Percy MacLean can call on 250 years of experience to weigh up how immigrants integrate in Germany. Since his Scottish ancestor arrived in 1753, the family has produced mayors, members of parliament and even a Nazi.
Germany’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.
(Photo: Khadija Mosque in Berlin October 16, 2008/Fabrizio Bensch)
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germans had for too long failed to grasp how immigration was changing their country and would have to get used to the sight of more mosques in their cities.
(Photo: Protestsers call Sarrazin a racist before his public reading in Potsdam, September 9, 2010/Fabrizio Bensch)
A German central bank board member who caused outrage with remarks about Muslim immigrants and Jews resigned on Thursday after coming under pressure from political leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Bundesbank said Thilo Sarrazin, 65, who accused Turks and Arabs of exploiting the welfare state, refusing to integrate and lowering the average intelligence, would leave his post at the end of the month.
(Photo: Thilo Sarrazin at presentation of his book in Berlin, August 30, 2010/Fabrizio Bensch)
(Photo: Thilo Sarrazin at the presentation of his book in Berlin, August 30, 2010/Fabrizio Bensch)
Germany’s Jewish community has urged the central bank to sack a board member who polarised the nation by making disparaging comments about Muslim immigrants and asserting that Jews have a particular genetic makeup.
As Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, some Protestants feel the crucial role their church played in shepharding the democracy movement to success is quietly being overlooked. This seems strange to someone like myself who reported on those events back then. Any reporter in Berlin in the tense weeks before Nov. 9, 1989 knew the Protestant (mostly Lutheran) churches sheltered dissidents and was working for reform. But the idea that this was fading from public view came up during my recent visit to Leipzig when, at an organ recital in Johann Sebastian Bach‘s St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche), the pastor mentioned the point in a sermon.