Monday, August 22, 2016

Numbers and the Burqa Discussion in Germany

Over the past week, this topic of the burqa ban in Germany has come up with the public.  There are various groups opposed to this.....based strictly on the right to religious 'garb'.  Some oppose simply because it's the right-wing or conservatives who are pushing this idea.

But you come to this odd thing, which is very noticeable.  No one knows any statistical situation over who wears the full-up facial covering burqa or the shawl, or no burqa.  This is the interesting part of the story.

We know that there are 81,000,000 residents in Germany.  We know that there are between 2.5 and 4 million Turks in Germany (Germany absolutely doesn't qualify in their census count.....who is Turkish and living in Germany, who is Turk-German (dual passport), and who is German with a Turkish heritage (dad or mom was Turkish).  They also don't know out of the 2.5-to-4 million....who is null-zero Islam, half-Islam, or hard-core Islam.

Then you have the Syrians, the Iraqis, Iranians, Lebanese, Afghan, Pakistani, or North African crowd.  The best guess is that there are 1.5 million.  But you don't know if 10-percent if Christian, or 50-percent are hard-core Islam, or whatever.

You'd think that the Germans would want to really know the big picture situation, and the fact is.....they really don't want to know.  On might ask why, but there is no logical reason other than it's something best left unknown.

So, let's look at the reality of assumptions:

1.  You have to start by asking are there different levels of Islam?  The simple answer is yes.

You've got group "A" which simply says they are Islam but don't practice the faith.....drink booze and beer....hang out with westerners (Germans)....haven't been to a mosque in five to ten years.....smoke some weed, and don't take any part of the religion serious.  I'd take a guess that this definition fits around 40-percent of the folks who claim status as a Muslim.  The burqa ban means nothing to them, and they'd mostly laugh over people who get hyped up.

Then you come to group "B", which is moderate crowd.  The women might wear a shawl or the Hijab or the Chador.  All of this group avoids the facial covering, and simply dress in a conservative style.  I'd take a guess that this group fits for 55-plus percent of the folks who claim a status as a moderate-Muslim.

Then you come to the last group...."C", which is the extreme conservative crowd.  This is the facial covering crowd.  My best guess is that they might on a good day.....max out at 1-percent of the total population of Muslims in Germany.

2.  So do the numbers. We can estimate around 4.5 million that fit into this group,  If you assume that 35-percent are women over we might be talking about 15,000 to 16,000 total women in this category of requiring a burqa.

Factual or made-up data?  Well....obviously, it must not be important or the Germans would have collected the data.  Why am I picking 1-percent?  Mostly because I've walked around Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Mainz a fair bit over the last three years and made personal observations.  I do agree....there are more now than five years ago....but there just aren't that many.

3.  The waiver to live in a western society?  Few Germans or westerners have ever sat down and read the Quran or the associated documents.  There's paragraph listed in there.....which few Muslims ever grasp....that are words passed down from the 7th Century that if you have to live in western society and they have a lifestyle or rules that don't fit the Muslim get a "waiver".  Yeah....if burqas are banned, then there's no big live by the rules of the country that you moved into.

Is that all to the discussion?  There's this odd development in German tourism over the past decade.  You see....there are plenty of wealthy Islamic families of a conservative nature....who are tourists and fly into Germany to shop and do tourist travel.

 I would take a guess that on a typical week here in Wiesbaden during the summer, there's probably forty to sixty women who are with their husbands or parents, with the facial covering burqa....spending a fair amount of money (probably over 50,000 Euro each in a week).  So, there's some upscale shops and stores, with some VAT money which flows into the government's pocket.  Most of these government officials and upscale shops, along with the upscale hotels.....would prefer not to chase away customers with some "stupid" burqa ban.

It's not a simple task to write the rule to ban the burqa, and it'll be readily challenged (my humble opinion) in court.  But if this all about simply sixteen-odd-thousand women in Germany, then it may not be such a big deal.  But getting the government guys to simply gather statistics and lay the real image out really the bigger issue out of this.

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