Thilo Sarrazin has been excoriated for writing a book that is critical of Muslim immigration, Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany does away with itself). The author has been condemned by top political leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, for saying unpleasant things.
However, many Germans agree that Sarrazin is discussing issues too long covered up by elites in thrall to multicultural beliefs. The people see their communities changed by Muslim diversity, and they dont like it.
German book channels publics immigrant angst, AP, September 15, 2010
Thilo Sarrazin was a board member of Germanys august central bank until he wrote a book claiming German society was being made dumber by Muslim immigrants. Its a runaway best-seller, but has cost him his job. [. . .]
But supporters say Sarrazins criticisms are simply meant to make a point about what is expected of newcomers to Germany.
We are not far-right extremists, we just want the people who come here to contribute something, to be polite and learn the language. Nothing more, said Mike Temme, a doctor.
Temme was among a lively crowd of several hundred in Berlin who paid to hear Sarrazin debate his book, Germany Abolishes Itself. Support for the ex-banker was palpable as the crowd applauded his defense of his theories and drowned out any participants who questioned Sarrazins use of genetic theory or accused him of manipulating data.
Because weve started and lost two world wars, nobody dares to say it. But now somebody has spoken the truth and everybody agrees, Temme said.
The truth, according to Sarrazin, is that Germans have accepted as inevitable that Germany will be smaller and dumber.
The three immigrant groups with the largest educational deficit and the highest social welfare costs, are also those with the highest rate of reproduction, Sarrazin writes, citing Turks, immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and from the Middle East. [. . .]
Hardening attitudes toward Muslims are felt in many European countries. But these are generally spearheaded by the far-right, whereas Sarrazin, 65, belongs to the traditional, center-left Social Democratic Party, which is moving to expel him. Some heavyweights of Germanys left-leaning establishment are leaping to Sarrazins defense, arguing that he is being unjustly pilloried for saying what a silent majority has long felt.
Matthias Matussek, a columnist with the weekly Der Spiegel, praised Sarrazin for challenging the politically correct branch of Germanys consensus-based society and for forcing politicians to listen to the publics demands for Muslims to embrace German ways.
They are sick of being cursed or laughed at when they offer assistance with integration. And they are tired about reading about Islamist associations that have one degree of separation from terrorism, of honor killings, of death threats against cartoonists and filmmakers, Matussek wrote in his blog for Der Spiegels online edition.
The heated debate has left leaders struggling for a response.
The video below is a composite of European news reports about the Sarrazin book.