Germany holds inflamed debate on Islam and migration

October 18, 2010

merkel JUGermany’s inflamed public debate about Islam and integration risks serious overheating as politicians compete to make ever tougher statements criticizing Muslims immigrants they accuse of refusing to fit in here.

The escalating row, sparked off when a Bundesbank board member slammed Muslims as dim-witted welfare spongers, has mixed some social problems and some Muslim customs into a vision of Islam as a looming menace to German society.

(Photo: Chancellor Angela Merkel tells CDU meeting that multicultural policies have failed, in Potsdam, 16 Oct. 2010/Thomas Peter)

When President Christian Wulff tried to build bridges by saying Islam was now part of German society, critics retorted the country was based on “Judeo-Christian values” and should not accept any more immigrants from foreign cultures.

Amid the uproar, many politicians and media have lumped together about four million residents — Turks, Arabs, Afghans, converts and others, many with German citizenship — simply as Muslims and tarred them all with problems many do not have.

turkish shop berlinThe debate crackles with harsh terms like “Germanophobia” and “integration refusers” that signal growing frustration with the difficulty Germany has had with people it allowed into the country but did not welcome into the society.

(Photo: Turkish clothing sh0p in Berlin, 30 Oct.  2001/Fabrizio Bensch)

“The discourse about Muslims in Germany is gradually taking on hysterical forms,” wrote Andreas Petzold, editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Stern. “It’s very off-putting to watch this cascade of debates that, in the end, all focus on Islam.”

Read the full analysis here.

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8 comments

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[...] sense’ and hegemonic rhetoric internationally. To illustrate with some international examples: in Germany, France and Britain, leaders, such as Tony Blair, have emphasized, often with stronger words, [...]

[...] sense’ and hegemonic rhetoric internationally. To illustrate with some international examples: in Germany, France and Britain, leaders, such as Tony Blair, have emphasized, often with stronger words, [...]

[...] sounded like the Bavarian-born pontiff was making a veiled reference to a debate in Germany over the past year over Muslim integration in Germany and whether  Muslims wanted sharia here, an issue discussed [...]

Muslims would like to take over the world and rid it of those that don’t agree with their views, including Jews, minorities and homosexuals. Germans should know a thing or two about that!

Posted by Jitsujunkie | Report as abusive

I wish Obama had Merkel’s balls.

Posted by deansmith1010 | Report as abusive

Just make learning Turkish in German schools mandatory and everything is “honky-dory”!

Posted by BobMal | Report as abusive

Germany has the seed of insurgency already inside it, too late. Look at France, whole sections of Paris where the govt. has no control.

Posted by Factoidz | Report as abusive

Could it be the uproar in Germany, which according to this article ultimately circles back to Islam, be due to an accurate general perception? E.g. those of that faith are unwilling to integrate is based on fact.

And if this is the case, why would middle Eastern Muslims move to Germany? Surely it’s not for the handouts, as some maintain. Perhaps they are intent on creating a better life for themselves by emulating the Germans, e.g. by working harder and smarter.

The notion they are welfare sponges, and dim-witted is surely not the case.

Posted by jbeech | Report as abusive

Those that refuse to accept and integrate to the German way of life should not stay in Germany. Go back to the failed societies in the failed states where your precious customs are common practice.

Posted by DennisVictor223 | Report as abusive

Wow…wonder how this will all play out.
Might be interesting in 20-30 years if Muslim birth rates remain high and there is a call for sharia law.
History tends to show the future generations will assimilate more than the early ones.

Posted by LDishman | Report as abusive

No worries. In 50 years Germany won’t be a German country.

The plan is pretty clear: move into western countries, use their naivety to repopulate the native people into a minority. Anyone who denies this is kidding themselves.

Posted by FredSchwartz | Report as abusive