The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Monday, January 23, 2006

German Mosques

Lorenzo Vidino has written an excellent profile on the IGD (The Islamic Society of Germany) and Milli Görüs (National Vision), the two dominant Islamist groups in Germany. Since these groups advertise their mosques and cultural centers quite openly, I thought I'd go have a look.

Pictured above is Hochstrasse 88, Saarbrücken, one of 30 or so mosques affiliated with the IGD. It's one of several locations I've visited, with the intention of doing a big post with lots of pictures. However, my pictures are mostly worthless, as many of their "mosques" are in bland apartment buildings like this, or otherwise inaccessible. This in itself is a curiosity.

Like many of the "cultural centers" we tracked down, this building has no address on it; it's identifiable as #88 only because the building on the left is #90, while to the right is an empty lot, then #84.

Another notable fact that's difficult to capture in pictures is the level of filth in Muslim neighborhoods. All across the country, the German prediliction for order translates into impeccably clean public spaces. German churches often display black & white photos from WWII that capture the German compulsion for cleanliness: bent old ladies with brooms, absurdly sweeping away dust amidst towering piles of rubble.

This somehow does not penetrate into Muslim areas. Yesterday we were in Mannheim to take a walking tour of several mosques, many of which are clustered in the largely Muslim neighborhood of Jungbusch. About 50 meters off the main street, we realized we looked quite conspicuous. Another 50 meters in, we began noting litter everywhere. Yet another 50 meters in, our minds turned to the Harlem scene from Die Hard 3. And it was right about then that we decided to turn back and do the rest by car. Jungbusch bore strong similarities to Lebach.

It's difficult to tell what goes on in the mosques from outward appearances, though there are aspects that seem to separate the "scary" ones from what look like innocuous community centers. The former tend to be fenced-in compounds in industrial areas, with no signage or minarets and what appear to be guards loitering outside. The latter tend to be well-marked, with headscarfed women coming and going and kids playing out front.

These are just my initial impressions. I'd like to continue the investigation, but I'll need to devise better methods. Please post your suggestions!


At 2:11 PM, Blogger Jeremy Nimmo said...

Well, the whole 88->HH->Heil Hitler thing is probably not something they want to publicly be associated with.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger st said...

Good point!


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