Strong Women No. 5: SEYRAN ATES – Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the first Liberal Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque 2017 (Germany)

Insights

Seyran Ateş (born 20 April 1963) is a German lawyer and Muslim feminist born in Istanbul, Turkey of Kurdish descent.

Her family moved to Germany when she was six years old. She studied law at the Free University of Berlin and has practiced law since 1997, specializing in criminal law and family law. Ateş, a renowned civil-rights activist, is best known for demanding equal rights for Muslim women and girls….and since 2017 for founding the first liberal Ibn-Rushed-Goethe mosque in Berlin.

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Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque – women & men are praying together and women can act as imam leading prayer (= priest)

HUMAN AND MUSLIM WOMEN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

To finance her law studies in Berlin, she worked for the Berlin-Kreuzberger Meeting & Information Point for Turkish and Kurdish women (migrants), who want to protect themselves against domestic violence. 1984 her client Fatma E. was killed during a meeting (ref. her divorce) with Seyran Ates, who was shot too and life threatening injured.

VICTIM OF A TURKISH “GREY WOLVES” CONTRACT KILLER

Later on, in the course of the investigation, it was proved that the offender was a member of the Turkish nationalist-right wing group “Grey Wolves”, for which the offender was working as a contract killer. Due to sloppiness and possibly other reasons, the suspect was surprisingly discharged. He still lives in Berlin. A representative of the Federal Office For The Protection of The Constitution didn`t bear witness in front of court by stating that a registered assoviation called “The Grey Wolves” doesnt exists at all. (Note: The existence of the “Grey Wolves” actually is beyond dispute. You can see members & supporters at many pro-Turkish President Erdogan events in Germany. After the last Turkish election in 2018, there are attempts to rehabilitate the Grey Wolves in Germany). Not before 1997, Seyran Ates was finally able to complete her law studies with the 2nd state exam. 

HER AWARDED SOCIO-POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

Seyran Ateş explains that the “multi-cultural society concept” has failed completed and promotes the “concept of transculturalism” (that was developed by Wolfgang Welsch, exchange and regrouping of cultural elements by using network effects) instead. In the course of the integration debate – today, fueled by the migration crisis of last years – she critisizes the wide-spread wrong understanding of the Islam that legitimates and fosters the separation of men and women as well as the suppression of muslim women. In her view this suppression of women is expressed by forced  (by social control & pressure) veiling / cover-up of women, forced marriage, child marriages and honor killings – undesirable traditions & cultural (not religious!) phenomena that have been imported to Germany and other liberal Western countries by muslim migrants. 

Because of her engegament Seyran Ates was awarded with many titles and orders of Germany and the city state Berlin. 

“THE ISLAM REQUIRES A SEXUAL REVOLUTION”

That is the tite of one of Ms Ates books that was published in 2009. After receiving serious death threats, Seyran Ates disappeared from the public stage for about 3 years but returned in 2012 to continue managing her law office – since then without any public address.

FOUNDATION OF THE FIRST LIBERAL MOSQUE IN BERLIN AND FIRST FEMALE IMAM

Ms Ates opened the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque in 2017. It’s the only liberal mosque located in Berlin-Moabit Germany where men and women pray together. Women can take the role of imam leading a prayer. After successfully completion of a Imam education, Ms. Ates is acting as Imam today too.
It is the aim to perform the devotions in German language instead of in Arabic (many muslims don`t understand anyway) or Turkish. Another innovation is the fact that all muslims – covering  Sunniten, Schiiten and Aleviten – are invited to prey and worship together. In general, the mosque is also open for all people – irrespective of their religion. 

The Turkish religious authority and the Egyptian Fatwa Council at the Al-Azhar University have condemned her project and once more again she has received death threats. The fatwa (= 1. non-binding legal opnion, see below; 2. Death penalty) encompassed all present and future liberal mosques.

Ähnliches Foto
The Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin-Moabit (within a Potestant church building)

24/7 PERSONAL SECURITY AFTER RECEIVING BY FAR MORE THAN 100 DEATH THREATS (in line with the “FATWA” issued by Turkish and Egyptian religious authorities)

Ms. Ates represents a secular Islam which means strict separation of state, laws and its institutions from religion. She demands gender equality and a contemporary interpretation and reform of the interpretation of the Quran and the Hadithen. Since the foundation of increasingly successful “Ibn-Rushd Goethe Mosque”, Seyran Ates received a growing number of severe death threats so that she receives 24/7 personal security by the German government. 

According to Ateş, liberal Muslims do not come forward due to threats and fear.

HER POSITION

Ms. Ates demands that the German government shall NOT give in the protests of the muslims that are supported by islamic fundamentalists (often financed by foreign powers): „Where religion serves separation & discrimination only, religion is attacking democracy. And where religion scream for penalties, the war against the Age of Enlightment and against all of the freedoms, – all religions in Germany finally take benefit of – starts. Also the muslim`s truth must tolerate it to be subject to criticism and questioning. Only fundamentalists can be insulted by criticism and questions.” (cit.)

CO-FOUNDER OF THE EUROPEAN CITIZEN INITIATIVE STOP EXTREMISM (ECI)

Jointly with the former Austrian Bundesrat Efgani Dönmez (Federal Council) and the lawyer Sebastian Reimer, Ms. Ates has founded the  European Citizen’s Initiative Stop Extremism (ECI) in July 2017. The ECI fights all kind of religious extremism. The initiative tries to achieve the issuance of an EU-guideline to close loopholes in the legislation to protect the European societies from religous extremism. Numerous famous and ppular experts and media people are supporting this endeavor – among them the author and psychology expert Ahmad Mansour and the Islam scientist Mouhanad Khorchide.

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ADDENDUM:

A FATWA has got two meanings. It can be understood as non-binding legal opinion tied to religous authorities as legal bodies but also as law enforcement authority. Fatwa can also describe a religous justified death penalty  that allows any muslim to kill the person who is subject to a fatwa any time – without any consequences.  The Fatwa concept therefore expresses the clear target to merge islam religion, with the state /government, politics and the organisation of the society broken down to the private life of all individuals. Consequently, non-believers (Kufa) and deviators, who could undermine existing authorities, have to be excluded.

  1. A fatwa in the Islamic faith is a non-binding but authoritative legal opinion or learned interpretation that the Sheikhul Islam, a qualified jurist or mufti, can give on issues pertaining to the Sharia. 
    Fatwās generally contain the details of the scholar’s reasoning, typically in response to a particular case, and are considered binding precedent by those Muslims who have bound themselves to that scholar, including future muftis; mere rulings can be compared to memorandum opinions. The primary difference between common-law opinions and fatwās, however, is that fatwās are not universally binding; as Sharia is not universally consistent and Islam is very non-hierarchical in structure, fatwās do not carry the sort of weight as that of secular common-law opinion. In fact, the influence of fatwas are very much dependend on the authority and power of the person or organisation who declares a fatwa.
  2. Considering the fact that authority is dependend on the number of followers, it makes sense that reforms, criticism & questioning  of a scholarship, the Quran or other religous matters is drastically punished and that leaving the Islam is penalized with the fatwa as death penalty. It is all about maintaining power of existing authorities and not about development to foster progress and an improvement of living conditions.
  3. In countries, in which the Sharia is not an integral part of the legal system, muslims are confronted with several contradicting Fatwas (legal opinions & authorities) at the same time. Of course, they will chose the fatwa (legal opinion and legal institutions) of their scholarship they belong to or offer the most personal advantages. This approach causes severe conflicts with the legal system of the country, they are living in, but also with other scholarships (e.g. conflicts between Sunniten and Schiiten, Wahabismus against all others) or with ethnicities (e.g. Kurds, South-East Asians) or tribes or individual authorities / influencers. 
Bildergebnis für FAtwa
FATWA against terror & violence endorsed by 100.000 Bangladeshi Islamic Scholars

Condemning terrorism as forbidden and un-Islamic, Maulana Fariduddin Masoud, chairman of Bangladesh Jamiatul Ulama (BJU), and his team during the revelation of the fatwa in Dhaka on June 18, 2016.

