Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Removal of Shoes Story

There's a political chat show run on ARD (Channel One of German state-run TV) called "Maischberger".  I missed the show this week but I saw where it got reviewed by a number of journalists for some oddball comments.

The show centered on Islamic relations in Germany, and one of the guests was the Green Party member....Renate Kunast.  Kunast delivered a view of accommodating the Muslims as much as you can.

So the topic of entering a Muslim home came up, and the tradition of removing one's shoes.  Generally, if you go read a fair amount of literature on the topic.....in a Mosque, it is absolutely required to remove one's shoes.  In a Muslim home, it's generally required by the host.  You can find some examples where people don't go to that extend, but it's generally one of those things that is accepted.

I should note....there are Jewish traditions that go along the same lines as well.

So, Kunast came to the topic and suggested that as the German police come to Mosques and homes (one might assume on search warrants or emergency calls).....they should remove their shoes.

You'd pause and think over this suggestion.  If we were talking about a regular person, a kitchen repair guy, or the neighbor.....there wouldn't be any issue.  Police tend to be on situations that might require some physical actions.....running.....or taking down someone who is a threat.  If you went up to a thousand German police and suggested that they start removing their shoes as they enter a Mosque for a search warrant or while entering a Muslim home.....all one-thousand would just smile and decline the idea.

I've come to the point where I might question these political chat shows in Germany, and if they are helping the topics intended.....or simply charging up more and more people to be negative.  There's some belief that openness about a subject will help to soften views of the public.  In this case.....the more information that gets laid on the table doesn't necessarily change prospectives....but hardens them.

One can go back three years ago when the Muslim life in Germany and it's culture might have gotten noted one evening per month.  Today?  I'd say over the past couple of months.....there's been at least five or six shows per month which engage on the topic.  Most of the shows try to stay positive and show the good-neighbor attitude.  Receiving that message and agreeing with it across German society?  Well.....it's not going that well.

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