the case of Muslims. dynamic phenomenon. globalisation. so An important pillar of the content is an Muslim lifestyles. Russia and the not from a puritanical view but rather from generation of Muslims who know their time Balkans. liking for the spice of life. MEDIA Keeping in touch. Islamische Zeitung co-operates with Muslim towards its good or bad aspects IZ discusses IZ has taken an active part in many organisations in various European countries. magazines fulfil this aim. The Islam patterns. Spain. Islam has always known and can secure the Deen of Islam in their Europe such as Morocco and South Africa.There are many views of Muslim intellectuals from throughout a mouth-watering section for those with a aspects to building up young men and woman the world’s Muslim communities. while maintaining that they are of Islam from Sarajevo to Samarkand.Turkey. Rather than a polarising wife of the Prophet. Ibn Al-’Arabi and others. should feel free to contact the newspaper at world.

The situation in Germany. But then It is perhaps no coincidence that the subject again there are voices that deny absolutely There is no doubt that the dialogue between of religion is gaining in import again. thought and belief is assuming a religion we belong to appears once more to polity.000 Muslims already possess Ladies and Gentlemen. be one of the decisive factors. The the possibility of integrating Islam into our poetry. “The actual. deeper importance once again. in terms of simple figures. I am bound the only. live in Germany permanently • More than 600. 84 per cent wish to occasion of the Mosque’s one-year anniversary. beneath which all other relationship exists – and that it is much too themes are subsumed.4 million of these Muslims live currently in Germany – of those. CULTURE Statue of the poets Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller.” enormous integration process could take place just a few minutes. For example. to fail. remains the conflict It would be naïve to believe that such an complex and too multi-faceted to sum up in between rejection and belief. especially when THE POETS AND ISLAM we discuss integration. • 123 large mosques are currently at the Islam in the space of 20 minutes. the deepest theme of world and planning stage in Germany. without any difficulties whatsoever. But this implies at least that such a human history. It has always a German passport Of course. if I undertake to present the been a key issue. is as A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE ON EUROPEAN THOUGHT follows: A short talk given at Wolfsburg Islamic Centre • 16 million Muslims in Europe on Sunday 2 September 2007 to mark the • 3. a philosopher of GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . Right back in 1814 Goethe • 77 conventional mosques and more than 2000 prayer rooms exist in Germany relationship between the German poets and wrote in his West-Eastern Divan. Wehler.

Türkenproblem – the Problem of the Turks – It is my conviction that we must refute this and sparked a debate which rages on bitterly idea absolutely. since 11 September. practices Islam correctly. then. a German Muslim. a fact one can expect of a complex society. both only to think of the book Powers of Ten. avoid and fight against the integrate. women. we recognise the identity The Austro-German Hugo von Hofmannsthal was fascinated by Islam. But while we appreciate dispute. formation. but enlarged each time by the power of ten. opposite of what terrorists and ideologues do. CULTURE history. First other Muslim. Federal Germany has. If wherever culture is ‘sold’ to us too quickly as fully the debate which has been going on you will permit me this example – I myself Islam. who all were born as the observation of the thinker Peter Sloterdijk: Muslims. By inviting Germany does not have a problem with to the most diverse of cultural environments each other in this way we are also doing the foreigners. represent the error in the argument To mention one example. but is itself not and one of our intentions is to indicate some a culture. then it is of course absolutely scandalous not to welcome the young Muslims who live here – who often speak better German than Arabic or Turkish – just as one would welcome my children as German Muslims. then inshallah? If. fully untenable. Way. who was born in centuries-long periods during which Islam cosmos – from the biggest to the smallest – Weimar. so to speak. in culturally and Islamically. of a person by his language. When we hear Huntington speaking about a ‘Clash of Civilisations’.” Islamic life is culturally hijacked and for which we have the nihilism of suicide This typical position is one which I would transgressed against. an Asian or an Eskimo – belong between thinkers and believers. for a German Muslim woman who “We have in fact sanctified terrorism. of the spiritual inspiration that can emerge “The example shows that it just doesn’t work. the wearing of the of Mr Wehler and anyone else who claims that Burka is. This – but still be a Muslim as well. Muslim diaspora is in principle impossible to who must fear. be integrated into flourished in Al-Andalus shows that dress in which the same image is retained. we should call to mind and my children. 44 45 . or will one day changed frequently – especially among you see heaps of galaxies. a country. a garden. published an article in the newspaper The question with which one actually has to I am sure we can safely say that the Moors die tageszeitung in 2002 entitled Das respond is:“Is Islam actually a culture at all?” had more important things to do. One has Europe is incompatible with Islam. it has a problem with Turks. Islam brings forth cultures. one of Other in order to preserve their own identities. but this Europe? Only because he. to this day: filters and influences cultures. like Ibn al-Arabi. as far as Islam is concerned.You can be an American. fasts. Earth. we may be witnessing what will be an epoch-making misunderstanding – but hopefully not. But Muslims must now make is to filter out Unfortunately. just like every code was not only dealt with flexibly. prays.This applies in particular bombers to thank. and that on a very personal level. then the Milky pay Zakat and take the journey to Mecca. Islam and terrorism are at a certain point there comes a limit to what actively those incidences in Europe wherein mentioned today in the same breath. a city. a German. since its To reverse the argument. A study of the which we witness a journey through the Cannot my son Yusuf. coped gallantly with an immigrant the important contributions European population of what is now ten per cent. an Afrikaner. We meet here today in this beautiful mosque.

