I came across an interesting episode of ARD's "Hart aber Fair" last night. The driving topic of the show? An increasing number of German Muslims who pack up and go off to war in Syria. The German government, sensing a massive problem if they just let it go.....has put certain laws into effect that say.....if you run off to the Syrian war and Germany is not an active participant.....then you'd best just stay there because if you come back.....Germany will prosecute you.
The panel on the show was an odd one. First, the CSU interior minister for Bavaria....who has a pretty keen sense of the issue, and agrees totally on the motive of the German law. Then you had the German teacher who is of Middle Eastern background, but totally integrated into Germany, and really doesn't like the Muslim tendencies to slow-play integration. Then you had one of the senior old journalists who asked some pretty tough logical questions why the Muslim religion is being abused by it's players. Then you had the Green Party guy, who was pro-Islam and trying to act level-headed. Finally, there was the head Muslim guy for a Mosque in Leipzig.....who was pro-Islam all the way.
After a while, you started to notice the audience applauding the comments questioning the values of the Islamic trends.
The key point of the night? At some point, the journalist on the panel finally uttered the phrase "pop-Jihad-ism". It's like getting some new wild guy on M-TV with some outlandish act that draws massive attention, and suddenly everyone is peppy for this kind of music, and nobody asks if there's any real value or such for the music. A year later, you wake up....realizing you spent money on six albums and three concerts with this type of music and it's really all garbage. In a haze, you wonder what got into you?
Pop-Jihad-ism is where you are in the midst of a school program....thinking marginal grades, no future, no real job that pays....and seeking some mythical way to turn your personal failures into successes. Your buddy talks up some Mullah guy and his religious chatter. You wander over....hear the talk....and over three months....get all the enthusiastic feelings possible. You feel thrilled about the Islamic guys fighting wicked villains, hateful dictators, corruption in general, and any evil facing Islam.
Pop-Jihad-ism then draws you to drop your plans in life, and exit any resemblance to stability. You run off to Frankfurt....fly into Turkey, and within a day or two are sitting in some training camp in Syria. Somewhere over the next month or two......the thrills fizzle out. Some buddies of yours are killed in action. Some Islamic guy continually spouts off on pop-Jihad-ism....trying to keep your spirits up. By the end of three months, you kinda wake up and ask some stupid questions. No one back in Germany ever allowed stupid questions....which is one of your questions that really makes sense.
Toward the last five minutes of Hart aber Fair.....the Muslim guy on the panel finally reaches into the bag of commentary, and starts to spout off on Israel....condemning them. The German moderator realizing the situation....gracefully starts to bring down the curtain and end the show.
From an American prospective....it's the first show that has thrown out the topic and allowed a fair amount of discussion that was lively and informed. I'll admit, probably seventy percent of the show went against the Islamic front guys, who abuse the religion, and have turned it into Pop-Jihad-ism. Generally, I'd say a great portion of German society is shaking their heads, and wondering how they got suckered into bringing in so many Muslims, and where this is going to end up.
I'm also of the mind that while they've rigged the law to counter these Islamic guys returning to Germany.....prosecuting them and putting them into jail for some period......I think it won't survive a German Supreme Court test. Once they invalidate just one of the cases.....it'll bring a massive amount of pressure on the Bundestag for a law that really goes beyond the normal playing field that everyone has respected.