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Sarrazin sparks calls for new integration debate

DDP/The Local · 3 Sep 2010, 08:17

Published: 03 Sep 2010 08:17 GMT+02:00

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Politicians on both sides of the fence said the integration of Germany’s Muslim communities urgently needed to be addressed.

The chairman of the interior committee of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Bosbach of Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called for a “serious discussion to designate the progress and the problems of integration, without taboos.”

Though there were a million integration success stories, there were “also too many cases of refusal to integrate,” he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

The SPD’s interior spokesman, Dieter Wiefelspütz, said integration was “the mega-issue of the next year” and needed to be pushed forward with greater effort.

“In particular, the federal Interior Ministry is too passive,” he told the same paper. It must finally put integration at the top of its agenda.”

President Wulff himself also weighed into the debate. He defended the vast majority of immigrants against Sarrazin’s charge that they were not interested in integrating into mainstream German society, but acknowledged there was pressing work to be done.

“The majority of newly arriving citizens participate successfully in integration courses,” he told the Mainz Allgemeine Zeitung.

But he added: “Failed efforts in integration must be made up for,” he said. And while that was partly the role of the government, “clear demands have to be expressed to migrants,” he said.

While virtually all commentators in Germany, on the right and left, have slammed Sarrazin’s comments as inflammatory and unproductive, it appears the controversy he has caused could spark a fresh debate on integration.

Many voices have also acknowledged there are pressing issues to deal with regarding the large Turkish and Arab communities that have higher crime rates, higher unemployment and less success in education.

Sarrazin has claimed, among other things, that Muslim communities don’t want to integrate with mainstream Germany, that they are making the country “dumber” and that ethnic groups are distinguished by particular genes – for example that “all Jews share a certain gene.”

Story continues below…

Following the Bundesbank board’s announcement yesterday that it had unanimously agreed to recommend Sarrazin’s sacking from the board, it is now up to President Wulff to formally dismiss him. Wulff has publicly expressed his dismay over Sarrazin’s remarks and it is widely anticipated that Sarrazin’s formal sacking is now just a matter of time.

Berlin’s Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, meanwhile, said he regretted that Sarrazin had “got so carried away” with his theories about race and immigration.

He also stressed that Sarrazin’s views were not the views of the SPD. Sarrazin had “received warnings” from the party as well as the Bundesbank.

The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf branch of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) to which Sarrazin belongs formally began proceedings this week to expel the former Berlin Finance Minister.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 September 3, 2010 by Kayak
This is exactly what you'd expect from Google Inc. First they release Street View opt-out details during the summer holidays and now they distract the public's attention by denigrating a concerned citizen.

Don't you see it people?

When will American corporations ever learn to be sensitive to the concerns of Germans?

10:10 September 3, 2010 by JHagermann
Okay ... so let¦#39;s start from the top ... DEFINE INTEGRATION. Without a clear definition of integration ... you people are wasting your time.

Does integration means

- Muslim women should remove their head scarf and wear bikinis

- Muslims should drink beer and eat pork

- Muslim girls should lose their virginity by the age 16 to German boys

What the F&%K is integration?

Complaining that Turkish and Arab communities have less success in education ... well of course ... because schools in Germany depend on the parent to do much of the education ... so if the parents are not very educated (the case for most of Turkish and Arab communities) ... well how do you think the children will learn?

Regarding the higher crime rates ... I would like to see the statistics please .. II find Polish, Russian, and other migrant from eastern Europe and some Asian as well ... far more violent! And let us not forget the crimes committed by German Neo Nazi groups and followers!

higher unemployment ... be honest people ... let¦#39;s see you have a business and wants to heir an employee .. you have two applicants with the same qualification ... one named Mohammed and the other named John ... who are you going to heir !!!

Some people complaining that Turkish and Arab migrant don¦#39;t speak (or don¦#39;t want to learn) German ... this is a total lie. I have never met a young Turkish (in their 30s and younger) who don¦#39;t speak German. In contrast most Americas for example, don¦#39;t speak German ... OR it¦#39;s okay for the Americans, Canadians, British, ... to speak to us in English ... but when we meet a Turkish (or an Arab) person who don¦#39;t speak German we start to complain!!!!

I have many Turkish and Arab friends .. I found them to be very warm, friendly, compassionate, honest people ... yes there is (and always will be) a small percentage of people who will not fit within our society and will take advantage of our immigration system (like any other group) ... but this is very small percentage and we should never generalize this issue!

Last point and an important one ... Islam is not a race ... it¦#39;s a religion! There are thousands of real German who are Muslims ... what should we do here ;-)
10:51 September 3, 2010 by Pile
The Turk guy (probably a turkish guy) in picture has a German women with him and he is happy, pictured as well integrated.