Poem No. 171: “Warning” by Jenny Joseph (1932 – 2018)

Gedichte, humor, poems
An unknown Lady.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple. 

Poem No. 169: “Freedom” by Charles Bukowski

Gedichte, poems

he drank wine all night of the 
28th, and he kept thinking of her: 
the way she walked and talked and loved 
the way she told him things that seemed true 
but were not, and he knew the color of each 
of her dresses 
and her shoes-he knew the stock and curve of 
each heel 
as well as the leg shaped by it. 

and she was out again and when he came home,and 
she’d come back with that special stink again, 
and she did 
she came in at 3 a.m in the morning 
filthy like a dung eating swine 
and 
he took out a butchers knife 
and she screamed 
backing into the rooming house wall 
still pretty somehow 
in spite of love’s reek 
and he finished the glass of wine. 

that yellow dress 
his favorite 
and she screamed again. 

and he took up the knife 
and unhooked his belt 
and tore away the cloth before her 
and cut off his balls. 

and carried them in his hands 
like apricots 
and flushed them down the 
toilet bowl 
and she kept screaming 
as the room became red 

GOD O GOD! 
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? 

and he sat there holding 3 towels 
between his legs 
no caring now whether she left or 
stayed 
wore yellow or green or 
anything at all. 

and one hand holding and one hand 
lifting he poured 
another wine 

Poem No. 46: “For You My Love” by Jaques Prevert

Gedichte, poems, Uncategorized
Ähnliches Foto

For You My Love

I went to the market, where they sell birds
and I bought some birds
for you
my love
I went to the market, where they sell flowers
and I bought some flowers
for you
my love
I went to the market, where they sell chains
and I bought some chains
heavy chains
for you
my love
And then I went to the slave market
and I looked for you
but I did not find you there 
my love

Poem No. 62: “Centre of the Universe” (Zentrum des Universums) by Iraj Ziayi (Iran)

Gedichte, poems

Every dawn as you open your eyes
objects
are awake
this lamp
this book
this flask of tea
this desk and pencil and matchbox
these are the centre of the universe
gathered in a house that doesn’t belong to you

Jede Morgendämmerung wenn du deine Augen öffnest
Objekte
sind erwacht
diese Lampe
dieses Buch
dieser Teebehälter
dieser Schreibtisch und Bleistift und Streichholzschachtel
diese (Dinge) sind das Zentrum des Universums 
angehäuft in einem Haus, das nicht dir gehört

Tipp No. 141: “The Wahl-O-Mat” – A Tool for Information and to check your EU political positioning

Insights, Tipps
For whom can I vote for?

The EU elections are coming soon…and I am lost.
And frankly speaking, I feel unable to pick a party because actually I cannot follow any of them. I agree on single thesis or opinions of many parties – covering the entire range from left to right. I was never as lost as I am today. Nevertheless I am determined to vote, of course.

German Polls show clearly that the number of EU voters grow, the older the reference group is. Are you serious, youngsters!? It is your future….Please, vote!!!!

There is help – The Wahl-O-Mat …

The Wahl-O-Mat EU election 2019: http://www.bpb.de/politik/wahlen/wahl-o-mat/287903/wahl-o-mat-zur-europawahl-2019

In total 41 parties and political groups can be elected in the EU election from 23rd to 26th May 2019.

705 members of the EU parliament will be elected.

In Germany, you can and should vote on Sunday, 26th May 2019 from 08:00 – 18:00 pm.

