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Sarrazin under fire for anti-Muslim views

DDP/DPA/The Local · 26 Aug 2010, 18:25

Published: 26 Aug 2010 18:25 GMT+02:00

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More politicians joined in the chorus of outrage over Sarrazin’s comments regarding foreigners in a new book he has written and which are widely seen as inflammatory and xenophobic.

In an excerpt from his book published by daily Bild on Thursday, Sarrazin said there were "good grounds" for reservations against Muslims across Europe.

"There is no other religion with such a flowing transition to violence, dictatorship, and terrorism," he claimed, before making the equally provocative assertion that Muslim immigrants were "associated with taking advantage of social welfare state and criminality."

Along with members of the Greens and the Left party, politicians from the conservative Christian Democrats are now calling for him to give up his seat on the central bank’s board. Members of his own party said Sarrazin was “abusing” the SPD’s name.

“Those who pour blanket scorn on individual groups are playing a perfidious game with fears and prejudices,” said SPD General Secretary Andrea Nahles on Thursday. “That has nothing in common with the values and convictions of the SPD.”

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of the pro-business FDP party called Sarrazin’s theories “confused and unbearable.”

“Germany is a country of immigration and we can be proud of the liberal values and openness of our society,” she said.

The head of the Social Democrats in Berlin, Michael Müller, said it was possible the party would take new steps to kick the 65-year-old former Berlin’s finance senator out of the party. Sarrazin survived a previous attempt this year to revoke his party membership for previous controversial comments.

Sarrazin’s new book, called Deutschland schafft sich ab - Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, or “Abolishing Germany - How we’re putting our country in jeopardy,” is due to be released on Monday. In the book, Sarrazin warns that Germans could become “strangers in their own country” because of integration. He plans to begin a book tour beginning next week.

The Green party has said it wants to begin a parliamentary procedure in which the Bundesbank and the government recommend Sarrazin be dismissed from his central bank position, a motion which would then be accepted by Germany's president. The Left party has also called on Bundesbank directors to distance themselves from their controversial colleague.

“A top official who tries to agitate people is unacceptable,” said Left party head Gesine Lötzsch.

Story continues below…

This is not the first time Sarrazin has sparked controversy with his views. In September 2009 he made anti-immigrant remarks against Arabs and Turks in an interview with Lettre International magazine.

He claimed that "a great many Arabs and Turks in [Berlin], whose numbers have grown because of the wrong policies, have no productive function other than as fruit and vegetable grocers."

Though he apologised for those remarks, Sarrazin refused to step down from the Bundesbank's board despite pressure to do so. He was however symbolically punished when the institution stripped him of some responsibilities after the incident, which caused widespread outrage.

“With Thilo Sarrazin, it’s just a continual offence,” said Green party parliamentary group leader Renate Künast on Thursday.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:28 August 26, 2010 by ExpatUSA
Same old in Germany: every time someone dares to question their failed immigration policies, the "political correctness brigade" is out in full force to silence their critics.
20:32 August 26, 2010 by radagast
Sarrazin - Douchebag of the year.
22:28 August 26, 2010 by hOU
Is he a racist w/ a point?
22:41 August 26, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, what I find interesting is that if you speak one-on-one with most Germans, they would say that they prefer a conservative government. I agree, they don't want to return to the 1930's. However, it's certainly possible to be moral and conservative, all at the same time.

Why can't Western countries such as America and Germany see that a Moral-Consevative style of government is only one that can possible lead them to the stable, consistent and prosperous way of life they have always imagined?

Are there just a handfull of truly intelligent people in such nations?
22:50 August 26, 2010 by mhdamro
its not that Arabs and turks are stupid , the fact is that Germany takes only the Stupid ones, gives them asylum ... and when an educated and skilled Arab or turk comes to work .... they refuse to give him a permit ......... look at the US ... the average " joe " is so stupid to take any meaningful work there .. thats why they import all the skilled workers from indea, turkey, and the arab world .........

