Timo Al-Farooq

Journalist & Political Analyst, London⎜Berlin

9 Abos und 1 Abonnent
Artikel

What a Supermarket Shelf in Britain Can Tell You About Islamophobia in Germany

A Tesco store in London‘s borough of Hounslow during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (Photo credit: Timo Al-Farooq, 2019)

What's so special about a photo of a supermarket aisle? Usually nothing, but the picture above that I took during my current visit to London inadvertently shows the key difference in levels of social progress between my home country Germany and Britain. And is one of many reasons why the only truly multicultural country in the EU should be glad it's leaving that sinking ship, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.


Let me explain: What you see above is a West London outlet of Tesco - one of the UK's largest supermarket chains - wishing its Muslim customers a blessed Ramadan. In the UK nothing new, but for me as a German it is something that I have to this day never seen in any of the major German chains back home in Berlin, not even in the "ethnic" Muslim neighborhoods. And I am from Berlin's Kreuzberg district, in a past life a vibrant Turkish and Kurdish area, until that white settler-colonialism better known as gentrification veni-vidi-vicied our asses and ethnically cleansed the place with its locust-like hipster "lifestyle" (is pretentiousness really something worth celebrating?) and army of greedy real-estate brokers.


While in the UK social inclusion of the Muslim faith is the norm rather than the exception, in Germany every tentative step towards religious accommodation put forward by progressive forces (especially if the religion in question is Islam) is met with the full brunt of a reactionary and racist backlash: for example the supermarket chain Kaufland's decision last year to sell a Ramadan calendar was met with angry white consumers venting their bigotry on social media and calling for boycotts.


Even though individual stores in Germany do have Ramadan promotions, it is far from a concerted, broad "effort" like in Britain. Despite the fact that England's and Germany's Muslim population both lie at roughly 5 %, the capitals London and Berlin being home to the majority of Muslims of their respective countries, the disparity in levels of religious and social inclusion of people of faith other than Christianity and Judaism (and of immigrants and people of color in general by the way) is criminally high.


Continue reading by clicking here: https://medium.com/@talrooq/what-a-supermarket-shelf-in-britain-can-tell-you-about-islamophobia-in-g...




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