Why is Merkel acting like Erdogan’s Dhimmi?

News out of Germany: a comedian has been arrested under a German law that apparently prohibits the mocking of foreign heads of state. Setting aside the surprising revelation that there are comedians in Germany, which part of “freedom” didn’t they understand over there if you can’t lampoon a foreign dictator?

Here’s the video Jan Bohmermann made. I’m not sure how to say this really: it’s actually very funny! In some respects it’s a poem and that is theologically important. Subtitles in English.

Erdogan is, obviously, upset and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a good little Dhimmi and had the troublesome poet arrested. The people of Germany, however, are not quite so impressed. It’s possible many of them moved from Turkey to the “free” Germany to get away from this kind of repressive state stuff.

Clearly this kind of thing wouldn’t wash in Israel. Here’s a classic from Israeli TV show Eretz Nehederet. They never pull any punches about Israeli leaders or any foreign leaders. This one is mostly a visual gag as you’ll see.

Here’s more on Israel’s healthy satire scene from an AFP wire piece as reported in Al Monitor

‘No one spared’ as Israeli sketch show skewers candidates

Benjamin Netanyahu was cursed as a child to be Israeli prime minister for eternity, his only chance to break the spell to sabotage the country and become its worst leader ever.

This is the secret behind Netanyahu’s political longevity as portrayed by Eretz Nehederet, Israel’s favourite sketch show which has been revelling in the run-up to next week’s general election when the Israeli leader is seeking a third consecutive term.

The programme — whose title translates as “A Wonderful Country” — has been running on Israeli prime time for 12 seasons, its tongue-in-cheek approach bringing some much-needed comic relief to the often dour world of Israeli politics.

So what’s the theological connection?

The Islamic prophet Mohammed has an extensive history of not being fond of satire and especially poets. This has transferred directly into a rather low tolerance for this kind of thing by Muslim leaders from centuries past right up to today. The story of the murder of Asma bint Marwan is one of the better known:

March 624: Asma bint Marwan

Asma was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans, and whose husband was named Yazid b. Zayd. She composed a poem blaming the Medinan pagans for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. When the Allah-inspired prophet heard what she had said, he asked, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” A member of her husband’s tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep.

The following morning, the assassin defied anyone to take revenge. No one took him up on his challenge, not even her husband. In fact, Islam became powerful among his tribe. Previously, some members who had kept their conversion secret now became Muslims openly, “because they saw the power of Islam,” conjectures Ibn Ishaq.

Source: Ibn Ishaq, pp. 675-76 / 995-96.

Dhimmitude is a state of mind induced in those who feel they have to submit to the will of a Muslim ruler: not wanting to upset Erdogan is a clear sign. And to have Merkel running Germany is an embarrassment to all Europeans.

I’m guessing Merkel will find it hard to carry out Caliph Erdogan’s orders within Germany’s current legal framework, they’ll need to move further to fully incorporate Sharia’s provisions for murdering poets and satirists before Bohmermann can be punished to Erdogan’s satisfaction.

About the Author
Brian of London made aliyah from the UK to Israel in 2009. For many years he has blogged and broadcast about Israel, technology and other subjects. Most recently he's focused on the experience of driving an electric car every day. Brian has a scientific PhD but today owns a business in Israel.
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