So........ he has some right .. but that because of Germany's own STUPID policies ... they filter out the Intelligent ... and only allow the stupid ones to enter the country .. AND LIVE ON THE SOCIAL WELFARE of others ................ change your POLICIES .............
23:55 August 26, 2010 by rfwilson
All the politically correct whining aside, can you name one comment he has stated that has been quoted in this article, which is not true? I thought not!
00:58 August 27, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Not all of them are fruit and veg sellers. I am sure there are intelligent and well qualified Arab and Turkish immigrants also. You cannot generalise such as he does. He can critise the immigration policies so long as he does it constructively and without generalising ethnic portions of the population in Germany. We could also say all Germans are leder hosen wearing, Weißen beer drinking, country bumpkins but this would also be far from the truth.
04:20 August 27, 2010 by saucymugwump
"Germany is a country of immigration"?

The USA, Canada, and Australia are countries of immigration. The main two ethnic groups in Germany are Germans and Turks. Germany is not remotely a "melting pot" as is the USA.

mhdamro wrote: look at the US ... the average " joe " is so stupid to take any meaningful work there

You are an ignoramus. American corporations import foreign workers because they can pay them far below market value. Mexicans are usually taken advantage of by corporations and people who want a virtual slave, e.g. people who employ domestic help. Americans won't tolerate that, but corporations took control of the USA many years ago.

10:07 August 27, 2010 by theMaggiSauce
Well I didn't found his comments agains muslims at all. The imigration system in Germany is really f.... up honestly as an immigrant with an engineering degree, who speaks german, english and spanish, I couldn't understand how in hell is easier for uneducated people to stay and live in the country.

During my time in university , I was working as a tutor for the foreign students and honestly you could see that the Ausländerbehorde was trying really hard to get rib of them. I know that this might change from city to city but it really shows the lack of some common policy.

So yess Sarazin is right, sadly ..... but right
10:14 August 27, 2010 by crunchy2k
I get from this discussion that if you don't have the mentality of working you loose. . There is a certain work ethic that built America called the German work ethic. The rest of the immigrates work for the those that have the German work ethic in the end. This man is just saying the truth...
10:48 August 27, 2010 by catjones
If you trim the sides of his mustache........
11:04 August 27, 2010 by michael4096
I don't get it, where are all these immigrant problems?

As an immigrant of 10 years living and working 50/50 with germans and other immigrants in one of the biggest concentrations of immigrants in the country I should have noticed these problems, but I haven't. I've lived and worked in france, britain and the us and noticed problems there, but not here.

If I think back to the local and other media articles, I can't think of many describing immigrant problems. There are many about populist politicians, neo-nazis and wannabe authors claiming all sorts of problems exist. But, not about the problems. There are articles about foreigners, including a poor girl killed in a court room, but whatever your views, they aren't immigration problems. I can think of articles about immigrant children being disproportionately represented at the bottom of education tables but these are more socio-economic problems rather that immigrant per se; and, we don't see the counter-balancing success stories at the top end.

Of course, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, maybe the local suppresses the stories. Occam would counter that the most probable reason is the simplest: there really is no immigrant problem.

But, then I guess sarrazin would not be able to sell his book.
11:12 August 27, 2010 by delvek
I am not sure what is wrong with a non-Islamic country such as Germany subscribing to the statement that there are "good grounds" to have reservations with Muslims.

Like it or not, have any of you read the newspaper any day in the last 10 years?

This is not racism (boy how this word has been distorted) it is logical caution to be concerned when surrounding oneself with potential danger.
11:23 August 27, 2010 by delvek
@ minga

In a world full of billions of people, for the sake of lifespan efficiency it wont be possible to individually address each person on the planet. If a specific population doesnt like how it is percieved by the vast majority of its audience it is THEIR responsibility to change their perception.

In this case it should start with Muslim people demanding an end to violence through retoric and action.
11:43 August 27, 2010 by JHagermann
He may have a point with respect to the immigration policies in Germany ... but obviously he has no clue of how to present his point.

Using terms like ¦quot;Arab¦quot; and ¦quot;Muslims¦quot; is totally stupid and racist ... too general and unfair!

He keeps referring to Turks and Arabs selling vegetables .. but he forgot to tell us how many Turks working in German factories ... etc.

He forgot to tells us how many Arabs and Muslims working as doctors and professors in various universities and clinks. He should go and visit some of the universities (e.g. university of Heidelberg)!!

