GERMAN AUTHOR TODENHÖFER: MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN AND JEW MUST NEVER FORGET THAT ALL ARE EQUAL BASED ON THE FREEDOMS THAT WAS BESTOWED BY GOD.
A call to the Muslims
“Just as the Jews have acquired their rights in the European society, the Muslims should also become active in all areas of the community in Europe, shape the future and work hard to eliminate hostility towards Islam.“
Islam is a Religion of peace
“While there was no civilisation in the West, Islam spread civilisation to the world. As a religion of peace, it should also contribute to the solution of current problems. We must build the future of society together.”
Regards to Turkey
“I have friends from all walks of life in Turkey and I am in constant contact with them. I am sending my regards to all of my readers from Turkey through your newspaper – YeniAsya.”
Muslims are the future of Europe
German writer JürgenTodenhöfer emphasised that Muslims need to be active in societal life in Austria and Europe, be present in all areas of the community and give direction to the future as well as work very hard at eliminating hostility towards Islam.
We were excited by the news that the renowned German author JürgenTodenhöfer was visiting Vienna about a month ago. This was because we were well acquainted with his amazing speecheson various TV channels, his books and knew of his travels for research to the area under siege by ISIL in Syria. We had grown used to hearing many things from him that we had not heard from other westerners.
On Friday night, the twenty-second of November, Jürgen Todenhöfer who is also a legist, and was previously in politics as a member of parliament, met with his Viennese readers and provided information about the two faces of the West, the features of the Middle Eastern wars and about Syria, Yemen and Iraq. The author who has visited these regions; particularly the warzones many times, has taken part in talks with the leaders in these countries and that of European and American governments, and whose books have sold in large numbers in many countries such as Germany, had a very difficult time organising a location to meet with his Viennese readers. He noted his disappointment with the city of freedoms – Vienna, and the ‘liberal’ West as he was not allowed a space based on an assumption that he was political. As a result, he was forced to meet in a Turkish wedding hall.
The revenue from the hall is for the Syrians in need
Roughly 500 people attended the program at Etap Event Centre with tickets and the revenue accumulated from the program and book sales, were committed to poverty-stricken families in Damascus, Syria.
The program took place in a Turkish wedding hall which was a quite a distance from the city centre. There were attendees from all walks of life. It was noteworthy to see the interest from Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists, Austrians, Arabs, Turks, Bosnians, people of varying political ideologies and non-governmental organisations.
Our friend İbrahim Burak Özaydın, met with German author Jürgen Todenhöfer
After the devastation in Mosul
The deeply saddening visuals of the devastated lifeless streets of Mosul at the beginning of the program led to deep thoughts and a great sense of sorrow. These rare images, not seen frequently on the internet, had been taken by Mr. Jürgen’s son Frederic. The thousand-year-old Mosul had been levelled to the ground along with the lives and even further a whole civilisation with its history had been reduced to nothing.
Jürgen Todenhöfer made mention of the two-faced nature of the West and how whilst taking destruction to every place they vow to take peace and democracy, they in fact brought destruction upon themselves as in the analogy of the boomerang. This is due to the reality that people fleeing these regions go to the said Western countries and the weapons sold to those countries return and harm themselves. Those with this knowledge harbour enmity towards the West.
His latest book titled The Great Hypocrisy: How Politics and the Media Betray our Moral Values, played the role of providing the title of the program. The book outlines the incidents JürgenTodenhöfer and Frederic Todenhöfer saw, heard and witnessed in the warzones of Mosul, Syria and Yemen.
There are no winners in war
JürgenTodenhöfer stated that the biggest culprit in the circumstances in these regions is the West and the mobs that are after power and money through the trade of weapons. Along with criticising Europeans for being an instrument to this, he reminded everyone that there are no winners in war and all those involved lose as a result of this. He gave the 7-8 year Syrian war as an example of how the losses of both the government and the opposition were of almost equal proportion and how nobody gained anything except the weapons traders.
What is expected of the Turks in Europe
A reminder was made that the media and politics should not influence Muslims, Christians and Jews, and prejudices must be disregarded. They should instead focus on the equality bestowed on them by God. A Muslim is not of lesser value than that of a Christian or an atheist and reiterated that the future of this society can be built together within the boundaries of respect.
Muslims are the future of Europe
Whilst he mentioned this statement he said, you are the future of Europe, the future of Europe are the Muslims; the Christians. In the same way that the Jews acquired their rights in European society, the Muslims should also become active in all areas of the community in Austria and Europe and give direction to the future as well as work extremely hard at eliminating hostility towards Islam.
He stated that Islam brought civilisation to the world at a time when the West still did not have it. JürgenTodenhöfer reiterated that as a religion of peace, Islam should provide contributions to the current problems along with Christianity and Judaism.
After reading from parts of his new book, he heavily criticised Trump and American politics, ISIL and all collaborators. He pointed out that German politicians who, under the guise of concern that girls were being kept from attending school, were culprits to the intervention to the region. He reminded everybody that before the intervention in the region, girls were attending school at a rate of 40 percent. Whereas today, there are no schools remaining in many of these places. Those whose voices could be heard saying that the girls are unable to attend school and are oppressed, are now silent at the life and death situations that these people find themselves in. These are clear examples of their two-faced nature.
They are trying to be a barrier
He made it clear that he and his works were trying to be prevented as well as his books from being read. He requested support for his books and works particularly for this reason and reminded everyone to work very hard so everyone can have access to these truths.
At the end of the program, the celebrated German JürgenTodenhöfer signed his books and conversed with his readers. On behalf of YeniAsya Newspaper we asked for his views on Turkey and whether he had any messages for his readers there. He pointed out that he never associates the governmental politics and the countrymen and that he has many friends in Turkey from all walks of life that he is in constant contact with. With that he sent his regards to his readers in Turkey via YeniAsya.
İbrahim Burak Özaydın – Vienna / Austria
Translation: Saliha Nur – Melbourne / Australia