Not all of these 41 options for voting are well-known – like the newly founded party VOLT (paneuropean party of young professionals & digital natives) for instance.
The very helpful Wahl-O-Mat briefly introduces all 41 parties & groups equally and summarizes their EU programs as well. All information is easily to understand and to compare. The Wahl-O-Mat seems to be quite unbiased and for information only.

Thus, I appreciate the Wahl-O-Mat of the bpb (Federal Agency for Civic Education /Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung). In addition, the Wahl-O-Mat namely allows to check your political positioning within this political landscape by using a questionnaire that includes 38 thesis you can confirm, refuse or be neutral. In a second step, you can set priorities / put emphasis on the topics that are addressed in these 38 thesis. You simply mark the thesis most critical to you and it will count double.

The Wahl-O-Mat allows you to shortlist 8 political groups for comparison. Then, it analyzes the % of compliance of your responses with the programs of the 8 parties (you`ve shortlisted before) so that a %-ranking is created.

The e-tool also provides the reasoning for each statement with reference to the 38 thesis, provided by all 41 competing parties.

The Wahl-O-Mat suggest to use the ranking for further assessment in regard of your individual prios or consideration how much convincing the reasoning of the parties is in your view etc.
All parties are introduced:
https://www.bpb.de/politik/wahlen/wer-steht-zur-wahl/287905/europawahl-2019 . The bpb website provides also an introduction of the single candidates of each party – sorted by German federal states.

“Who can be elected?”-website: http://www.bpb.de/werstehtzurwahl

Please, have a look at the 38 thesis. The selection of topics tells you a lot about the concerns, agendas and state of discussion in our world region: EUROPE💖 . From my point of view, the catalogue of thesis reflects current discussions well.

The EU 2019 Questionnaire with 38 major thesis:

By the way, my results have been a little surprise…The questionnaire is very helpful in any case because it forces you to reflect and determine your position once more…and the e-tool compares your opinion with the programs of the parties.

ABOUT THE BPB

The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) is a federal public authority providing citizenship education and information on political issues for all people in Germany.

Strengthening Democracy – Fostering a Civil Society

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education – the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung or the ”bpb” as it is referred to in short – is a federal public authority providing citizenship education and information on political issues to all people in Germany. “Citizenship education” in this connection broadly means educating and encouraging citizens to actively participate in society and in the democratic process. The bpb’s work focuses on fostering an awareness of what democracy is and on furthering participation in politics and social life.

Poem No. 123: “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

Gedichte, poems

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. 
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size 
But when I start to tell them, 
They think I’m telling lies. 
I say, 
It’s in the reach of my arms 
The span of my hips, 
The stride of my step, 
The curl of my lips. 
I’m a woman 
Phenomenally. 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me. 

I walk into a room 
Just as cool as you please, 
And to a man, 
The fellows stand or 
Fall down on their knees. 
Then they swarm around me, 
A hive of honey bees. 
I say, 
It’s the fire in my eyes, 
And the flash of my teeth, 
The swing in my waist, 
And the joy in my feet. 
I’m a woman 
Phenomenally. 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me. 

Men themselves have wondered 
What they see in me. 
They try so much 
But they can’t touch 
My inner mystery. 
When I try to show them 
They say they still can’t see. 
I say, 
It’s in the arch of my back, 
The sun of my smile, 
The ride of my breasts, 
The grace of my style. 
I’m a woman 

Phenomenally. 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me. 

Now you understand 
Just why my head’s not bowed. 
I don’t shout or jump about 
Or have to talk real loud. 
When you see me passing 
It ought to make you proud. 
I say, 
It’s in the click of my heels, 
The bend of my hair, 
the palm of my hand, 
The need of my care, 
‘Cause I’m a woman 
Phenomenally. 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me.

Poem No. 134: “The Soul Print” by Scott McIntire

Gedichte, Nature, poems

Sitting in peaceful places
Upon Nature’s natural faces
Silent sounds of the River’s rushing
The Wind with the Trees harmoniously brushing

Quiet Clouds above calmly passing by 
A Sea of blue and white that pleases the Eye
Mountains in the distance sit still in yellow light
The Sun ahead constantly coloring every sight

Never again will we ever be here
At this very moment let us not fear
For this is where the mind is content
This is where the Soul leaves its print.