Also he forgot to tell us what he thinks of the ¦quot;Christian¦quot; immigrants from Russia, Poland .. and other eastern European countries ... what is their contribution to the German economy ... of course other than killing an innocent Muslim girl in a court room!
11:48 August 27, 2010 by michael4096
@majorbummer - it is reasonable to ask for local qualifications for lawyers and accountants - you must be state qualified to appear in court as a lawyer in the us. As far as engineers are concerned, I've been employed as an engineer here three seperate times and my foreign university qualifications have never even been questioned - YMMV
12:02 August 27, 2010 by crunchy2k
michael4096. are you a modern smuggler? You have the movement between countries to be...Illegal firearms into Britain, hey dude? Big money and doesn't require your mouth.
12:34 August 27, 2010 by tallady
I am a foreigner here,(not Islamic) and like the country and find it an excellent place to raise a family.I would never consider a move to an Islamic country for any amount of earnings.I know that if I behaved as I have seen many of the Islamic residents behaving that this wold not be tolerated at all in those countries.I have to often seen this group throw their trash on the ground even if there is a trash can near by. Loud and rancous behavior and rudeness,I know... that not every person of this decent behaves that way but in truth 70% of bad behavior I observe out my window and on the street is from this group,so I see some truth in his remarks.
13:24 August 27, 2010 by RP_Lifer
@ Beuel

"I think one of the problems behind that is that germans don't think beeing german is such a great thing."

Really? Have you ever been to Germany before?
18:10 August 27, 2010 by tlwinslow
After Islam gave Europe including Germany living hell for over a thousand years before being decisively stopped in Vienna in 1683, which closed the gates to them until recently, all Euros should indeed by very afraid that Muslim immigration is a Trojan Horse, since they bring Muhammad and his Quran with them, and it orders them to conquer the world in the name of Allah by all means available then set up Sharia. Islam isn't a race, it's an ideology that wants all races to submit, hence the real question is does Europe want to submit or not. With Islam there's no return, once they gain control they virtually never lose it, and Sharia makes Muslims superior to non-Muslims in all ways, trampling all freedoms Westerners have fought for, as in Saudi Arabia or Iran today. In these trying times it's important to study Islam's horrible history and ideology for yourself outside the rose-tinted glasses of academia. Try the Historyscoper's free online Islam history course at http://go.to/islamhistory
18:36 August 27, 2010 by Ramachandra Wani
Islam & its terrorists are creating their network all over the world. In India, Mohmmedeans are considered as minorities. They are nowadays more than any other races. The indo Muslim population is greater than any nationwide Muslim population. Why an anti terrorist squad is not generated all over the world is my question. Islamic countries are pressure groups creating havoc, panic between the rest of the world. If today Hitler may be alive he might have killed Muslims instead of Jews. It is the situation like US Iraq war held in 2003. We have to curb terror & protect ourselves from them. The religion Islam teaches other & terrorists fight for another. Only Germany can save the rest of world from mighy & powerful Islam. Pardon the author if he made some mistakes pertaining to Islam.
19:37 August 27, 2010 by BR549
Sarrazin found his niche...spout off controversial remarks and stir public outrage (pro and con) to sell a book. This whole thing is about lining his pockets.

Almost every comment posted by readers here, for or against Sarrazin, are making generalised statements that sooner or later they will retract.

For example, Some "native German" may have a child saved by a Turkish Doctor or Some Neo Nazi may help an old Jewish lady against the street...LOL!

Sorry, bad joke....

Point is, whether Sarrazin is getting good or bad publicity, all of it is just putting money in his account and he is probably laughing inside at us all.
20:19 August 27, 2010 by BR549
@ onemark -

You forgot they are also the BASTARDS that make a DAMN GOOD DOENER! ;-)
02:41 August 28, 2010 by truenorth
Boy, has this guy hit the nail on the head! Lefties are going berzerk because the silent majority is getting fed up with the political correct nonsense and will finally fight the BS in the federal, state and particularly municipal levels.. The mozzies are NOT immigrants. They are COLONISTS. They are colonizing the west exploiting our open arms, our welfare, our goodwill all the while plotting against us. Sharia, anyone? It will be rammed through because so many people are afraid of upsetting their sensitivities. Wake up, people. If they wish to assimilate, great. If not, toss them. The same argument as the World Trade Centre Mosque!!! Beware the Caliphate, 12th Imam, and Mahdi ... all the same thing. Man the barricades like they did the Gates of Vienna in 1683!
03:03 August 28, 2010 by el3ktro
Interesting how not a single politician or newspaper actually try to show that his arguments are wrong, all of them just attack him as a person. Why is that?

