• Germany's news in English

Muslims call for public service immigrant quota

The Local · 4 Nov 2010, 08:20

Published: 04 Nov 2010 08:20 GMT+01:00

Central Council of Muslims chairman Aiman Mazyek told Thursday’s edition of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that people with foreign names and immigration backgrounds were often passed over for public service jobs despite having the same or even better qualifications than native German candidates.

A quota would be an appropriate way to level the playing field, he said.

Germany’s police forces had already opened themselves up to immigrants, which had benefited the services – and could be improved with quotas – he said.

“Why should the experiences of the police not be applied elsewhere?” Mazyek asked.

His remarks followed a national “integration summit” held on Wednesday and attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel, immigrant community leaders – including Mazyek – and state and municipal officials.

The meeting, which was held to discuss how immigrants could be better integrated with mainstream German society, focused on recognition of foreign qualifications – currently seen as one of the best ways to improve immigrants’ job prospects and therefore their integration.

After the summit, Mazyek accused Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, of using immigration and integration as election weapons, rather than tackling them seriously.

He said integration would “not be improved by a multiplication of summits.”

The real work would have to happen in the field, and that including an opening up of the job market, public offices and political parties to immigrants.

Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) chairman Kenan Kolat also lavished the summit with faint praise.

Story continues below…

“Integration summits are all very well, but this to me was a preparation for the worst,” he said.

The summit had been less a dialogue than a series of monologues, he added.

DAPD/The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:17 November 4, 2010 by storymann
Quotas, can easily lead to qualified persons being rejected and marginally qualified persons accepted in order to fill racial quotas,not the best plan for hiring the most qualified persons in many cases ,albeit, not in every.
09:33 November 4, 2010 by dcgi
Ugh, what an old, terrible idea. Encouragement, not quota's.
10:00 November 4, 2010 by Kayak
Quota systems do not need to set enforced "targets to be met" but can instead set "targets to achieve". What a good idea!

Failing to achieve a quota¦#39;s target would highlight where improvements could be made. What a great way to monitor success or failure!

A shortfall in the achieving the quota¦#39;s target would require extra effort by all involved. What a great way to encourage change!
10:08 November 4, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
Stupid idea. Since when have quotas ever worked? All one ends up with is a dithering management not knowing whether the decision they make on hiring will backfire on them as the race card gets played again.

I've got kids - I've visited Realschule and Gymansium. I've seen the "racial" mix and it doesn't meet the quotas Herr Mazyek wants. Heck of a lot of kids from the former east, though. I wonder if he'd like that quota carried through?
11:11 November 4, 2010 by catjones

Quota worked in the USA. Most police/fire departments are integrated and this acceptance has carried over to the workplace. Not yet perfect but far better and faster than if quotas were not imposed. Over time, the quota requirements have been left to die as an unnecessary effort. Fears of "unqualified" or "dumbing down" are unsubstantiated. The implication is the current group is pure and others are genetically unfit..
12:26 November 4, 2010 by snowwolf
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:45 November 4, 2010 by delvek
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:00 November 4, 2010 by Kdud22
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:29 November 4, 2010 by maxbrando
Quotas have never worked in the U.S.A. Many minorities and females were hired who were not competent or qualified. They were hired because it was the law. It has created lasting bitterness and resentment by those denied and excluded because they lacked the "correct" sex or skin color.
15:06 November 4, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
To hell with your quotas. If you want to be public servants, earn it. Your race or background is no substitute for competence.
15:47 November 4, 2010 by catjones
@maxbrando Actually, you're wrong. Only a bigot would conclude that females and minorities were the sole incompetents. Using your 'logic', males and majorities are always qualified and competent.
16:59 November 4, 2010 by adipk
i think instead of quota system there must be open competition for jobs. whoever qualify will get a job.
17:38 November 4, 2010 by colombowayne
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:00 November 4, 2010 by Landmine
We did that in USA. It was called the Affirmative Action Program and we ended up with a bunch of incompetents working everywhere in the government.

Credentials alone should get you the job, not where you come from. You should go home if you don't like the rules in someone else's home turf.
20:17 November 4, 2010 by ebbelwoiguy
This is the kind of crap I was glad to leave behind in Canada. It depends solely on racial identity; that is someone from race A gets a job he becomes a kind of representative for all of race A. The latter are expected to feel thankful that one of "theirs" was hired. The only losers are the competent of ANY race.
21:39 November 4, 2010 by Deutschguy
Affirmative action programs did not fail, nor did they result in incompetent people being hired.

The main beneficiaries of AA programs in the US were white women, especially in management positions.

