“Do you respect women”, recently one of my female colleagues at Bosch Siemens in Traunreut asked me. “Why are you asking me this? Do I not pay you the same respect than men”, I replied confused about her question. “Well indeed you do respect me. But you know only few days ago we had an intern from Afghanistan and he really could not take it when his supervisor is a female and tells him what to do. In fact he had such a big problem with it that in the end he quit his job and left”, she explained. “You seem different than other Afghans”, she added. “I do not know this is who I am. Respecting women is normal for me. Even my religion commands respect for women in general and for my mother in particular”, I tried to reason with her.
Very vividly I remember all my grandfather’s wisdom. From a very early age onward he taught me that women are like flower. If you take good care of them and treat them well they will be happy and in turn do anything for you. Like flowers if you do not water them will get spoiled, so are women suffering substantially if they are mistreated by men. “You have to hit women with flowers, chocolate, gifts and invitations, not with hands”, my grandfather told me time and again. His influence on my approaches towards life and thinking stayed with me until this very day. However, his thinking and teachings by no means are a given in my country just like is not the case elsewhere.
In late November a 17 year old Afghan refugee had raped and brutally murdered a young woman named Maria. At the beginning of my being in Germany it had irritated me increasingly that as a refugee time and again I have been subject to classes about the code of conduct between men and women in Germany or what is allowed and what is not concerning women. “In the summer women wear short or little clothes, but that is not an invitation for you to harass them”, we were taught in one of the many lectures. To be frank with you it increasingly hurt me that I had to attend such lectures repeatedly. Why do all Europeans consider Afghans, Syrians or other refugees as wild animals that do not know how to behave themselves I had asked myself at the time. To commit sexual offenses or mistreatment of women has nothing to do with culture but in fact is a matter of the personality of a man. But who knows perhaps some refugees indeed are in need of an explanation about how to conduct themselves towards women in Europe as the rape and murderer of Maria shows.
I cannot put in words how sorry I am about what happened to Maria and her family. I am aware that my words most likely mean nothing to hear family. And yet it is important for me to let them know that I condemn this heinous crime as much as most Germans do. Not all Afghans are like this. I am certain the gathering of Afghans in Freiburg mourning the tragic incidents was genuine by all means.
In my humble opinion refugees that commit crimes should be deported immediately. Last autumn Germans have greeted us with flowers and a warm welcome after we had reached protection and safety in Germany after months of escape and suffering. They opened there doors, provided us with shelter and many of them have assisted us to the best of their ability without asking for anything in return. I cannot comprehend how the 17-year old Afghan could respond to such kindness with such cruel behavior. Whoever seeks protection and safety in another country and violates the physical integrity of another person there does not deserve protection in my eyes regardless of what he or she would be faced with in their own country. Criminal refugees do not only make life difficult for Germany, but essentially destroy the peace and trust between refugees and their German/European host communities. Such people should be sent back without further debates!