The German public is outraged by an appearance of a guest promoting jihadism on the talk show of Anne Will.
During a discussion on why more and more young people radicalize, one of the guests – a niqab-clad guest – justified young Muslims going to Syria to fight alongside jihadists.
The prime time show aired on German ARD channel on Sunday, where a number of experts discussed the alarming trend of youth radicalization.
Among them were a father who lost his daughter to the Islamic State (ISIS), an expert on Islam, an imam, a CDU politician who lobbies for a ban on Muslim full-face veils, as well as Nora Illi, a Swiss Muslim convert from Zurich.
Illi is the Muslim women’s commissioner for the Islamic Central Council Switzerland (IZRS). She came to the show niqab-clad, with only her eyes showing through the small slits in her outfit.
Illi described her choice as one for “diversity and respect”. She defended the right of every Muslim to practice their religion by wearing traditional attire and being allowed to pray at an appropriate time, anywhere they pleased.
The Swiss national complained that in Germany and in many non-Muslim states, Muslims are excluded from society by attempts to prevent them from practicing their religion in public.
Illi thus held the West responsible for the youth’s radicalization: when young people are not allowed by society to practice their beliefs freely, disoriented, they turn to more radical manifestations of their religion, she retorted.
To add insult to injury, the news anchor’s read out an excerpt from an essay by Illi published on the Council’s website back in 2014, in which Illi justified the choice of Muslims who travel to Syria to fight against the regime of President Assad alongside ISIS.
According to Illi this happens “because Muslims are repressed in most non-Muslim countries and join jihad in an effort to break free from this repression”.
The German public to exploded at the remarks justifying jihad, while Illi’s fellow-guests could only express disbelief and shock at her incendiary remarks.
The CDU’s Wolfgang Bosbach and Islam expert Ahmad Mansour both called the speech “terrorism propaganda on TV” slamming the news anchor for allowing such inflammatory statements.
The German public decried ARD for providing “a platform for Islamist propaganda,” while others called Illi’s statements scandalous.
Nora Illi called the flood of reactions “aggressive to hate-filled discussions on social media”. In a Facebook post, she concluded “that Islamophobia is an important push factor” for jihad.
It is not the first time Illi has been in the media spotlight. She made the headlines when she became the first woman in Switzerland fined for sporting a traditional Muslim burqa after it was outlawed.
And less than two weeks ago, she took part in a debate on the burqa ban with an Austrian private broadcaster Ösi-TV, also sparking outrage with her fully-veiled attire and claims that Islamophobia is the cause of radical Islamism.