Ates: “we want a liberal islam”

Ates: 'we want a liberal islam'

There are Muslim migrants and organization that are to the right of the AfD, says women's rights activist Seyran Ates. At the same time, they despise German identity. Established parties should not ignore this any longer.

Women's rights activist and founder of the liberal mosque in Berlin, Seyran Ates, opposes the trivialization of Islamists. "There are Muslim migrants and organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which in some respects are even to the right of the AfD. Parts of the left-wing milieu are blind to this," Ates criticized in an interview with the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Monday). She sees the reason for the existence of the AfD in "the fact that the established parties have long missed topics such as migration".

Ates lamented, "I can no longer hear that Islamic Identity is celebrated by some who at the same time despise the German Identitarians – rightly so, of course. They do not notice how similar the two groups are, also with regard to the image of women."

Understanding for Islamists questionable

The women's rights activist recalled the 68ers. They had rebelled "against their parents' generation, against politicians, lawyers, against decision-makers from the Nazi era, who were still there after the war.". Of all people, these people would "suddenly have understanding for Islamists".

Istanbul-born Ates, who survived an assassination attempt in the 1980s and is under police protection, reiterated her criticism of the headscarf. "Islam does not know any religious symbols at all. From a theological point of view, the discussion is oblique for this reason alone."

Criticism of compulsory headscarf

She herself had been strengthened in school by the Protestant religious education with the phrase "Love your neighbor as yourself". Ates emphasized: "What I accuse certain feminists or leftists of is that they sharply criticize sexualization in advertising or in films, but when it comes to the headscarf, they warn against restricting religious freedom."

Asked how she wanted to bring about social change in Islam, Ates said: "We're doing it a bit like the '68ers. We challenge our parents. We want a liberal Islam. We want to talk about the fate of the Armenians or the oppression of the Kurds."

Revolution under the surface

The number of people who are opposed to political Islam is increasing worldwide. "In Iran and also in Turkey, for example, a sexual revolution has long been taking place under the surface. People long for freedom. Also in Qatar, Saudi Arabia or North Africa."

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