Sarrazin is right with what he says. Period. Just a few numbers from the Ministerium für Bildung unf Forschung:

Each year, around 40% of all young people in Germany get an 'Abitur' degree which qualifies for university.

Among the Turkish and Arab youth, only around 14% get an Abitur degree.

Among the Asian (mainly Vietnamese) youth in Germany, around 70% (!!) get an Abitur degree.

Isn't that strange? Is this really because Germans are racist towards Turks and Arabs, or is it more likely that Asians are just more willing to achieve a proper education?

Also, it is funny that the Central Council of the Jews in Germany accuses Sarrazin of being racist, while he said: "The Muslims are 'conquering' Germany just as they conquered the Kosovo decades ago - with a much higher birth rate. I wouldn't mind at all if Jews would 'conquer' Germany like that today, because they are a intelligent and intellectual people."

Interestingly, in the first third of the 20th century, 0.7% of the Germans where Jewish, and those 0.7% accounted for ONE FOURTH of all German Nobel prizes!!
09:08 August 28, 2010 by conniemarks
I am a British woman visiting Berlin and have read this discussion with great interest. I spent over 30 years in Germany between 1960 - 1993 and experienced first-hand the impossibility of getting my university qualifications recognized for a job within the German establishment. Much has changed since I left Germany, partly because Germans have travelled widely now and have experienced for themselves that a non-German education often trumps the standards of their own education system. Nowadays thousands of German children are sent to Britain and the US for their education, something unheard of when I first arrived in Germany.

Germany has made huge strides though in the last fifty years to develop into a modern democracy, but the bloodline issue still lurks. German intermarriage with immigrants is very low compared with Britain, which prides itself on its diversity and tolerance. However, this tolerance is being stretched to the limit by a significant minrity of Muslims in the UK who are refusing to integrate while at the same time enjoying all the benefits for which Britain is justly proud. such as free education and healthcare, freedom and tolerance.

The British too are questioning why we allow the burka and the niqab, which for us are symbols of oppression of women, while France and other countries are banning the wearing of it in public. The British will never ban the burka, but Muslims who wear it are exploiting British tolerance. This leads to tensions in race relations.

I am an elderly person who was a child in the War. In my lifetime I have seen the Germans change. Sarazzin would not have created such a stir in Nazi Germany, but Germany and the Germans have moved on to join the free world and share its values.. He may express underlying fears about the future of Germany, but no modern German politician is going to start interning Muslims for being Muslim, or sending them to gas chambers.

I am an optimist. I believe that the tolerance learnt by Germans from their historical mistakes will ensure a good future for Germany, but we have to accept that all European countries of immigration are changing radically because of the unchecked avalanche of peoples, intelligent and unintelligent, flowing into them. Indigenous English people in London are now in the minority. Of the 32 London boroughs only one, the London Borough of Richmond, is still over 90% "white British", yet London is a vibrant, exciting city packed with immigrants from all over the globe. This period of transition which makes Gemans and the indigenous British feel so uncomfortable will pass, and both our countries will ultimately been enriched by the new blood.

We just have to accept that the old world and its racial stability is gone for ever.
10:06 August 28, 2010 by whatzup
Thanks for your post conniemarks and your opinion on the state and future of race relations in both England and Germany. The question of course is not whether wholesale immigration is taking place but whether it benefits the host countries. I would point out that whether there is a net benefit to the destination countries is a debate that is very much open when one considers whether these inferior imported cultures might so cripple the societies they infest that the parasites may actually kill the hosts or cause them such great harm as to change them for the worst for a very long time.

In play are not only the considerations you mention but those of diminishing water and space resources and the increasing unavailability of social services as Britain and Germany assume responsibility for an increasing number of the world's poor. As those of us know who have been around long enough the quality of life is disappearing in both countries and virtually unrestricted immigration to them is not merely coincidental. In my view the importation of cheap labor will be the ruination of western civilization.
23:47 August 28, 2010 by Kennneth Ingle
Although I do not agree with everything Sarazzin says, he does have a point. Those of us who have come to Germany are often given a bad name, because of some others who just want to live from social-service benefits.