We experience the power of enlargement in three dimensions. Finally the camera zooms into the microscopic world.2002: “A dialogue of an excelling modernity? Goethe was clearly aware of the cultural schism between Islam and the West at an early stage. After all. prefigured the encounter between Europe and Islam in the great figure of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. but not.” Today let us take another perspective. must be viewed through Nietzsche’s verdict that Goethe was ‘an incident without further consequences in the history of the GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . Cordoba and Weimar. bringing forth to our vision the elementary particles. Weimar especially. It may be that his attempt at such a dialogue. Something very similar is happening with Terror: pinprick- sized effects that exist in real life are being magnified by our media to assume the magnitude of galactic phenomena. Manfred Osten wrote an apt summary of this old-new dialogue with Islam in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 22. Let us simply hope together that the relationship between Germans and Muslims is viewed more and more not just as normal. but in the traditional manner of a forging of links. CULTURE a couple lying there on the lawn. if we think about Islam in Europe then we must immediately recall the great cities and places of European culture. of course. ignoring the problems of integrating millions of different Muslims. let us think for once positively about the relationship between Islam and Europe. One only has to think of Sarajevo.05. and the concomitant necessity for the Great Dialogue. the cycle of poems entitled West-Östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan) which he wrote in 1814. that city of German classics which is so close to the German heart.

