About two hours (driving) north of Wiesbaden.....you get around to the city of Wuppertal. It's on the edge of Dusseldorf....a major urban zone.....comprised of roughly 350,000 residents. No one says much over the ethnic proportions of Wuppertal....although I'd take a guess that it's roughly ten-percent Muslim. Why does it matter?
This week....Wuppertal got itself into the news throughout Germany, Europe and the civilized world as a group started a "Sharia-law Police" organization and started routine patrols in downtown Wuppertal.
Sharia-law? Well.....it's the various thousand odd interpretations by older Muslim guys from the Koran, over proper behavior. So, there are naturally.....violations that upset the older Muslim guys, and they believe that a younger set of men (always men for some reason) would monitor and help correct bad behavior.
Sharia-type patrols typically go after women who are improperly dressed.....improper music (especially rock or pop).....couples walking around holding hands....anything related to gambling....women displaying knees or legs or arms.....and gay/lesbians acting gay or lesbian.
So this small start-up group in Wuppertal was made up of a couple of young Muslim guys (never defined as Turk, Egyptian, Syrian, etc), and they had these yellow reflective vests with "Sharia Police" noted on them.
Naturally, this attracted the local cop's attention, and they got a bit peppy over the public use of the word "police". It's not the same word that Germans would typically use (Polizei). But in German public law standards.....you can't pretend to be a cop and wear some identification as such, unless it's a movie. You could wear a vest with "Sharia Security" or "Sharia Escort" or any wording except Police or Polizei.
This quickly got around and is now a big topic with political players in Germany. They'd like to nip this in the bud.....as Barney would say on the Andy Griffith Show.
Who takes the patrol serious in Wuppertal? That's an interesting question. Young Turks (say around age 18 to 25).....absolutely won't take the patrol serious, and will tell the Sharia 'escorts' to just move on. Young Turkish women in modern attire (between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five).....will be very blunt and may even hint they might kick their ass.
The only group that I suspect will be influenced by the patrol....will be those teens under the age of fourteen. They might believe the peer pressure and go along with this.
The significant problem I see.....is that once you appear out on the city shopping zone around evening hours (after dark).....you start to draw attention and it's easy for some pro-Nazi group to find reasons to launch onto you and your fellow companions.
Germans have been rather direct, unlike their British associates, on Sharia-law. There's absolutely no chance of the Germans adapting to any aspect of Sharia-law. It's like flipping on a 10,000 watt switch when you might bring up this topic in any group, with ninety-five percent of Germans letting you know that German law and standards apply, period.
The comical side of this....if anyone (within Germany) tries to apply some perceived pressure to prevent you from entering a bar, disco, brothel, topless entertainment arcade, theater, store, shop, grocery, or gambling enterprise, you've broken the law and triggered a variation of assault. It's not the physical assault stuff.....but it's about one step down. So just having some group walking around with some official-looking "police" vest on and deterring you from a bar....well....it's a law violation.
My belief? It's a comical intimidation attempt.....with some planning to provoke something. I'm not sure what the something is.....but someone carried out a good deal of thought, to come to this irrational idea of applying Sharia-law in Germany.
My comeback in this case? If lifestyle is this important.....why not just return to the old country....where life was grand, Sharia-law was naturally enforced, and commerce/jobs were limited? If these immoral, almost-nude, rock-and-roll obsessive Germans are screwing up your moral compass.....don't stay a minute longer than necessary. If these boozy Germans, with a flair for gay or lesbian lifestyles, and always hell-bent on disco dancing are screwing up your religious culture.....just leave and find a better culture, accepting the corruption and marginal commerce situation as normal.
The sad thing I see in this Sharia-Police patrol business....is that you end up with five to ten young guys.....wasting an entire evening.....looking for violations of Sharia-law, and usually questioning what is approved and what is unapproved. Some Muslim leader in the group usually wants to be the guy telling everyone that outfit A is Ok, but outfit B is immoral. All of the guys on this patrol are mostly naive and lacking any personal life....otherwise, they'd be at home with the family, dating some chick, or working on their Opel Astra to fix the clutch issue.