First of all, how many Muslims live in Germany? We donâ€™t really know. The federal government says 3.1 to 3.4 million. This would mean about 4 percent of the total population. Similar estimates have been that until summer 2006 there were some 8 million people of immigrant background in Germany, of whom about 40% were Muslims. Yet the government admits that its figure is only an estimate, not based on verified statistics. Some observers, such as the Mideast expert Hans-Peter Raddatz, believe that the number is much higher.
A survey of the federal statistics authority in 2005, published June 2006, nearly doubled the 8 million number, to 15.3 million. The survey did not included religious affiliation. Thus the estimated absolute number of Muslims stayed the same. This implied halving the estimated percentage from 40 percent to 20 percent. This seems unrealistic, as immigration of Muslims never was lower than 40%, and their birthrate surely isnâ€™t lower than that of non-Muslim immigrants. Therefore, Raddatz uses the 40 percent to estimate an absolute number of about 6 million Muslims in Germany. Yet even this number, although based on logic, is also unverified. The only thing we definitely know about the number of Muslims in Germany is that we donâ€™t know it. Given the federal surveys lack of interest in the number of immigrant Muslims, analysis of the costs of Muslim immigration is very difficult.
How did this happen? In the 1950s the Federal Republic of Germany started to hire foreign workers, the so called Gastarbeiter or guest workers. First they came from Southern European countries such as Italy. From the early 1960s on this recruitment was expanded to Muslim countries, especially Turkey, and also to North African countries. Turkey faced a rapidly growing, poorly educated rural class, whom the Government there wanted to export. The majority of Turkish guest workers immigrated at a time when there was no more labour shortage in Germany. In fact, unemployment slowly increased.
Nevertheless, there is a growing myth circulating that Turks built up post-war Germany, but most Turks only came became Germanyâ€™s economy was already booming. The myths even imply that Turks brought development and culture to our country; for example, water toilets. Perhaps there is some classical Islamic mythologizing here, involving disdain for pre-or non-Islamic cultures or their technological achievements, and even to deny their very existence.
As the result of a massive German family reunion program â€” frequently directed into the German welfare system â€” a large Turkish community was rapidly established. In contrast to immigrants from Europe, its members withdrew into insular, parallel societies, especially in the big cities.
Additionally, there were refugees from troubled areas. While Turks make up the large majority of Muslims in Germany, substantial groups include Palestinians, often from Lebanon, and Muslims from former Yugoslavia. In summer 2006, the Federal Government announced, that some 3.000 German citizens with a Lebanese background were to be evacuated from Lebanon. The German embassy in Beirut only knew about 1.000 German citizens. Finally we accepted 6.000 refugees from Lebanon. The Government didnâ€™t want to be too particular about passport controls for humanitarian reasons. How many of them were Hezbollah members, of course, is unknown. Once again, we find that official estimates about how many Muslims are in our country, to say nothing of important details, cannot be relied upon.
The problems caused by Muslim immigrants in Germany are the same as elsewhere. Perhaps at least in the beginning they might have been milder, as immigrants from Turkey had experience in a secular political system, compared to immigrants from more traditional Islamic countries. On the other hand kemalistic Turks cling to a very distinct nationalism, so that it is frequently difficult to separate nationalist Turkish demands from Islamic ones.
A few months ago the German parliament passed a new immigration law. It was not at all effective, but it least implied that people immigrating on behalf of family reunion laws â€” which mostly means young imported wives â€” have to be at least 18 years old and to know some 200 words of German. Not only Turkish and Islamic organizations in Germany protested and urged the Federal President, not to sign the law, but even Ankara tried to intervene.
In Germany there are currently 159 mosques, identifiable with cupola and minaret, 184 are being built. Additionally, there are some 2.600 less official-looking Muslim prayer houses. Many of them were or are being built by DITIB, a subsidiary organization of the Turkish government authority for religion, Diyanet. Diayenet also sends imams, who most often donâ€™t speak German and are replaced on a regular basis. Thus Islamization in Germany is not only a question of an ideology but consists increasingly of an intervention of a foreign State â€” Turkey â€” in national sovereignty. During the world soccer championship in 2006, Germanyâ€™s biggest tabloid, BILD, published photos of young migrants waving a German flag with a Turkish white crescent in its red part. This was not criticized but praised as an example of successful integration. As in other countries, our media praises multiculturalism, whitewashes Islamist excesses, and demonizes critics of Islam as racists or at least blockheads.
Things used to be better. The first generation Muslim immigrants were more integrated than todayâ€™s third generation. Today, many Muslim children donâ€™t speak any German when they start school. Immigrant youth often speak a strikingly rudimentary, grammatically simplified and generally incorrect German language, one that has even caught the attention of linguists. Poorly educated native German youths in Muslim quarters increasingly adopt this language maybe to avoid being seen as outsiders. Speaking such a language of course minimizes their chance for work.
Early in 2006 teachers of the Berlin RÃ¼tli school wrote a desperate open letter to the school authority, admitting that they had given up hope to cope with the increasing violence, especially by Arab youths, of whom even the slightly less violent Turkish youths are afraid, let alone German and other non-Islamic kids. They also complained that the migrants donâ€™t show any interest in studying or attending school at all, and that parents just donâ€™t care or even insult teachers. Especially female teachers were afraid of their students and didnâ€™t enter classroom without a cellphone, in order to be able to call for help. This caused some public debate for a while, yet proposals tended to blame society alone for the problem. The â€œsolutionâ€ then was hire Islamic social workers in schools, since infidel social workers would not be respected by Muslim kids. Another â€œsolutionâ€ was to improve cooperation with imams.
