In the run-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, German-Turkish writer Seyran Ates discusses her new book, which describes the necessity of a sexual revolution in the Islamic world, the recent integration debate in Germany and the arrogance of German women's rights activists.
SPIEGEL: Ms. Ates, in your controversial new book, you call for a sexual revolution in the Islamic world.
Ates: You don't know how necessary that is.
SPIEGEL: But what exactly do you mean by a sexual revolution?
Ates: My use of the term is based on Wilhelm Reich and his book about the sexual revolution. I believe that the Islamic world must grapple with the consequences of rigid sexual morals, not unlike the way, as he describes, the Soviet Union dealt with its own circumstances. It must pursue the path of change, just as any totalitarian system must do when it wants to become a democratic society. Part of the process is that sexuality has to be recognized as something that every individual determines for himself or herself. Institutions like moral and religious police must be abolished. People who have sex before marriage cannot be punished or ostracized by society. Parents must be confronted with the question of why they do not allow their 16-year-old daughter to have a boyfriend, while their sons can brag about how many girlfriends they have. Sex education must be taught in the classroom. Parents shouldn't have to do it, but they should accept it when the schools do it. Young and old people who are already living a self-determined sexuality in the Islamic world have to be more confident and make their voices heard.