German women dont come to me, how should i integrate?

Herr. Sarrazin, können Sie bitte mir helfen velleicht in eine deutsche frau zu finden?
10:59 September 3, 2010 by michael4096
The SPD¦#39;s interior spokesman, Dieter Wiefelspütz, said integration was ¦quot;the mega-issue of the next year¦quot; and needed to be pushed for…

What makes it more important than the economy, better education practices, reform of the military, germany's ability to handle more extreme weather patterns, a ever older society and a tonne of other things that are causing real pain? Integration isn't causing problems - it's a non-issue addressed by those who haven't any real ideas for addressing real problems.
11:46 September 3, 2010 by slawek
Give the people proper education so that they can get into proper jobs and the whole integration discussion is obsolete. They can't escape integration.

But that would mean to open up German schools and universities to lifelong learning and adult education, which is the complete opposite of todays idealized youth centric model.

I was completely certain a school friend of mine would become a surgeon one day, because of his determination and marks. Years after we meet and he is telling me, he has pursued a career in the "gastronomy" sector. I didn't even have to guess, it means he owns a kebab business. I don't know if he was muslim, since it never mattered to me, but his parents were Turkish.

Sarazzin's book has now 5 out of 5 stars and 177 reviews on amazon.de, btw.
14:42 September 3, 2010 by Rhett
Hurrah for Sarrazin! Germans made Germany what it was and is - one of the most advanced countries in the world. To hell with integration. Let the immigrants worry about integretation. Let them adapt to German standards or leave. Only the cowardly cleave to "diversity" as if it were a commandment from God. The advocacy of diversity is a propaganda weapon used by those who would destroy Germany and the rest of Western Civilization. We face it everyday in the United States and are losing our country to the rabble, both domestic and imported.
15:36 September 3, 2010 by Kennneth Ingle
I would not agree with Rhett when he writes "To hell with integration" but certainly consider it the duty of immigrants, who wish to stay here, to do their bit for true integration. The problem is, that many are not willing to accept German culture or western civilization. They want, and some times even demand that Germany be altered to suit their way of life.

This is not however just a German problem. Just think of the areas in England for example, where British born citizens, with white skins, risk their lives if they enter certain streets.

The hate filled anti-German statements, coming from people such as Michel Friedman, are in my opinion worse than anything Sarrazin has said. Nobody seems to care however when he starts to stir up trouble.
16:13 September 3, 2010 by tallady
The article just about speaks for itself, basically consisting of denunciation after denunciation from all the bright and good that anyone could dare to take notice of different ethnic groups and their differential impact on a nation. The bit about a "Jewish gene" - singular - is of course mistaken, but on the right track. The fuzzy set that comprises the people we know as Jews, a mixture of ethnicity and religion, confuses people, but nevertheless to say that there's no such thing as Jewish ethnicity is absurd.

What all the denouncers want is to keep importing "diversity" into Germany without anyone noticing. The latest round directed at Sarrazin is obviously meant to warn anyone else who wants Germany to remain German to keep their heads down, or they'll mete out the same treatment. Sarrazin is getting Watsoned.
16:35 September 3, 2010 by MichaelMolenaar
Any leader of Germany that claims themselves to be a German is a traitor if they continue to advocate the death and displacement of German society at the hand of foreigners that do not share the religion, ideals, or basic notions of civilization that define Germany.

The madness must end.
18:07 September 3, 2010 by BETOBETO
I don't know what Mr Sarrazin thinks about integration, but according to what I do know, a real integration of the non-European minorities in Germany will not be as smooth and easy as in USA. Unfortunately, and it's a fact, the less educated and more unemployed minority in Germany lies in the Muslim section, and that's not a bias.


Florida USA
23:01 September 3, 2010 by cobalisk
Boy this thread really brings out the flies...

Immigration and immigration are always important issues.

Germany was considering a points system ( like Canada) before the recession. They should revisit the system as it has proven quite effective in other countries Yes, they should keep the asylum options open but also do more to attract and enable skilled professional labor to move here. A point system may provide a useful tool toward that end.
06:30 September 4, 2010 by ColoSlim
Why not just enjoy the differences minorities have? People love Turkey because it is different and exotic and exciting. Why be the same? Assumptions of superiority rule the dialog here.
07:28 September 4, 2010 by padu
It seems narrow-minded, ungrateful and laughable Germans all failed to realize that half of their national soccer team to World Cup are made of foreign immigrants and that Turkish community is a direct result of WWII.
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