The well-known Turkish-German lawyer and women’s rights activist Seyran Ateş opened the European Tolerance Talks 2021 in the Carinthian mountain village Fresach with a brilliant and emotional speech. She called for “absolute equality without changing roles and at eye level for all people: this goal should drive us all to finally achieve a fair society”. Unequal treatment always leads to discrimination and oppression. No other topic reinforces and consolidates parallel societies like the defense and rejection of equality, said Ateş. Equal rights are also the main reason why Islamists, Islamist heads of government and royal families defend themselves against so-called “Westernization” and fight against the introduction of democracy to this day. However, gender equality is anything else but a “Western invention”. All over the world, in all cultures and religions, women fight for the same cause – to be free and to be equal to men in all rights and duties as a citizen. Moral guards as opponents Ateş, who opposed any form of right-wing appropriation, made it clear right from the start who is responsible for the inequality of treatment in the world: morality guards – regardless of the culture – would perform every act or service from sunrise to sunset Divide what is allowed (helal) and what is not allowed (haram). When we talk about Europe and its cultures, we should be talking about how far tolerance can go when it comes up against radically diametrically opposed outdated morals. “How far can our tolerance be exhausted when those who think differently and those of different faiths not only cast doubts on the pillars of European values, but reject them entirely? With reference to one’s own other culture,” emphasized the trained imam. “We are talking about universal values that should be standard around the world in our modern times and in a democracy in the 21st century.” The full content of the speech. Photos on Fotodienst The speech on YouTube. Ateş is the initiator and co-founder of the liberal Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque in Berlin, which strives for a contemporary and gender-equitable interpretation of the Koran. She has received numerous international awards for her intercultural work, but was also confronted with death threats. She does not condemn religious or national traditions, but rather about education and equality, her aim is to end the discrimination and oppression of women. Her integration and socio-political commitment is not limited to tolerance and acceptance of those who think differently, it also demands an active stand against false values and outdated ideas.