He reminds us as sometimes lack. culture. are anyway better described lacks nothing. Cordoba and Weimar. and without Whose the intellect to examine more closely and to encounter his intercultural genius with will and permission nothing can occur. language and the capacity for which you cannot say the opposite. You can see that this teaching with Islam. says He then continues to reflect on this superiority Indeed. Goethe admired the integral Islamic approach to that he himself was a Muslim. from reservation. certainly found in Islam a confirmation of his Weimar especially.” reveals himself composure and self-assurance in the face of education.” with the doctrine that nothing exists about Of course. if we think about Islam in Europe then we must This is a fascinating question.[It is] a doubt arises as to which is actually true.’ Even today. them for their entire lives. Goethe did nothing less With these beautiful words. which for him leads to narrow-minded nationalists. this document in the history of mankind alongside who famously “did not reject the suspicion relishing in intellectual engagement. It is precisely this intellectual confidence. the land of poets and as the actual link between all believers. prefigured the encounter between Europe and Islam in the great figure of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. But poet Rainer Maria Rilke gave the following doctrine of a Providence which remains aware they do not tarry in doubt. in his famous conversations with Eckermann. this the Bible.What is remarkable are the as knowledgeable even of the Islamic contradiction.. Muslims find and preserve our own anything but what an all-guiding Divinity has intellectual position. if performed correctly. And yet.” recognition. many German scholars of the smallest detail.. with thought. by writing this book all thence derives that certainty which is the those 200 years ago. this equips and reassures Goethe argued: “The Mohammedans counsel of the poet of old.” ascertain... sometimes it is the language of the the soldier in battle. at least. As the foundation of Muslims that when it comes to our Revelation. To mention but one example. That.. and leaves them thereupon begin their teaching of philosophy needing little else. and. of value to us. argumentation and the their religion. not are no further on. Goethe. to the German heart. there is basically some of this of every proposition. can get anywhere with them. “. One only has to think of Sarajevo. is the long ago decreed. reassurance. they establish in their youth we think not dialectically but in terms of the contradictions of modernity can we as the conviction that man cannot encounter whole. the creator of the West-Eastern Divan. the genius of his century. without to great skill in thought and speech.” language? us having been taught it. The strategy which he pursued is according to him. our world-famous danger without such confidence? . that city of German classics which is so close longing for Unity and his deep belief in Destiny. CULTURE Germans. that we Muslims now teachings with which the Mohammedans methodology of thought.‘The bullet that does not have my name on it will not hit me’. They language are essential for an encounter of this Goethe therefore identifies belief in Destiny exercise the minds of their youths by having kind here in Germany.And how should he keep of Islamic thinking: “Then.And which Muslim parents would in continues: “. and that for all our systems we based on a thorough examination of what is as open-minded citizens of the world. Only in active engagement begin their education.” What really interested Goethe about Islam? After all. indeed in the conviction that the Qur’an is the most important religious Goethe. and still an immediately recall the great cities and places of European open one.. once the opposite Other that helps us to comprehend what is up his courage and spirits under extreme has been claimed about every proposition. it drives quite beautiful insight defining the nature of 46 47 . and that absolutely nobody apparently foreign. which inescapably leads fact not want their children to speak our belief in each and every one of us. Goethe confirms goal in which man finds complete than prepare the ground for the dialogue the connection between people who. For example. He them find and articulate the contrary opinion thinkers. Rather.

They imagine that the situation is not changing. Rainer which all great poetry reveals to us again abstinence. simple... according to modern German a ‘belief’. will we ensure that our young people being at the very least: supple [. Only if our mosques naturally within an existence through which Is it anything other than this awe that we are open. by Muslims now want to convey in our mosques? alive. CULTURE religion: “[. It is hardly awoken. our prayers.1912 from Ronda in Andalusia: “. He is then overcome by boredom. They therefore imagine that they are the same in every moment. it is not a duty and not not restricted to the German language. It is being moved philosophy. not a And the enthusiasm is certainly mutual and amazement at the common human ground content of feeling [. Ibn al Arabi. is boredom.” Thank you very much for listening.] When the Arab reading the Qur’an here and am in awe. His motto is truly Greek: “Everything flows”. an awe of language. he may dwell endlessly in a single revelation [of Allah]. once Allah has withdrawn from them knowledge about themselves and about Himself. an do not become bored in our mosques. considered boredom something quite inconceivable in Islam.]” This An awe of Destiny. And perhaps also an easy. It has no opposite. another great European figure. awe about creation. so a veil is drawn in front of them and this causes a lack of reverence.. it is not a limitation.. awe.. Berlin GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 .] Religion is something infinitely openness of Rilke’s is today truly exemplary. yet boredom in this dwelling place is a lack of reverence for the Divine.12. that is religion. thought and actions are the wind of God blows three times daily.I am direction of the heart. [.. The Andalusian town of Ronda was one of the places where Rilke encountered Islam. Text Abu Bakr Rieger.]. For this reason I would like to conclude with this philosophically important extract from Ibn al-Arabi’s Meccan Revelations: “Some people do not know that Allah reveals Himself anew in every moment.. it is Maria Rilke wrote to Lou Andreas-Salome on and again. and that every one of these revelations is different from the last.. It is not a knowledge. It is precisely this awe which is opposed by turns to the east at certain times and awe – and once again my love of Arabic is the experience of nihilism – whose basic prostrates himself.” experience. regardless of confession. Rather. the witnessing of which seems prolonged to him. since ‘they are dubious about the new creation’ in every moment (Qur’an 50:15). in the perfected expanse of the universe: a 19.. If somebody is lacking this perception.

48 49 .

if we can refrain from obscuring the uncomfortable thesis of this book by debating A birdsong polyphonic chimes in the Rufin sees his book as a continuation of the about the author – if. situations. frequently visiting Brazil. “two humanisms. Neither is Rufin a theorist among passages” – the author would rather speak since they have both been integrated into arrogant idealists. While LitCologne (a limited liability time could be mastered by the good or the Rufin is no ideologist. even accepted. exaggerated. trapped in Mellila technological project. It is the totalitarian form which has asserted itself in the “Globalia. And anyway. everything allowed from the audience – “just in case”. the discussion at all. and Rufin casts it in an South.” Rufin explains. his analysis goes a step further. step further. absolute security. Its contradiction between the First and the Third subject is the sinister. about his book’s political theses. The system which in Orwell’s present. there is any auditorium. Rufin the political system. there are no if in a permanent state of security-mania. But. the author tells us. People who express Rufin describes with sober directness the GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . open book. the non-zone. alternatives left. under a well- substance of Globalia’s democracy. someone who plies the non-zones figure and aesthete – asks him to give autonomous. commendably. everything is allowed. however. So far. written a novel about a future world. intend to think. the vigilant literary section of the newspaper Die Welt (‘A Life like situation today is quite different. he says. he says. the old categories of of this world.” One Globalia describes the end-station of the humanism for the North and one for the Refugee. All the more interesting for the discussion. LITERATURE themselves politically incorrectly in Globalia A VISIT TO GLOBALIA do not receive visitations from dark figures. Indeed. or it is allowed. But.” And yet Rufin’s analysis goes a so to speak. that is. has now become adventurer. Globalia is a pleasingly he has for years been dealing with the modern proceeds to do so with typically French charm. It is supplied safety dome like in Globalia. enthralling literary mould.” moral finger. “We now have. Globalia makes future novel. written beyond good and bad. where the scandalous almost religiously transfigured concepts biopolitical phenomenon of ‘bare life’ grows means at the same time the end of any ever clearer. emerging integrative Worlds without intending to teach.” Yet him personally of having sold too many books. after Rufin’s this prelude to Globalia. without wagging the power of modern states.” Every time Rufin returns from while the unquestionability of these absolute. his view becomes clearer too. states Rufin. Globalia describes current excessive use of the rhetoric of freedom. and.We genuine public debate about the political already live. The 53-year-old situation today is quite different. In Cologne. but still actual human rights and. for readings of what he calls “the descriptive good and bad have become questionable example. He does. above all. their careers are simply “accelerated a little”. “is not a utopian ’protected’ zones of Globalia. possibilities. then. in this way or that. rather a kind of modern company) hopes to present him as a literary bad. “Now everything d’Artagnan’) has only managed to accuse is no longer forbidden. no questions were chairman of Campaign Against Hunger has everything is no longer forbidden. the Third World.An ‘Author sans Frontières’. Jean-Christophe Rufin smiles at Orwellian theme of 1984. ON THE FAMOUS BOOK BY JEAN-CHRISTOPHE RUFIN What is so agreeable about Rufin is that he Rufin sees his book as a continuation of the himself does not come from an intellectual Orwellian theme of 1984. “Now friendly presentation. could be set once upon a time in the future.

Kate 50 51 . Rufin of a poet. Rufin protested. After walking a long Secretary of the French Defence Ministry. terrorist acts become an integral explained to him that without the coded entry part of domestic politics. lifts their What to do? It is not only a “certain critical mood straight away. the artificial dome under which Globalia is situated. while on a trekking tour. The officer media power. The accidentally without any recognisable political immediate social contact with people outside content. In the modern bookstores. bridges that lead to the past and Kate save their youth by an intuitive flight and to the future. “The readers never objective. That suffices. to which Rufin. but within experienced author embodies. They can breath again. as befits a political author. allusions to which threatened only from within. manipulation policeman who asked him for his entry card becomes a recognised means of exercising with a barcode. and time of Stalinism. as former State him to write the book. respond to the call for reform-debates. hinting the solitude nature as a path. they are French mistrust of the authorities which the without nationality or citizenship. people. as suggested by one Change in Globalia can no longer be cast in of Globalia’s central themes. permeate Globalia.” sighs Rufin. can no longer find orientation. whether enemies or not.They quietly advocates in Cologne. it is political landscape. he says. most of which was written boredom is the price and the prevailing mood during the run-up to the Iraq War. rather. is not adventure and exceptional experiences. distancing from democracy” which Rufin despite the desolation of the non-zones. nor politicians. Books produce social and which must at first succeed without a definite intellectual movements. Baikal stores of treasure. Rufin does not them an adventurous heart still beats audibly. Terrorism is everywhere and nowhere. is way through the wilderness he came upon a naturally attuned. Books. between poetic and political perception. with continuously plays on the necessary relation their vast stocks of literature and science. The seed of the Globalia theme had political enemies are needed in order to sound found Rufin. For example. In Globalia. to Rufin. out the political mood among the home population. during a stay in Brazil he noticed that all the He tells of an Albanian friend who. the heroes of the novel. and find him. Rufin also touches on our current Globalia cannot defeat any enemy. In Globalia. as a new beginning. Rufin recounts a atmosphere of manipulation dominates the trekking tour in South Africa which inspired world. fully. An of nihilistic existence. longing for love. LITERATURE peculiar effects of globalisation. used to transcribe by night outside their shops were long queues of books that were only allowed to be borrowed children’s coffins. are valuable the mould of political programmes. It is in today’s security mania that Baikal and Kate. in order that he could own them debate about shop opening times in Brazil. but which finds its meaning in its write to me. they could neither search for him nor of terrorism justifies absolute obedience. he demands deeper reading. the constant threat card. Rufin sees “the existential insecurity and attempt to break out of the security zones emptiness of the modern human being”. or the natural are not terrorists. They cannot afford the for one day. in the undertakers were open day and night. Of course. and acts without a tangible leader.

GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | January 2008 . LITERATURE and Baikal are neither sensible nor pragmatic. be they nations. was Heiligendamm: Surronding the conference centre with military barbed wire in advance of in the end mainly about man in his modern the G8 Summit. everything becomes stock. and are thus original figures. this end appears possible. Globalia shows how it might end. Certainly one of the weaknesses of day-to-day politics is that it retains little contact with the timeless questions of political poetry. but not how it must end. “Within the Gestell (framework). remains dangerous. In Globalia.Who. peoples. and yet it is an eternal.” perceived Martin Heidegger in his early and striking description of the integrative nature of planetary technology. It reflects the European’s mistrust of the leviathan and scepticism regarding technology. aimless building site. Globalia is full of abundance. The themes of the novel correspond with the here and now. The German Federal President’s in 2005. and doubts the irrational thesis of our parties promising endless growth and global wellbeing. can still make history? The former bearers of political sovereignty. Both want one thing above all else: to break out of Globalia and have a destiny at last. There is no doubt that Globalia is a European book. Rufin dares cautiously to question the meaning of our historical existence. The rich nations are seperating themselves from the poorer rest. Not until they act together do they discover the possibility of love. Man lives an atomised life. civil movements or trade unions. Because one understands every side and can recognise all the motives of modern life in Globalia. which was supposed to “show the way forward”.The ‘Old’ Europe may be spiritually tired. have long since dispersed. but it is under no illusions. But where to? With his depiction of Globalia. after all. history itself ends.

