Germany’s Interior Minister caused quite the stir last week, when he appeared to contradict Chancellor Merkel’s affirmation that Islam belongs to/in Germany.
Erstwhile Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer made the observations in an interview with German newspaper Bild, as he set out “tough” new measures aimed at reducing Germany’s migrant burden. Coalition partner and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel predictably fell over herself in haste to contradict her Interior Minister, whilst Andre Poggenburg – regional leader of Alternative für Deutschland – accused Seehofer of copying directly from his own party’s playbook, not without foundation I must add.
Part of the Interior Minister’s “tough new measures” against the migrant burden is a proposal to fast-track deportations for failed asylum seekers. Additionally, they’re now looking to expand the list of countries considered “safe”, in refugee terms, so that prospective migrants will be less likely to make their way to countries like Germany. Again, these are measures that have essentially been stolen from the AfD manifesto, and the German press has strongly speculated that Seehofer’s tough stance is a big to win back voters lost by the two main parties – Christian Democrats and Social Democrats – to Alternative für Deutschland in last year’s federal election.
It is an interesting question to ponder, though. Does Islam belong in Germany? Can Islam ever become part of the furniture, as it were, in Germany society?
Chancellor Merkel certainly thinks so. In her vague rebuttal on Friday, she confirmed her belief that Islam does belong in Germany, even if the country has “traditionally been characterised by Christianity or Judaism”. Of course, the esteemed Chancellor believes passionately in this vision of a multi-ethnic Germany, as do her supporters and left-wing cheerleaders. But, both Merkel and Seehofer make the mistake that many politicians in Western Europe do, by defining their nation as ‘historically characterised’ by Christianity – an even greater mistake, should the prefix Judeo- be added. To suggest that German society is built on Christian foundations is rather an exaggeration and a supercilious proclamation, one that is often made by Christians and particularly the Christian right. It’s as if German society would not be what it is today, had the word of the Lord not existed as a foundation upon which to be built. This is simply false.
German society, like the societies of England, Scotland, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian nations and practically all of Europe in fact, is not Judeo-Christian, but rather Graeco-Roman. From its philosophy, to its arts and even its system of government, Germany is a thoroughly Graeco-Roman society. Much of what we now ascribe to Christian tradition is in fact an adaptation of preexisting Pagan tradition, like Christmas for instance, or social conscience. Indeed, very few modern German traditions and mores are entirely authentic aspects of that Christian religion from the Middle-Eastern desert. Germany as a nation has only been Christian for the last millennia. It was converted by the sword from the 6th to 9th centuries AD, much in the same fashion as Islam seeks to do today. Charlemagne isn’t colloquially named the ‘Slayer of Saxons’ because he brought the Christian message with peace and love.
One might argue that this defeats the premise; if one Middle-Eastern religion was imposed and then adapted to form the bedrock of the next thousand years of German history, why can another not do the same?
Fundamentally, the way in which we view the spread of Islam into Western Europe is mostly incorrect. This is not the spread of an idea, brought by messengers or small groups of preachers of a similar race, but rather Islam’s presence in Europe and Germany is felt by the overwhelming presence of Afro-Arabian colonisers. Prior to the migrant crisis, Germany was already “home” to nearly three million Turks, most of whom had arrived as part of the Gastarbeiter program. With them, they brought Islam and, instead of attempting to convert native Germans to the cause, they have simply followed their neo-Ottoman President’s orders to out-breed non-Muslims. Then came the “migrant crisis”, which has seen almost three million more Islamic immigrants from the African and Arab world arrive in Germany. Again, they seek not to convert, but to breed.
Despite the constant threat of terrorism, the almost viral spread of Mosques and the overt presence of Islam in everyday life, only negligible numbers of native Germans have converted to the Islamic faith. The numbers could be counted perhaps with a show of hands. Why? Because the desire on the part of the Muslim is not to convert the German, but to replace the German. Thus, the absorption of Islam into German society will result in a fundamental change in the nature of that society. It will no longer be a German society, but an Ottoman province with a Christian German minority. And it is for this same reason that Islam will not be “adapted” or moderated to suit a European sensibility, as Christianity came to be in the Middle-Ages. The onus is on the practising Muslims to make this adaptation, yet they’re not European so have no European sensibility to adapt it to!
This argument leads us to the logical conclusion that Islam cannot belong to/in Germany, as for that to be true the fundamental nature of the German nation will be altered. But, we must also take Horst Seehofer’s comments a step further. Further along in his interview with Bild, Herr Seehofer was at pains to qualify his statement by saying that individual Muslims absolutely do belong in Germany, an assertion that our argument shows cannot be true if the initial statement is also true. Muslims do not wish to make ordinary Germans convert to Islam, they wish to become the ordinary “Germans”. They belong in Turkey, of course, or the Arabian peninsula, or sub-Saharan Africa, but fundamentally they do not belong in Germany.
This was primarily a pointless exercise in testing a theory – with very poor application – but there’s a real world issue to be concerned with. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the Interior Minister’s bold rhetoric will translate into coherent policy. Given the nature of their Social Democratic coalition partners, one suspects that it won’t. If that turns out to be the case, Alternative für Deutschland will unquestionably build upon last year’s election successes in the various state legislatures this year.