THIS quiet, orderly man, who lives in a quiet, orderly house, in a very quiet tree-lined neighborhood has caused a huge public stir here with his volatile book arguing that Muslim immigrants in Germany are socially, culturally and intellectually inferior to most everyone else.
With the certainty of an accountant adding up rows of numbers, Thilo Sarrazin has delivered his conclusion in a book that has sold over one million copies, forced him to quit his job at the German central bank, may get him kicked out of his political party and for the first time since World War II made it socially acceptable in Germany to single out a particular minority for criticism.
By former Cairo correspondent Michael Slackman, incidentally — so that's what he's up to! He has some some great quietly devastating passages in this piece, such as:
Mr. Sarrazin greeted a visitor to his home one morning, during a rare lull in his schedule of book readings and television and radio appearances. His living room has lots of books on shelves, a few paintings and prints on the wall and a large flat-screen television. There are no personal touches, no family photographs, though he says his hobby is photography.
“Some have said I argue that the achievements of immigrants from Muslim countries are lower because of genetic reasons; this is quite wrong,” Mr. Sarrazin explained, as if to cast off any taint of prejudice. “It has to be a matter of culture, and Islam is that culture.”
Mr. Sarrazin says his book can be boiled down to a few main ideas. To begin, ethnic Germans are having too few children, while Muslim immigrants are having too many. In a population of about 82 million, there are about four million Muslims (a number he said he calculated partly by looking at census figures for families with lots of children. Big families must be Muslim, he concluded). Within 80 years, he said, Muslims will make up a majority in Germany.
Second, Mr. Sarrazin believes that intelligence is inherited, not nurtured, and since Muslims are less intelligent (his conclusion) than ethnic Germans, the population will be dumbed down (his conclusion).
Third, to solve a growing demographic problem, Germany will require immigrants, but he says that bringing more Muslims into the country will only make matters worse. He says that after examining three indicators — success in education and employment, and welfare dependency — he concluded that Islam is by its nature a drag on individual success.
Beware of narrow-minded Germans following their thinking to its logical conclusion!