I would wager there are many more incompetents, or at least as many, in the private sector, especially in 'family run' business, where the ne'er do well son in law is given a job. LOL. Look at Wall Street or Enron, for example.

Affirmative action is simply this: If you have two equally qualified candidates for a position, but you don't have a workforce that reflects regional or state demographics, then the minority gets the position. Simple as that. It does not nor has it ever allowed "incompetent" personnel to be hired.

The only time you hear this baloney is when a white guy (a good 'ol boy) isn't hired and a minority is chosen instead. He claims he's more qualified to simply save face to friends and family.
21:56 November 4, 2010 by Landmine

You ought to run for politics. What you wrote is the biggest load of BS I have ever read. Do you work for the Government??????
22:15 November 4, 2010 by sonriete
Angie opened her big mouth last week and now we have these people saying this. Why would anyone be suprised??
23:30 November 4, 2010 by Aasvogel
Quotas are politically biased racial discrimination in favour of non-whites. If they only applied to "minorities", then equally-qualified applicants in South Africa would know the white guy was going to get the job. Right.
02:38 November 5, 2010 by brnskin2010
@landmine and aasvogel......Minorities (african americans) has rightfully earned everything what we have yet to receive through our ancestors from slavery. Where is our 40 acres and a mule. Every other culture has been allowed to come into the USA and prosper off the blood, sweat and lives of slaves. The very people that has made that possible are still denied what's rightfully theirs to this day. The riches that white america have has been wrongfully gained through lying, stealing and killing and enslaving. AA was made law because of bigots and racists like the both of you .
04:12 November 5, 2010 by sonriete
brnskin2010 made a very valid point regarding how AA has been used in the USA to compensate African Americans for the legacy of slavery.

I just don't see how that can compare to descendants of guest workers in Germany.

The workers came here of their own free will knowing how the society was set up. If anything todays minorities have it a lot better than their parents and grandparents did.

Their condition in Germany is also a lot better here than it would be back in Turkey or Morocco if their parents had never come here.

Some of the commenters here do not seem to understand how AA has worked in the USA. There are often white applicants passed over who have better qualifications. That is indisputable.
11:19 November 5, 2010 by storymann
"Simple as that. It does not nor has it ever allowed "incompetent" personnel to be hired." maybe that was the case in your world(or in a perfect world) but it certainly was not the case in mine.
12:00 November 5, 2010 by mymark2
Islam does not allow "integration" Islam teaches to subjugate, working from within to get into positions of authourity to enable the spreading of sharia law.

This is often done by gaining advantages by claiming 'vicitimisation", "unfair treatment" etc. which is what is happening here.

Islam teaches to lie (taqiyya) to obtain their aims, when not in a position of strength of numbers to get away with the violence taught in the quran.

A muslims duty is to serve islam over and in place of any countries laws unless that country is in muslim control/government.

Thus when islam talks about integretaion (which defies the very core of islams teachings is never actually seen in any western country muslims are in), it must be taken to mean, 'Infiltration" and Fith Column, because this is what they mean and are working towards.
14:13 November 5, 2010 by Deutschguy
Affirmative action has worked to achieve a better racial and gender balance in the workplace and in government. It rectified generations of otherwise qualified people being rejected for employment in favor of white men, who only got preference because they were white, looked and talked like the people doing the hiring, or would "fit in". That's normally defined as racism or sexism.

My point that the complaints against AA usually come from white guys who weren't chosen in favor a minority candidate is illustrated by storeyman's comment. He was rejected, but now wants to maintain that the person chosen is/was unqualified.

I have watched white managers (I'm white) who simply directed work away from minority employees because they "just didn't believe he/she was capable" of doing it. I have also watched groups of white employees exclude a minority employee from lunch groups or outside work meetups. It's an ingrained discomfort that is racist or sexist.

I agree that the history of minorities and women in the US is somewhat different from Turkish people in Germany. However, if Germany wants true integration and the ability to attract qualified employees from a global market, it will have to open school, university and work places specifically for minorities. It's also appalling that German companies have so few women in management.