Haiku No. 52: Wide World (Weite Welt)

Gedichte, poems, Reisen, Travel
Bettina Hoebenreich.jpg

Bettina Hoebenreich (German Globetrotter)
isabelle_explorer

Isabelle Eberhardt

WIDE WORLD

World is vast and wide.
So much out there to explore.
Right now, let’s have lunch.

WEITE WELT

Die Welt ist gewaltig und weit.
So viel da draußen zu entdecken.
Fürs Erste, lass uns zu Mittag essen.

About Isabelle Eberhardt – Famous Explorer & Adventurer

Born and dubbed ‘illigetimate’ to her Aristocratic mother in Switzerland, Eberhardt’s life was short but certainly well-lived. Due to a family affair, Isabelle’s paternity remained a secret, and from the off, her life was steeped in secrecy and financial struggle. What’s a girl to do when she’s not wanted? Become one of the most famous explorers of all time.

The path was not going to be easy however, and Eberhardt found her female status in the 1800s slightly exacerbating in terms of traversing the world. As such, she dressed as a man, learnt several languages, and severed ties with her shattered family, and left for Africa.

Before long, Eberhardt’s experiences left her on a spirtual journey as well as a literal one, and adopted the pseudonym Si Mahmoud Essad on her quest for a more ‘free life’. She converted to Islam in order to be truly accepted in Arab society. She died at 27 in a flash-flood. Although tragically young, she died doing what she loved best – going somewhere.

Tipp No. 135: “Letters of Melody” Poster Art by Graphic Designer Mehdi Saeedi (Iran, now: USA)

arts, Creatures, Kunst
Mehdi Saeedi

ABOUT THE ARTIST

From Contour To Typography to Shape

Mehdi Saeedi (Persian: مهدی سعیدی‎ was born in Tehran), is an Iranian born artist and designer based in Philadelphia and he is a part-time faculty of graphic design at the Towson University in Maryland, United States. His aesthetics have become a mainstay of design in many regions, especially in those using the Arabic and Iranian scripts as their alphabet.

His special focus and proficiency in typography and calligraphy leads him to be recognized as the first designer who employed shaping of letters in forms and shapes (Zoomorphism) in graphic design. Moreover, in another part of his works, he tries to use the principles of calligraphy in type design. Accordingly, Mehdi determined and founded “Letters Melody” course and teaches in Iran’s Universities as well as holding some international workshops in other countries to make people with different language background familiar with the beauty of letters in art and graphic design.

In 2013, he also founded First International Exhibition of Type Design, as part of Silver Cypress. biennial, a competition that devoted to Persian type design for the first time.

In consideration of Mehdi Saeedi’s artworks, a large number of them have been selected for exhibition in many prominent museums, collections, major domestic and international exhibitions worldwide. They have also been published in several reputable international magazines.

Mehdi won several prestigious and well-grounded awards both locally and internationally resulting in becoming known as the most awarded Iranian graphic designer in Iran’s graphic history. Among which are: Grand prize, Taiwan International Poster Design Award, Taiwan, 2007; Grand Prize, “Five Stars Designers’ Banquet”, International Invitational Poster Triennial of Osaka, Japan, 2009; Top Award, 15th International Invitational Poster, Colorado, United States, 2007; First Prize, 12th International Poster Triennial, Ekoplagat ́11, Slovakia, 2011 and Gold Medal in “Graphis poster annual 2013”, USA etc.

There are additionally several publications of Mehdi Saeedi’s collection as well as the selection of artworks that the recent one of those in 2013 was published with the title of “From Contour to Calligraphy” in 384 pages. Furthermore, he is included among 30 designers in Second edition of “New Masters of Poster Design” that features the best poster designers currently working all over the world.