While Western civilization often caves in nowadays to demonstrations of Islamic supremacy one small, appeasing step at a time, a European academic institution firmly stood its ground recently and upheld Western values against one such Islamist test probe.
The Technical University of Dortmund (TUD) in Dortmund, Germany, finally had enough of Muslim students bullying others, especially women, after the former had taken over for a prayer room an area the university had set aside as a quiet space for all students. Located in the physics building, TUD recently closed the facility.
“We set up the “Quiet Room” in 2012,” said university spokeswoman Eva Prost in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine. “A few months after that, there were already endeavours to make a Muslim prayer room out of it.”
The university had originally intended the room to be a “religion and world-view neutral” space to accommodate students of different faiths attending TUD from around the world. Until 2012, it was reported Catholic and Protestant institutions near the university had provided such students with rooms for this purpose.
“Our “Quiet Room” was rather an offer to everyone who was looking for peace and a place to rest in the often stressful, daily life of a university,” said Prost, adding that it was permitted to say a prayer there “if it did not disturb others or exclude anyone from use of the room.”
But instead of relieving stress, the TUD’s well-intentioned idea was rather to cause a lot of it.
University officials may have been unfamiliar with the doctrine of Islamic supremacy, which claims the superiority of Islam over all other religions, when they made the decision to open such a facility. Along with the equality-of-faiths-be-damned attitude, inherent in Islamic supremacism is also a condemnation of a fundamental, underlying value of Western civilization, that of tolerance.
In America, Omar Ahad, a co-founder of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), probably summed up best the Islamic supremacist doctrine. When making a speech in California, he stated: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
But if the TUD administration was familiar with the Islamic supremacy doctrine, one must then ask why it would even proceed with this experiment in the first place without safeguards in place? There would obviously be problems with fundamentalist Muslim students possessing supremacist notions. They would definitely not miss an opportunity like this to demonstrate their belief in their religion’s superiority and launch a test of strength.
As Prost indicated, it wasn’t long before they did so, storing their prayer rugs there and violating the university’s usage rules for the space. Probably hoping to avoid confrontation, the administration naively reacted to the Muslim students’ aggressive actions by placing a couch and a bookshelf in the room.
“A couch and a bookshelf should have signalled that this is no prayer room here,” said Prost.
But in dealing with Islamic supremacists, such feeble measures are doomed to failure. In fact, it was possibly because of the university’s weak, initial reaction to their power probe that, according to the newspaper Die Welt, the supremacists just got “obviously more radical.”
Visitors complained that Muslim students blocked off more than half the room and had used a large picture hanging on the wall to do so. This, apparently, was done to segregate the sexes. The noise from the Muslim students’ praying also kept the “Quiet Room” from being quiet. Besides prayer rugs, Korans were also stored there with one left out in the open. Besides the Koran, “flyers in Arabic and instructional pamphlets in German” were displayed. Calling the rearrangement of the room “highhanded,” Prost said “foot washing possibilities” were also present.
But it was the Muslim students’ actions towards women that appears to have been the final straw in the university’s decision to close the facility.
“In flyers, women were instructed to wear headscarves, but we don’t know whether this was in fact carried out,” said Prost.
Besides the headscarf directive, women were also told they could not wear perfume in the room. And female visitors were “repeatedly intercepted” at the door by male Muslims who told them they could only use the room’s smaller part.
“The room was also divided by curtains into a bright area for men and a dark one for women,” Die Welt reported, the smaller, darker area perhaps unwittingly symbolising the Islamist attitude towards women.
Prost said that what was happening was a violation of the law regarding the equal treatment of men and women.
“Students complained to us and indeed were completely right to do so,” she said. “We have to proceed against gender discrimination, since, as a government institution, we are committed to the constitution.”
The expected Muslim student reaction to the university’s decision was not long in coming. More than four hundred signed a petition, demanding the room’s re-opening, protesting its “rigorous and unarranged” closing, indicating they should have been consulted first. They also regarded “these forms of disrespect as discrimination.” Which should surprise no one. When Islamists fail to get their way, accusations of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism are almost sure to follow.
But to its credit, TUD’s administration did not wring its hands in anxiety over the charge of discrimination, and then cave in to the petition’s demand, as other Western universities would have done. Instead, its office of the chancellor shot back with a “detailed” letter of its own, telling the Muslim students the room was closed because they were breaking the rules in their use of it. Moreover, in Germany they would have to abide by German law regarding equality.
“We gladly take up your notes regarding the meaning of integration and allow ourselves to add that this includes a knowledge and acceptance of the valid laws in the Federal Republic of Germany, to which we are all bound,” the letter read. The missive also quoted for the Muslim students’ benefit Article 3 of the German Constitution that stipulates equality, especially “equal rights for men and women.” These rights, the administration made clear, “are a sacrosanct, core area in it.”
So far, no answer has been received to the university’s response.
Prost admitted that other universities have had similar problems with Muslim students. She believes, though, the “Quiet Room” incident at DTU attracted more public attention than usual and was so “heatedly argued” because of events two months earlier on New Year’s Eve at Cologne’s train station where several hundred women were sexually assaulted by Muslim men, many of them migrants. Nevertheless, Prost said the university regards “the experiment of a faith-neutral room as a failure.” It will now be re-opened as a retreat for students with children.
As for the Islamic supremacists, the room’s closing represents only a partial failure. While they could not appropriate the room for their own purposes, the supremacists could still be viewed, in some respects, as victorious. By causing the room’s closure, they still determined its use, or non-use, in this case. If it couldn’t be a Muslim prayer room under Muslim control and rules, then the supremacists are probably satisfied with the fact that they have prevented any other faith from using and enjoying it. In this respect, their dominance behaviour was successfully established. Which is really what Islamic supremacy is all about.