Time to break the walls down, guys.
16:05 November 5, 2010 by vb74
I worked for the goverment in the U.S. and they have a quota system (affirmative action) and it is a nightmare. All it does is breed resintment, I so saw many completely incopetent people hired and promoted, it was ridiculous.
23:02 November 5, 2010 by sonriete
I'm sure everyone has been reading all of the recent polls on these topics. One quite unique aspect of German post-war democracy has been the willingness of the political and social elite to move forward with unpopular proposals. In this case, perhaps like the introduction of the euro, there is obviously ovverwhelming public opposition to anything like the quota system being proposed here. In the pat the government got away with it, something they called "fighting for a majority" As German democracy matures it is becoming clear the electorate is less and less patient with being over ruled. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
01:54 November 6, 2010 by MichaelMolenaar
Quotas, a terrible idea.
05:02 November 6, 2010 by Deutschguy
elitist is wrong, and has the perfect screen name. This is not correct: "The Muslim community is demanding that Germans follow Americans by accepting lowered standards in order to achieve ethnic parity in hiring."

No Muslim spokesperson has asked for "lower standards". All they asked is that qualified Muslim candidates for positions have reserved places to reflect their representation in the population. Qualified Muslims and minorities are routinely rejected for positions based on prejudices against their last names or skin color.

This is also NOT an "undisputed" fact: "Claiming that race quotas do not lower the qualifications of students and employees is factually incorrect, and there is no excuse for anyone maintaining such a blatant falsehood." Where is your evidence for this?

All this claiming that hiring minorities "lowers standards" is baloney. It may turn out to be true if those doing the hiring don't actively recruit qualified minorities and women for positions and just want start making ethnic identification the priority over qualifications, in other words, just hiring any minority to meet a quota. Not the way it's supposed to work and lazy hiring personnel besides.

If that happens, where an employer is just checking off boxes, rather than making good hiring decisions, then the company/management is improperly administering affirmative action.

And this, (where did you get this statistic?): "African-Americans on average tested quite a bit lower than the average white (around the 12th percentile of whites)." All that shows is that the test itself was culturally biased. Also, remember that their is a big difference in IQ and aptitude, which is not always tested. And the IQ measurements are themselves questionable and come with many qualifiers of the people who themselves design the tests.
07:15 November 6, 2010 by Aasvogel
Quotas don't work. The employer wants the best person for the job and quotas, by definition, impose artificial restrictions on that selection. The employer loses out. Quotas based on race, sex, age or size as as arbitrary a policy as man has ever devised. But quotas based on religious belief are far worse. Every baby is born atheist. Only childhood indoctrination or personal choice determines one's religion. To demand a job-seeking advantage based on ideology is not only bizarre it is perniciously elitist and dangerous. It must not be allowed to happen. Muslims are not born; they are made.
10:23 November 6, 2010 by storymann
Deutschguy, , Affirmative action creates a constitutional paradox. You do something unequal to create equality eventually. The constitution says we must treat all people equally, but affirmative action treats some people unequally, actually more equally. This creates constitutional tension.This tension is just one of the reasons why many people have opposed affirmative action.It is not just about color or sex.

Affirmative action is not the same thing as a quota system.Affirmative action

involves much more than minority hiring .It includes everything from enhanced recruitment of minorities to retention policies that encourage minority success in school and employment.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who was a recipient of AA,has said by protecting a class of people with legal language,you put a stigma on them. He feels the frustration that people think he is a member of the court just because he's black. Its not a panacea.
11:04 November 6, 2010 by tallady
@ Storymann Despite these drawbacks, affirmative action has merit. It is the primary legal tool to promote minorities who have been historically discriminated against, and there is a lot of evidence that minorities have been brought into the mainstream and accepted.
11:12 November 6, 2010 by Deutschguy
@aasvogel: "But quotas based on religious belief are far worse." This is probably true. The Muslim community probably needs to change the effort to one of ethnic minority status, rather than religion. What if you hired a Muslim and then they converted to Buddhism or Christianity?

I disagree that the employer "loses out". AA programs never require an employer to accept a less than qualified employee. Ever. If it happens, then recruitment efforts have not been adequately done or an ethnic/ sexual minority was hired simply to "check a box" on a form.

@storyman: Clarence Thomas' personal feelings, after he's benefited from AA, is hypocrisy and should not be used for judging the success of AA programs. (And, if the political truth be known, he is on the Supreme Ct. because he's black. A perfect example of where the best candidate(s) were NOT selected.)

"This creates constitutional tension." Yes, it does. So what. It's supposed to. So did decades of Jim Crow laws, sexism, and systemic discrimination create constitutional as well as social tension. Government and businesses with government have an interest in promoting equity, esp. economic opportunity, when there has been systemic discrimination. I do not want to go back to the time when minorities in employment, esp. management, were simply non-existent.