and thankfully Constitution. founding fathers of the Grundgesetz. also lies in the formulation of one of the core about technology. Party State. Politics and voters questions. or only react? Away from economy be controlled democratically at all? the spotlight. Increasingly. on the other is a European book. the hardly has the strength for such critical matters as “dangerous”. or rather the Globalia is honest and. that of the loss of Protection” in Globalia). rarely discussed increasingly on fear. as dangers – and here one has to agree with victory of democracy.With the and a self-image that throws up fundamental not inspire anyone. recognised the threat political neutrality imposed upon it by the theatre. drying and also the noteworthy. It is clear that Rufin is an important above all in the political zone. on the other it serves powerful of the imminent collapse – a constructive Rufin has succeeded in triggering several corporate entities. however. not on a positive political out. when pressed by Kate. So far so good. It reflects Do we need new protectors of the hand. the victory of inspiration for an overdue debate about the mastered it. the Unnoticed. and yet the new capitalism is conceptually equated with the nature of modern states – states which. relationship between the parties and business. is the watcher over the political enemies of day-to-day politics. and as a stock item of human in sensing the real danger. joins Rufin Constitutional Protection Authority (“Social fear. Globalia is built on precisely that same politics but also to think politically. Is it our victory? A today’s service-providers to the unbridled Rufin – are more of an economic nature: society which daily celebrates the apocalypse economic project. rashly categorise political and religious mood. or vision. and neutralise them. such a stimulating debates about the development the threat of industrial espionage – a twin role limited vision of the future human being will of “democratic culture” in Germany. democracy by public of imminent economic break-down. continue to be driven along by the pressing There is no doubt that Globalia questions of globalisation. 52 53 . Rufin. ever more frequently and media concentration. Anyone who wants not just to consume new twin role of the Verfassungsschutz. LITERATURE Text Abu Bakr Rieger Jean-Christophe Rufin role as worker. protecting them against political vision? Whatever the case. and was indeed nothing other than one’s own right to decide. On the one hand it capital. aims to push thinking to new Constitution? Globalia’s modern relevance the European’s scepticism adventures. “Work more” – because the state. the Nation State. political questions of this time: can the global Does politics act. the key political figure in justification of historical experience. The cohesion of Germany is built The political biotope is wasting away. analysis. has departed from that economic- admits that politics is nothing more than Germany’s Basic Law. the political role of statistics.

with the reward of a area.000 in nearby Switzerland and Colmar in nearby wonderful view of the city’s picturesque people. The traces of its dramatic history can be seen all over the old part of the town. Fed up of the chaos of the big cities? Berlin. the famous Titisee lake. Today. The Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport surroundings. and its 380-foot-high tower is considered one of the masterpieces of Gothic Snowy winter landscape in the valley of Freiburg architecture. Gemütlichkeit still exists. The region’s cuisine If such a thing as typical old-world German is rich with the influence of France. Not only does Freiburg itself deserve a visit. constitutes the old heart of the EUROPE IS TO BE FOUND IN ITS SMALLER CITIES city. TRAVEL connects Freiburg conveniently to the international air network. but Fascinating shops can be found nestling also its environs. The Swiss author Carl Jacob Burckhard is said to have described it as the most beautiful spire in Christendom. It is of course the city’s most famous building and landmark. accompanied by stone-lined the famous Titisee lake. At the famous weekly market you can find regional produce and hear the local dialect. as was common among medieval churches. Freiburg being at the meeting-point of three you don’t want to drive far you can take a Built on the banks of the little Dreisam river countries. 30. you can use it as a base to visit other cable car up Freiburg’s local peak. the town is today home to 215. On the evening of 27 November 1944. among the alleyways that diverge from the square. the historical market square. summer Freiburg attracts many tourists. villages. One prime example is the city mountains of the Black Forest await you. Paris and London? The smaller cities are where it still offers plenty of peace and quiet – and but also its environs. of the Black Forest await you. If of Freiburg in the south-west of Germany. A peppering of little villages. yet Not only does the city itself deserve a visit.000 of which are students. In the centre itself stands the impressive Münster cathedral – which.The region’s outstanding cuisine GLOBALIA | Issue 01 | December 2007 . A peppering of little you will discover the real charm of Europe’s southern German Gelassenheit. the 1284- in the beautiful Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald cities that are well worth seeing such as Basle metre Schauinsland. with its unusual view onto the surrounding PEARL OF THE BLACK FOREST woodlands. and the rising cultural regions. In France. is oriented towards Jerusalem – and the cobbled market square. the British Royal Air Force bombed Freiburg. then it is here in the Old City that you will taste it. Only the Münster remained standing. known as Alemannische or Alemannic. and the rising mountains watercourses. the city’s old cleaning system. killing 3000 people and destroying the entire Old City.

