The Ethnic Turks of Germany, Or “We Didn’t Expect That”

by Hugh Fitzgerald (July 2016)

The Turks were the first large group of Muslims to move into Western Europe, beginning in the early 1960s, when Turkish men were brought to Germany as Gastarbeiter (“Guest Workers”) at the time of Germany’s boom or “economic miracle.” Later, the Germans decided that because of social problems with those guest workers (single males behaving badly), they should be allowed to bring with them their wives and children, in the expectation that this would calm the Turkish males down. But now those Gastarbeiter who had originally been expected to work for some years and then return to Turkey, instead were allowed, accompanied by their families, to become permanent residents, or even, in many cases, citizens. There are now more than three million ethnic Turks in Germany, and another two million Muslims of non-Turkish origin.

The results of two recent studies of Turks in Germany (the first, by the University of Münster, is “Integration and Religion From the Viewpoint of the Turkish Germans in Germany”; the second is  “German-Turkish Life and Values,” and was jointly produced by the Berlin-based INFO polling institute and the Liljeberg research firm) are cause for alarm, and will certainly surprise many; they certainly came as a surprise to those conducting the two polls (“we didn’t expect that,” said Detlef Pollack, spokesman for the “Religion and Politics” group at Münster). What they discovered is that almost half (47 per cent) of the ethnic Turks polled said that following their “religious dogmas” – that is, the dictates of Islam – was “more important” to them than “obeying the laws of the land in which I live,” especially if they believed the German laws were in any way incompatible with Islam. Still more disturbing, one-third of the Muslims queried said that they yearned to “live in the society” of the times of the Prophet Muhammad – in other words, to erase the last 1400 years of cultural and intellectual progress in the West.

At the same time, the ethnic Turks were not discontented with the quality of their lives from the material point of view. Ninety per cent of them responded that they were “pleased” with their life in Germany. However, there was one repeated complaint: over half reported that they were “second-class citizens” and had no chance to integrate fully, even though 70% of them “expressed a readiness to integrate ‘absolutely and unconditionally.’” More than half (54%) of the ethnic Turks also complained that “no matter what I do, I will never be recognized as a part of German society.” But who, after all, is preventing integration? Is it the Germans? Or is it, rather, those one out of three Turks who want to return to the time of Muhammad, or one out of two Turks who place Islamic law above the German one, or the nearly two out of three Turks – 62%, up from 40% in 2010 – who (in the second poll) say that even if they must associate with Germans at school or at work, they would much rather be around other Turks? And 95% of the Turks surveyed said it is absolutely necessary for them to preserve their Turkish identity; only slightly less, or 87% of those surveyed, said they believed that German society should make a great effort to be considerate of the customs and traditions of Turkish immigrants. Presumably almost all those Turks will be holding on for dear life to their Turkish identity, while at the same time somehow doing everything they can to integrate “absolutely and unconditionally” into German society.

The questioned Turks don’t appear to understand the significance of their own responses. What are the poor Germans to make of these contradictory answers?

But there’s still more to disturb. 20% of the Turks polled said that “the threat to Islam posed by the Western world” could justify Muslim violence to “defend” themselves against the West. In Islam, the definition of a “defensive” war is most peculiar: when non-Muslims refuse to yield to, or place obstacles in the way of, Muslim demands, or the Muslim call to Islam, this is considered an attack on Islam, and Muslims have a right to “defend” themselves. And 7% of the ethnic Turks in Germany, when queried, said that the use of violence to spread Islam was justified in every case. Of the Turks surveyed, 72% believe that Islam is the only true religion (in the 2010 survey, it was 69%).

Ethnic Turks and Germans in Germany view Islam quite differently. 57% of Turks link the protection of human rights to Islam; only 6% of German nationals do so. 56% of Turks associate Islam with tolerance, while only 5% of Germans do. It is clear that despite the massive efforts of the German state to make Turks (and other Muslims) understand the Western notions of “tolerance” and “human rights” that have so little to do with the Islamic conceptions of either, those efforts have failed. Or rather, the German state took on an impossible task, which was to change how Muslims in Germany interpreted Islam, so that it might be made compatible with Western ideas of human rights and tolerance. It hasn’t happened in Germany, and it hasn’t happened anywhere else.

Just as worrisome as the one out of three Turks who wanted to live in a society like that inhabited by the Prophet Muhammad was this: nearly half, or 46%, of the ethnic Turks in Germany expressed their devout wish that some day there would be more Muslims than Christians in Germany.

If present birth and immigration trends continue, their wish is likely to be granted. Muslims, Turk and non-Turk, could outnumber Germans in Germany within two generations, by 2050. That’s not far away. When Europeans hear about this grim future that conceivably awaits them, many become so upset that they simply shut their ears. Like Dickens’ Podsnap, they collectively exclaim: “I don’t want to know about it; I don’t choose to discuss it; I don’t admit it!”

But there’s no avoiding it. And if they were “to discuss it,” they might find ways – beginning with prudently shutting the door on Muslim immigration, and cutting extravagant benefits of all kinds to Muslim migrants already present – that would allow them to believe in a real future for their children, a future outside dar al-Islam.

60% of Germans in a recent poll declared that Islam “has no place in Germany,” up from 47% a few years ago. 60% of Germans cannot all be so easily cast into the outer darkness of putatively “far-right” Pegida. What happened to concentrate German minds? A million more Muslim migrants in just the past year happened, that’s what happened.

And it is not only Germans who are alarmed about the size of the Muslim population in Germany. In an interview on May 31 with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a world-renowned figure declared that Germany has already accepted “too many” migrants and that they should eventually be returned to help rebuild their home countries. “Germany cannot become an Arab [i.e., Muslim] country,” he said. “Germany is Germany.”

Who said that? Not a member of Pegida. But, rather, someone who has been lionized by the Left for more than half a century, someone who always ranks first or second in any poll of the “most popular world leaders.” Having awakened to reality just in time, he is now inveighing against the Islamization of Germany. It’s not Geert Wilders, not Marine Le Pen, not Magdi Allam, not Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hearteningly, it turns out to be the Dalai Lama. Which means one thing: All is not lost — at least not yet.

First published in Jihad Watch.



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Hugh Fitzgerald contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all his contributions, on which comments are welcome.



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