Christina/ September 18, 2010/ Culture

Have you heard about the “big” and “small” jihad by now? In German language the surch for both terms generate 133.000 hits. Since last tuesday (14.09) or at least after part two on wednesday every TV-watching German knows the difference between the big and the small effort. The two-parts documentation “Whereto does the Islam drift”, Part 1 and Part 2, produced by the ZDF deals with that subject. At times it does not become clear, whether the Germans want to learn more about the Islam or whether the migrants in Germany should be shown the “Jihad of Knowledge”.

As a preparation the usual pictures of islam terror are displayed at the beginning: Bali, London and Hamburg, as gamete of terrorism. “Jihad”, that is the initial comment, “is the fight to defend islam”. Violence and terror? Well, what about the cruisaders and the Templerorden? With a flaming sword to Jerusalem. Sounds very peaceful!

After the introduction the documentary looks for the “central authority of the muslims”. The surch leads to Cairo, to the Al-Azhar. One gets the feeling that someone is looking for the “pope” of the muslims for the sake of comparableness between the world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Laconically the commentator states “Something like a pope cannot be found at Al-Azhar”. It does not become clear what’s behind that comment. Quite nebulous he claims that “the muslims in Europe and the world are faced with a difficult choice: whereto does the Islam drift?” But, it is really the so called “Orient” that wonders or is it rather the West itself? And isn’t it that the term “Orient” like Edward Said claims it is already “an invention of the West” (Said, 1998:8)?

The documentation makes an effort to contrast the negative example with positive ones. It shows a muslim showcase-village in Indonesia “Padang” a few – according to the documentary – well integrated muslims like Cem Ă–zdemir or Hamideh Mohagheghi. It is mourned about that for example in the gulf states there are only a few christian churches which have to be build close to the “edge of the desert” (Doha). However, doesn’t that hold true for Germany and mosque-building here as wellIndustriegebieten? At least, that’s admitted by the commentator, there are around 12 churches in the gulf by now.

The second part of the documentation closes with some statistics claiming that more than 2/3 of the Germans think of terror when they think of Islam. Does that come as a surprise after media drums the violent picture into its audience like a mantra all the time? That is to say Islam = Jihad and Jihad = death to the faithless? I wonder how some expats abroad might feel if they would be faced with “Neo-Nazi” documentations all the time and everybody abroad would expect them to act just like that? Would that be a nice feeling?

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