• Germany edition
 
US comedian tells tales from the Mosque
Photo: DPA

US comedian tells tales from the Mosque

Published: 12 Apr 2012 16:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2012 16:30 GMT+02:00

Aman Ali, a New Yorker of Indian heritage, said stopping at a different Mosque on each day of 2010’s holy month of Ramadan had given him a broad outlook on how Muslims were living in America.

His current tour – he has just performed in Copenhagen and is heading for Germany next week – was showing him interesting things about the differences between Muslim life on either side of the Atlantic.

“The big difference is that the American culture is one of immigration, it is very easy to immigrate and integrate,” he told The Local ahead of bringing his show "30 Mosques in 30 Days" to Germany.

“In Europe national identity is different. You go to parts of Europe and identity is more defined, like in Germany, Denmark, Sweden or Norway.

“Although, I was in the UK recently, and people are very open - and the favourite national dish is chicken tikka masala.”

He said the biggest eye-opener was that the idea that people were against or scared of Muslims was mostly simply not true.

“There is this illusion that there is opposition to Muslims, and Muslims think that everyone hates us. But in reality most people don’t care,” he said.

“I see people living peacefully and working closely together with their neighbours. In Europe perhaps not so much, but this is not necessarily due to racism. I think it is more to do with ignorance – if everyone comes from the same kind of background, they can end up ignorant of other backgrounds.”

This can lead to Muslims not making much of an effort to integrate, he said. “They then want to create a mini Somalia or Morocco or something,” he said.

“There is no problem with holding onto your own culture, but why not build Mosques that are Muslim and German in style? It is frustrating, these cultural bubbles, that is what generates a lot of the tension.

“We have our share of problems too, there is a lot cynicism, the feeling that things are getting worse and everyone hates us.”

He is happy to describe his show as stand-up story-telling – emphatically not a lecture.

“I want to create an honest dialogue. I just tell stories that I have heard along the way.”

Berlin, where his show is scheduled for Monday, is a particular treat for him.

“One of the reasons I am excited about coming to Germany is the vibrant Muslim arts culture here. It is very refreshing to see such a vibrant Muslim art scene.”

Aman Ali’s show in Berlin is on Monday at the Babylon Theatre, and in Magdeburg at the einewelt haus.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:20 April 12, 2012 by Jibzy
¦quot;There is this illusion that there is opposition to Muslims, and Muslims think that everyone hates us. But in reality most people don¦#39;t care,¦quot; he said.

As a Pakistani, I have to say that this needs to be told more to the people in Muslim countries than in Europe. There is a whole industry based on the assumption that Muslims are hated and that the white people want to take away Islam from us.

But i think what Ali said above is true. No one gives a damn about people who have nothing.

Also about the integration. People in Germany are relatively "cold". I dont mean it as a negative thing but just that they dont care about the person living next door. Most Muslim countries have a culture of involving themselves TOO much in other people's lives. Both of these are extremes and when they meet, there will be friction.
19:42 April 12, 2012 by Whipmanager
Chango: I want to say that the UK is pretty much as you say, but if it weren't for those guys that are exported, the skin heads and punkers, the UK would have less of an intimidation factor. Living in Rome (i have heard it said when in Rome, do as the Romans do) as the Romans, that means begging, stealing, pick pocketing, and changing governments every years...yeah, why not, right?
20:33 April 12, 2012 by wxman
Jibsy, that's probably the most succinct and easily understood explanation of the cultural clash I've ever read! Kudos to you.
05:28 April 13, 2012 by rfwilson
Jibsy..... Excellent explanation! Good on you!!!
11:22 April 13, 2012 by Kim Berlin
One thing that constantly worries me is that people who have a negative opinion of any religion are always considered to be racist. My understanding is that religion is separate from race. A person of any race can become a member of any religion - so why would a negative comment of any religion be racist?
14:12 April 14, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@Kim Berlin: well you certainly have the right to oppose or dislike any religion you want but if you extend the dislike to "all" people who consider themselves part of that religion, or in other words if you judge people based on what you think they hold in their harts and minds and not their actions then I would say you are racist even though no race in particular is the object of your bigotry.

@Jibzy: while I kind of agree with you (being my self of a Muslim background but not in a traditional sense) that average people are generally not interested in religion and much less in religion conflicts, policy makers do have a particular interest in the arab/islamic world. not because of religion but because of oil .... and because of their policy (at least partially) that many oppressive and non democratic regimes were able to survive for so long ,,,, and lets not forget that Alqaida was a CIA creation that went horribly wrong for the West AND for the people of the middle east.
Today's headlines
Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight
A Swiftair flight Photo: EPA/SWIFTAIR / HANDOUT BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight

UPDATE: Four Germans were among the 116 people onboard a Air Algérie flight which crashed over Mali on Thursday, according to the airline which operated flight number AH5017. READ  

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'
The hospital in Munich where the midwife worked. Photo: DPA

Munich midwife 'tried to kill pregnant mums'

A midwife in Munich stands accused of trying to murder four pregnant mums during childbirth using a blood-thinning drug. READ  

Top university switches master's to English
Munich's TU university wants to switch its master's programmes to English. Photo: DPA

Top university switches master's to English

UPDATE: One of Germany’s top universities wants to ditch German and switch almost all of its master’s programmes to English in the next six years, prompting fears that the academic standing of the German language is under serious threat. READ  

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer
Anja Niedringhaus (r) with colleague Kathy Gannon in 2013. Photo: DPA

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer

A former Afghan police commander has been sentenced to death in Kabul for the killing of German war reporter and photographer Anja Niedringhaus in April this year. READ  

ECB blackmailed after data stolen
The ECB building (right) in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

ECB blackmailed after data stolen

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt has received a blackmail letter after its public website was hacked and contact data stolen, the bank said on Thursday. READ  

Manhunt on for police officer's killer
Police searching the area on Thursday morning have released an e-fit of the suspect. Photo: DPA/Polizei Hessen

Manhunt on for police officer's killer

UPDATE: An off-duty police officer was shot dead in a street in western Germany on Wednesday night, prompting a large-scale manhunt for the culprit. READ  

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city
Photo: DPA

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city

Berlin is the fastest growing tourist destination among Europe’s major cities, with overnight stays in the capital up eight percent in 2013. It could soon topple Paris as Europe’s number two tourist city. READ  

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'
Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International airport board shows cancelled flights from Europe on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'

Politicians criticized German flight operators for "surrendering to terror" after they refused on Thursday to resume flights to Tel Aviv, despite a US decision to lift a two-day flight ban to the Israeli city. READ  

'Auschwitz criminal' dies ahead of US extradition
Photo: DPA

'Auschwitz criminal' dies ahead of US extradition

An 89-year-old American and alleged Nazi war criminal died just hours before a US court approved his extradition to Germany, his lawyer said late on Wednesday. READ  

Robots could take half of jobs in Germany
The employee of the future? Photo: DPA

Robots could take half of jobs in Germany

More than half of the jobs currently being done in Germany could be taken over by robots in the next 20 years, according to a think-tank. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,257
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd