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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.