This small mountain village topic in Freiburg. the environment is a hot outside Freiburg. a fun-pool house in which the Muslim community founded in 1457 and is one of Germany’s with water-chutes. which encompass dozens of The current mayor belongs Germany’s volumes. townspeople and farmers from the whole region combined to prevent the At the beginning of last century the city authorities have already acknowledged the construction of a nuclear power station in became famous for its philosophy teachers. an unassuming little accounts for around 20. The city has set itself became famous for the Hütte. Today you can take by 2030.800 square them students. A 12-point plant details the main a remarkable tour of the sites of his think- areas of urban climate policy for the coming ing. and bubbling relaxation gathers for Friday prayers. many of and colleges. which metres of water-area it offers a hot natural unremarkable building. Boasting 1. and enjoy not only the very particular two years. a small cottage ambitious targets for local climate protection. just the rest of Germany. but a real ecological movement which was critical of technology have settled in the area around little mosque with a minaret would. the Keidel Mineral Thermal Spa is Some Muslims also live in Freiburg. The question of the ecological future works of other German thinkers and poets in of mankind remains a much-discussed topic the small but classy Zum Wetzstein bookshop there. including 40 per cent cuts in CO2-emissions often for weeks on end. In the of the valley’s attractions was known even to to spend his whole life in the provinces of the neighbouring Glottertal there are numerous the Romans: the hot springs that today supply Black Forest. was written in Todtnauberg. and the city’s century’s great thinker continue to be brought environmental policies are considered out at intervals. where you will find Heidegger’s complete works. only to be disappointed when ogy. Yet here too there oldest and most renowned institutions of pools in the mineral thermal spa. such famous bathing resorts as Baden-Baden will understand why. land. and another himself drawn further afield.000 of these. exemplary. the Greens. they technology arose around the University. you hotels and well-known gourmet restaurants. Sein und Zeit (Being the town’s efficient system of trams. the Baths. Once you have been there. and has a total of almost 30. Heidegger himself never found of the Upper Rhine for centuries. TRAVEL is rich with the influence of France. atmosphere but also plaques describing the thinker’s most important reference points and People have been enjoying the mild climate basic ideas. a ‘sauna landscape’. and his student Martin Heidegger is how the new mosque would be designed to subsequently an even larger nuclear plant considered perhaps the 20 century’s most th blend well with the architecture of the city. Situated at the edge of Freiburg is home to a number of universities Freiburg. fit well into the city. Berlin has had the status of a centre of innovation of German philosophy. on behalf Text Abu Bakr Rieger. believe. in Salzstraße. preferring instead 54 55 . Heidegger’s work the river in France. Much like and Time). A number are plans for expansion. Since that time Freiburg represents an attempt to re-claim. Certain unpublished works of the alternative party. was built in Fessenheim. Unity as the foundation for alternative energy sources such as solar of thinking.The Albert Ludwigs University. fact and are searching for a suitable piece of the volcanic Kaiserstuhl hills that lie alongside Husserl founded the school of phenomenol.000 unique in the region. in which Heidegger would retreat to think. and Badenweiler. The local Students. Near the station is an students. Rather than entering Freiburg by car you are better advised to use a bicycle or His most famous book.The local Muslims are higher learning. on the other side of important philosopher. You can purchase his and the Waterfall at Stubenbach (Todtnauberg) power. All that would then remain is to decide the Rhine. was bathing lake. In the early 1970s an of clinics featuring the very latest medical not looking for anything grand.

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