It is not the first time that a person, who tries to explain what is really going wrong in Germany, has been pushed into the Neo-Nazi or racist category.

In my opinion, the Communist Antifa is a much greater danger, to the German public, than any of these rather conservative people will ever be.
03:44 August 29, 2010 by Jerr-Berlin
What's the problem? He's not politically correct?

80% of what he said is true...

The Germans will forever have to play the "get out of jail free-holocaust card...

if the guy is wrong...show it...prove it eh...

I've worked and lived in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Yemen for years...for some reason, they seem to want to emigrate to the "West"...wonder why that is the case...hm...I've met some great people there... but they seem to want to leave those wonderful Islamic societies for some reason...then again, it may have something to do with the British Raj, French Colonialism in the Magreb ...Standard Oil discovering oil in Saudi Arabia in the '20's...the CIA overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953. etc etc...but let's not history get in the way eh...
12:50 August 29, 2010 by Kennneth Ingle
Deutschland is being accused by some writers of being Neo-Nazi. Nothing could be further from the truth. They still show shame for allowing the son of Alois Schicklgrüber (an Austrian with Jewish ancestors), to become a German National and later leader of the NSDAP. No other country ­ to my knowledge ­ has ever run down its own citizens in the way that Germany does.

Has nobody noticed, that anybody showing reasonable doubt about anything negative which has been said about the Holocaust, is more likely to be put in Jail, than somebody who commits a violent criminal act.

We might perhaps consider to judge how we think about people, by what they do or say, rather than for who they are.

There are without a doubt millions of hardworking, honest foreigners who are a gain for this country. They are the ones who stand to lose their reputation because there are also many who are neither hardworking or honest.

We should be thankful that Sarrazin has raised this point. When the dust has laid, there is a great chance that his views will benefit us all.

My personal opinion is that the Tea Party, in the USA, much nearer the Nazi ideology is than anything Germany currently offers.
16:31 August 29, 2010 by greattoucan
There are hidden agendas on both sides of this controversy which are not being addressed. The rightists wish to head back in the direction of Naziism while the leftists want to destroy nationalism. Neither has much chance of succeeding.

One has to understand that very few immigrants emmigrate with much money; those who do usually ask for asylum, but they are a very small part of the asylum seeker group. Having no money means having no land or other means of production, so the only avenue open to most immigrants is the service sector, and low paid at that, as they do not have the language skills needed to participate in the professional sector or management class.

It takes many generations, if ever, for an immigrant to rise above this level in nations which have no available free land and an already fully developed economy, like Germany. Capital accumulation does not happen rapidly, even for poor Germans. One cannot blame immigrants from poor countries for looking for a better life in a richer land, but this better life will not be even a middle class life by the standards of the developed host country, so immigrants tend to get stuck in a lower class economic stratum in the new country from which is all but impossible to escape. They come with ideas of becoming rich because they see the developed nations have wealthier lifestyles, and the immigrant's lifestyle is better than it was in the old poor country, but it is dissapointingly poor by the new country's standards.

Muslims are having trouble all over Europe. They are cultural and religious colonizers, who refuse to integrate culturally or religiously. Even so, as unwelcome as they are here, they are far more welcomed here than European Christians are in Muslim countries. This needs to become comitous, or the same for both areas. When Christians see Muslims killing native-born Christians and burning Christian churches in Muslim lands, there is little welcome to be expected from them to the burners and murderers who come here.
22:39 August 30, 2010 by Kennneth Ingle
I agree with john g. that nobody needs to be ashamed of their nationality, or did somebody on this line perhaps choose the land in which they were born?

The problem here is also not Sarrazin's book. It is that the current social environment leads to someone feeling he needs to write about such things. The political parties are showing a complete lack of democratic thinking, when they always try to close the mouths of those with a different opinion.
09:53 September 1, 2010 by Kennneth Ingle
According to public some opinion polls, 90% of ethnic Germans agree with Sarrazin. It would seem that the political parties have not only forgotten what democracy is, but also have no contact with their own electorate.
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