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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsWhat unfolded over months under the keyword Charlie Hebdo was a debate on ways to deal with Islamist terrorism. The Paris attacks in early 2015 were a shock for many. It is impossible to keep track of the manifold debates followings the incidents. It was discussed, for example, how the self-radicalization of many Muslims takes place in completely legal surroundings, like the mosques. A case under discussion for Germany is a mosque around by the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, DITIB. In the heated debates, every possible way to comment on the situation is met by suspicion.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsThose who point out the responsibility of the Union of Mosques in democratically constituted countries that guarantee a freedom of religion and belief run the risk of being called Islamophobic. Those who point towards the responsibility of the churches (leading Islamists in Germany used to be Protestants) run the risk of playing religions off against each other. Those who hint to the fact that Jews were affected touch on the historical wounds of the Jews concerning genocide of the 20th century.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsOn the other hand, those who aimed for understanding pointed out that the caricatures which have incurred the terrorists' hate were not only tasteless and have offended the Islamic religion on purpose, but in themselves constituted an act of aggression that was replied to with a different form of aggression. Eventually, commentators felt the need to raise the question of identity

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondfor the European countries again: in how far do Muslim migrants in France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, or the Netherlands really feel French, British, German, etc.? Do they feel like Muslims belonging to the international community or Muslims in the first place? Or do they feel primarily like French or Germans, whose religious historical origin has a Muslim imprint? Whoever enters this discussion is faced by the very fact that the world of religions, which appears to be completely outdated in Europe, is now again on the agenda. It is still completely unclear whether this will be interpreted as a sign of the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous.

Skip to 2 minutes and 59 secondsAgain, as a reminder, on 7 January 2015 two masked men stormed the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo, a left-wing and forcefully anti-religious magazine. 12 people were killed. The journal had become famous with its aggressive attacks on religious groups. At the occasion of a papal visit to the Pope in 2008 was accused of paedophilia with recourse to the biblical passage, "suffer little children, come unto me." The Catholic church filed and lost 14 court cases against the magazine. In 2006, Charlie Hebdo published Mohammad caricatures that led to unrest among Muslims throughout the world. Here, a lawsuit filed by French Muslims remained unsuccessful. On 2 November 2011, an arson attack was committed as in declared response to the lasting aggressive caricatures against Islam.

Skip to 4 minutes and 13 secondsDoes the freedom of press protect the violation of religious feelings? To what extent can anti-religious people be expected to tolerate the feelings of religious people? How can it be ensured that the religious and non-religious people encounter each other with the minimum of respect? The expression coined by Albert Schweitzer of the reference for life offers a possible solution leading away from ideological encrustations, but will only then have a chance once one prerequisite is met, that no group thinks that their measure of value is superior to the others. For some, this would mean to a sacrifice the beloved idea of the backwardness of religious people. For others, the abandonment of the religious moral devaluation of others as infidels.

Skip to 5 minutes and 17 secondsBut only then a real togetherness of religious and non-religious communities could succeed.

Religious pluralism: Charlie Hebdo

On January 7, 2015, two masked men stormed the offices of the French satirical and anti-religious magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’, killing twelve employees. What followed was a debate on how to deal with Islamist terrorism - and, it seems, which of those two words was more important.

Is Islamist terrorism representative for all of Islam? Or is it first and foremost terrorism that makes use of Islam and feelings of anger among Islamic youth to recruite them? Professor Martin Tamcke points out that the responses following the attacks - which were repeated after the attacks on Bataclan in November 2015, the March 2016 Brussels bombings, and the various attacks over the summer of 2016 in Belgium, France and Germany - point to the fundamental question of European identity.

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European Culture and Politics

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