It's Friday in Germany and the number one topic of the week, that will dominate the political chatter landscape this Sunday.....is the 'Shariah Police' episode.....with the latest update.
North Rhein-Westphalia has a fairly large and growing population of the Salafist crowd, who took up the idea of a morals patrol....which they originally called "Shariah Police", wore vests, and walked around a downtown area doing peer intimidation on Muslims. The intent was to clean the lifestyles of various Muslims who traveled around the urban area. Cops didn't like the vests with the wording, and political folks got real peppy over this.
By the end of the week.....the Salafist folks took down the "Shariah Police" vests, but were going for a new name and identification....basically continuing their intimidation patrols.
What Germans will say is that there are various laws in place to hinder such patrols.....where people try to stop others from entering bars, pubs, discos, gay clubs, etc......and suggest to dress properly while out in public.
I sat and pondered over the issue. You've got an interesting mixture....some enthusiasts thinking they can fix society, a religious movement which needs to get some agenda in front of it's members, and folks with lots of free time on their hands. Toss in some Germans who want a simple mix of pleasure, religion, and freedoms. At the end, you've got a potential mess.
So, my three suggestions:
First, for the Salafist crowd: dump the street agenda and go back to your apartment house to help your nephews and nieces with homework and preparation for tests at school....making them better students and paving the way to better livelihoods.
If they need math help and you can't deliver, then find the right guy in your religious group. Help form math study groups. Bring in a smart Islamic guy on physics, and let him mentor six local girls who need someone smart to make it simple to understand.
Every hour spent....makes these kids smarter, and forges great careers, which pay back the family and the others in the community.
Second, for the Salafist crowd: go back onto your street corners and find jobs for disabled or unmotivated members of your religion in the neighborhood, making them better tax-paying members of society.
Don't accept no as an answer. Talk to friends and find jobs for the unqualified....making them feel worthwhile and part of the society they live in (Germany). People are happier while working, and paying their way through life.
Third, for the Salafist crowd: finally, look at the local parks and streets in your neighborhood....that need clean-up or attention....and make yourself a part of their refurbishment or upkeep.
Kids, wives, families and the older generation all appreciate a clean and safe park. Maybe your city doesn't have the cash to make it a four-star park or bring in playground equipment.....so go out and find what funding you can, and put up what playground equipment is possible.
The key here? Avoid being some tool for an agenda by some pretender guy for your religion who wants to intimidate or peer-pressure those in their society. Wasting time on some intimidation tactics? Why? You should lead off the questions here and ask the leader of the intimidation crowd why you don't prioritize your kids, your community, and the unfortunates in the community as low priorities on this scale of life, when compared against some Muslim guys at at disco, or some Islamic gals dressed in suggestive clothing, or people hanging out in pairs which violate some perceived rule invented over 1,000 years ago.
The only reality I can see here is that people have better things in life to do....if they sit and think about it long enough. Looking for inappropriately dressed folks.....just seems to be some bogus reason to stir people up and get someone down the line frustrated.