You guys need to drop this idea that hiring minorities equals lowering standards. It does not mean that and never has.
11:28 November 6, 2010 by storymann
Deutschguy,,thats your opinion,and if we do not like those I am sure you have others
12:18 November 6, 2010 by raandy
Jim Crow laws were State and local laws, not part of US constitutional law.
12:28 November 6, 2010 by Aasvogel

"The Muslim community probably needs to change the effort to one of ethnic minority status, rather than religion."


The Muslim community needs to integrate completely and become part of the wider "Deutsche community" i.e. adopt German values, seeking no special minority community status. By doing so, they will cancel the need for AA and quotas. They will simply be German.

Any attempt to seek advantage by dint of ethnic or religious status will fail.
18:09 November 6, 2010 by Deutschguy
@Aasvogel: Some that are rejected already have German values and perfect language skills. Their applications never make it to the interview stage, because they look Arab in their photos or their last name is Arab or Arab sounding.

So, it's not just a matter of adopting values or language skills. We're talking about people who were born here, as well as many who are third generation German.

Also, it's not "seeking advantage". It's leveling the playing field. They are Germans, but Muslim, and are given short shrift by companies, personnel offices, and managers. They couldn't be more integrated, unless you want them to change their genetics and religion.
19:07 November 6, 2010 by sonriete
If affirmative action could be applied as perfectly as Deutschguy proposes, I would be all for it.

This is an imprefect world, most of the other commenters describe AA as it is put in practice, not an ideal.

If the world could ever be that perfect there would be no need for AA in the first place.
20:44 November 6, 2010 by Aasvogel
@elitist and @sonriete

Well put, but I still disagree with the whole premise of Government action to allocate quotas based on race, religion, ethnicity, surnames etc. It is not the job of government to determine who should/should not get hired, be it for a private firm or a public service.

I work for a Japanese firm. I am a Caucasian atheist. Even if I were born and bred in Japan, there is no way I would seek to influence Japanese law in order to get advancement in my present job or gain points at a subsequent one. My race, sex and age are pre-determined. I have the choice to leave if I believe I would be better placed elsewhere in the world because of these unchangeable features. I choose not to, because it suits me.

@Deutschguy: Sir, I completely understand your point, and respectfully disagree with the entire concept of AA, which is unfair to the majority in any nation and no business of government.
21:32 November 6, 2010 by Deutschguy
@elitist: This is total hysteria: "The consequences for any society which introduces broad-based race/ minority quotas are gargantuan, and ignorance is extraordinarily dangerous."

So, elitist believes that MENSA members should always get the jobs, instead of people who can actually perform the work. And, it isn't "Muslims" vs. ethnic Germans, it's any non-German appearing person and/or with a non-German sounding name, that is routinely excluded from a list of finalists. High test scores do not determine aptitude or the ability to do a job.

@Aasvogel: Thank you for your diplomatic responses. We will have to agree to disagree. I would only ask you one more question: What about the rights of a minority who are citizens, have legitimate qualifications, but are excluded because they look different from the majority or their names are non-German. If the discrimination is systemic, there is nowhere for them to go.
12:38 November 7, 2010 by Englishted
I have worked under this .

A council in England had quotas for ethnic,women ,disabled.

Result was that as a white fit male any promotion was totaly out of reach,

it did not count that the person promoted could not do the job e.g. a young female plumer who could not carry a sink alone.

The Central Council of Muslims is by it's nature a racist group not elected by a free vote of everybody, so why sould we take note of them ?.
07:22 November 8, 2010 by semitro
hey Deutschguy,

if you truly believe large numbers of qualified people are being unfairly excluded due to prejudice about their ethnicity, religion, etc, i have the perfect solution:


if what you say is true, then you should quickly be able to build an organization that can easily out-compete your prejudiced rivals

you will become a billionaire, while paying above average wages to your superior staff

WIN-WIN! while demonstrating the validity of your viewpoint

so, why aren't you doing it?
21:50 November 8, 2010 by katatinka
Affirmative action! Tell me about it. Here in LA, I can't go get a cup of coffee with a friend without it turning into some kind of production due to the incompetence. A young actress in my building got a waitress job recently, and the boss told her they have a terrible time finding anyone fit to wait tables. Every time an illegal is told we cannot afford to pay for their college education they cry, "Racist!" I 'd never been called a racist in my life until I got to LA, and I am well tired now of being called a racist by racists. I lived in Britain for many years and always noticed the differences between the UK and the USA. Now that I'm back in the "USA" and surrounded by different sorts of foreigners, I see clearly how much alike the UK and USA are. We are of the same stripe after all.
19:29 November 17, 2010 by dbohnenk73
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

France church attacker had been arrested in Germany
Photo: DPA

A neighbour described the man as a "ticking time bomb".

Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd