Muslim Bloggers in Germany: Creating a Counter-public to Traditional Media

Germany’s Muslim bloggers offer alternative opinions and perspectives on Muslim life. In so doing, they correct the image of Muslims that is portrayed in traditional media. Canan Topçu reports

Rukiye Dogan blogs sporadically. Initially, she just wrote about the things she saw in her daily life, observed in the world around her, or discovered by chance. “There are so many stories on the streets; you just have to write them down,” says the young blogger. But as time passed, the “stories from the street” on her blog were supplemented by a growing number of posts on other subjects.

Of late, Rukiye Dogan has been shifting her focus to the political. Some things, she says, are just crying out to be blogged about. One such a thing, for example, was a programme on German television hosted by the famous German TV personality, Günther Jauch. The theme of the talk show, which was broadcast in spring 2013 on ARD, Germany’s first public, national broadcaster, was “In Allah’s name: what can be done to counteract Germany’s holy warriors?”

Rukiye felt that she just had to comment on the guests, their discussions, and what she considered to be Jauch’s disastrous hosting of the show. So she sat down and wrote a letter to the editorial team behind the show. Instead of printing and sending it, however, she posted it on her blog.

 

Halal, Kosher Slaughter Unacceptable, say German Vets

Muslim and Jewish groups are angered by a call from Germany’s federal chamber of veterinarians for a law re-establishing protection against slaughter without stunning. Germany’s main Jewish group rejected Wednesday, July 10, the latest criticism of kosher slaughter practices, and was immediately backed by a Turkish group in Germany speaking on behalf of Muslims. Both Islam and Judaism reject the stunning of animals before slaughter and prescribe that animals be killed by a swift throat cut. Speaking on Germany’s main public broadcaster ARD, Ernst Breitling, president of Germany’s federal chamber of veterinarians had earlier called kosher and halal slaughter “cruelty to animals.” The body has demanded a change in German law to end an exemption for minority butchers which he said had allowed 500,000 sheep to be slaughtered annually in this way.