From The Gathering Storm Blog

If Europe goes Islamic, at least it might go down swinging. Chancellor Angela Merkel is a much better defender of German culture than her predecessor. Merkel and fellow conservatives in Bavaria have been speaking out about the appearance of minarets in Germany. Local residents are not happy over plans to build mosques in Berlin, Munich and Cologne.

A German Muslim group criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday for suggesting that mosque minarets should not be higher than church steeples, saying it hoped this topic would not be used as a campaign issue.

Merkel, a Lutheran pastor’s daughter who grew up in communist East Germany, told a congress of her conservative Christian Democrats that “we must take care that mosque cupolas are not built demonstratively higher than church steeples”.

Local residents agree.

Mrs. Schandl, a 67-year-old Bavarian, is leading a fierce campaign to halt plans to build a mosque in a working-class district here. “It is a provocation,” she said of the mosque, which would sit across a graceful square from her Roman Catholic church — its minarets an exotic counterpoint to the church’s neo-baroque steeples. “The mosque doesn’t have anything to do with religion,” she said. “It is a power play.”

A vocal minority of residents has resisted, holding protest meetings, collecting signatures, and filing a petition with the Bavarian Parliament. “Bavarian life,” the petition declares, “is marked by the drinking of beer and the eating of pork. In Muslim faith, both are unclean and forbidden.”

And why would Muslims want to build a mosque next to a church?

For Onder Yildiz, a soft-spoken but intense leader of the Turkish community, the answer is simple: “A mosque next to a church helps intensify dialogue between the religions,” he said.

OK, dialogue. But why modify the word with ‘intensive’? What does he think is going to happen? It’s important to note how Muslims use words. Sometimes they convey more than what they seem to on the surface.

Like the word ‘innocent’. Here’s a personal experience as told by Robert Spencer. He was riding in a cab to some lecture he was doing years ago and saw that the cab driver was middle-eastern. He asked the driver if he was a Muslim. He said yes. Spencer asked why Muslim suicide bombers kill innocent people. The cab driver replied that it was against the Koran to kill innocent people – except if they’re Jews. To Muslims, the word innocent does not apply to everyone. There is a pecking order of innocence.

The American Indians had a saying. “Beware of those who speak with fork tongue.”

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