Meanwhile, the police force in Germanyâ€™s biggest state, Nordrhein-Westfalen, is proceeding to reserve jobs for Muslims, whom they recruit in mosques. The establishment of exclusive Muslim police units is also debated, for better cooperation between the police and Muslim communities. When we define as an unreasonable demand that Muslims accept infidel police officers, we are starting to separate society into Islamic and non-Islamic enclaves.
But I think these are things that all of you know in your own countries. Therefore, I want to go into a subject which we thought was a German problem only, yet now seems more widespread, if not of equal intensity. This is the tactic of the promoters and defenders of Islamization, to conflate, what we might call, to deliberately mix up, critics of Islam and Nazis. You all surely know the accusations such as â€œracism,â€ â€œfascism, or â€œNazismâ€ usually are hurled at people who criticize Islam or even question the Islamization of Europe or the Eurabia concept. This is done by politicians, the media, clerics, academia and ordinary people, as well.
As Nazism is our own past, this is perhaps worse in Germany than elsewhere and surely it is more hurtful and intimidating. Sometimes this hysteria to see Nazis anywhere â€” except where their modern counterparts really are â€“ is just grotesque. But for many people â€” critics of Islams not excluded â€” this doesnâ€™t come only from outside but from inside as well, as it is rooted in modern Germans: a mixture of guilt, shame and a fear that one might possibly mutate into a Nazi without noticing it. This undermines the unity of the critics of Islam, causing us to distance ourselves from other people or groups, sometimes perhaps with good reason, yet probably most often, without.
Prospects, that a political party critical of Islamization and mass immigration of Muslims can be established in Germany or that the big conservative party, Chancellor Merkelâ€™s Christian Democrats, could develop in this direction, are poor. This is in part due to our national socialist past and the resulting fear of anything that could be considered xenophobic or nationalist or not sufficiently tolerant. It might as well result from a relatively widespread favorable opinion concerning the European Union. It also is conceivable that German fears of and dislike for any kind of nationalism influences the European Union.
In any case, there are some real neo-Nazis. There is a tiny political party, whose agenda is revisionist and decisively anti-Israeli and anti-American and therefore pro- Ahmadinejad. Yet it is opposed to immigration (not only Muslim) and Mosque-building. The leaders of this party would perhaps like to cooperate with Islamist organizations, and partly do so, but their ordinary members oppose it. Working with this party is out of the question for any reasonable and decent person. Its numbers and impact are both negligible, but the public is sensitive to its existence. Any of their positions which overlap with others undermines the others to the public.
The â€œNaziâ€ smears come partly from cynics who seek to silence any critic of their multicultural and pro-Islamic dogma, as well as from some who are sincere about it. Therefore, it makes sense to speak the truth, especially about the historical connections between Nazism and some Islamic authorities, as well as about their ideological similarity and compatibility, especially those concerning the hostility towards Israel and America - or put another way, Jews and devout Christians.
There are some 100.000 Jews living in Germany, most of them immigrants from the former Soviet Union and they are increasingly harassed, especially in public schools. This is horrific, appalling and sad. The harassments originate mainly from Islamic immigrants, but to be honest not only from them. Unfortunately, there is still some original anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism found within the native German population, though most often it is not open aggressive but rather, latent. People really do not want to be Nazis, but unfortunately many have strange ideas about what a Nazi is really like. Information about these dark times, as told by leftists, is especially peculiar. It masks the socialist parts, overestimating the conservative parts, and treats anti-Semitism simply as some kind of xenophobia where Jews just were random victims as they were available, and could easily be replaced today by any other group â€” such as Muslims. Those Muslims who do not deny the Holocaust â€” and most Turkish Muslims donâ€™t â€“ find this an easy-to-accept version of history. I think it is essential to never take for granted that the truth needs continuing affirmation. My co-authors and I on Politically Incorrect do so, regularly.
Many people feel a diffuse aversion towards some aspects of Islam, like the oppression of Muslim women, high crime rates, and dependence on welfare because of deliberate lack of education. There are a few prominent figures who speak out against Islamization, but none of them is a politician. There is former Federal President Roman Herzog, a former constitutional judge, who sharply criticized the antidemocratic European Union, but he was widely ignored. Most Germans support the European Union as a garantor of peace in Europe, and perhaps as a way to give up an embarrassing nationality, trading changing German for European. There is hardly any knowledge among Germans about its antidemocratic and Eurabian aspects, so they tend to consider information about it as some odd conspiracy theory. To sum it up, there is only very little resistance against Islamization in Germany.
Therefore, the work that all of you doing to speak the truth is crucial to saving our societies. So, I want to take this opportunity to thank Ms Bat Yeâ€™Or for her precious and great work on the subject. Unfortunately her important book Eurabia is still not available in German. I want to thank all the authors attending the conference for providing us with priceless information and knowledge, which is really helpful to Politically Incorrect and our efforts to inform honestly and to constitute some kind of counterbalance to the biased media.
(Speech at the CounterJihad Brussels 2007 Conference, October 18 - 19)