Casablanca - The refugee crisis in Europe is severe. Germany, the leading country offering asylum tom refugees, leaves Angela Merkel under constant criticism for continuing to allow the inflow of more refugees. This state of pressure reveals new aspects of the first female chancellor in Germany.
Casablanca – The refugee crisis in Europe is severe. Germany, the leading country offering asylum tom refugees, leaves Angela Merkel under constant criticism for continuing to allow the inflow of more refugees. This state of pressure reveals new aspects of the first female chancellor in Germany.
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “If we now have to start apologizing for showing a friendly face in response to emergency situations, then that’s not my country (…)”. Her statement, full of emotional release, is capable of going down in Germany’s history.
It is clear that German citizens start to feel foreign in their own country, and they are concerned that they will lose their ‘rights’ in their own country. Negative comments on social media platforms regarding Islam and refugees from Syria demonstrate on a daily basis that the Western world is concerned about their own culture and lifestyles. Does this mean that they are afraid of being affected by Islamization?
Morocco World News interviewed six non-Muslims living in Europe to find partial answers to the highly sensitive question mentioned above.
Theresa S. (26), an international communication assistant from Germany, said, “The European culture does not have to be ‘protected’. A culture reflects the citizens of a country or a region. It is normal for a culture to change over time. This means that when a lot of Muslims move to Europe, which the case now with a lot of refugees, than the composition of society’s cultural customs will automatically change, and that is okay”.
Simona S. (19), a business student from Bulgaria, said, “If people are devoted to their own religion, atheism, or some other beliefs, they will stick to them and not see Islam as a threat to their own belief system. It is true that nowadays you can see so many cultures together. For instance, in Amsterdam you can see so many traditions, languages, races but people live together peacefully as long as everyone is good in their heart. That’s what I believe is in every religion and if everyone is like that, the world would be a better place. At the moment, a lot of refugees found shelter in Europe and a lot of Europeans are against that, others are supportive. In this sense, I am 50/50.”
Ye T. (28), a Chinese studying international management in Amsterdam, said, “From what I observed, I really think the Dutch culture is not just itself anymore. It has already been influenced with other outside cultures, as so many refugees flee to this country. I would prefer to watch more local Dutch cultures, actually. When I walk on the street, it is really international, especially different cuisines with various cultural backgrounds. When I just arrived in Amsterdam, I was confused by all this international atmosphere.”
Kristyna D. (20), a journalism student from the Czech Republic, said, “As long as everybody is free to keep his own traditions, there is no need to protect any culture. Islam, as well as Christianity or Hinduism, originated thousands of years ago. Even though there were some religious conflicts, I believe that we have learned from the past. Tolerance and better understanding of other cultures make us better people.”
Corinna P. (20), an animal care attendant from Germany, said, “I am against and for. I think that there are some strict Muslims that do not want to adjust to the German culture. They only want to change it according to their homeland. However, even in their country it is not really the case. They want to live in their ‘dream world’, and this makes me think that Muslims love to be here in Europe. Some like to explore and try to combine to cultures into one, which is good. Now with the refugee crisis, some are willing to adapt themselves to the culture, whereas other only complain and want to change Germany that does not have to change because of them.“
Arne O. (36), a German teacher living in Germany, said, “I think a society protects itself from what it values. At the moment you can see in Germany, Neo-Nazis protect their “values” – whatever they may be. I don’t think that the European culture needs protection. Europe has always been an area of tension with Islam and it’s today’s result.”
At the end of day, everyone, regardless of their skin tone, gender, or religion, has to decide for themselves to either live with clean conscience or not. There will always be people who will display Islamphobia due to misunderstandings or simple ignorance, but as Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “We must respect other religions, even as we respect our own. Mere tolerance thereof is not enough.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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