by Andrew Harrod and Sam Nunberg, Frontpage Mag
Former German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin has got himself in trouble with the UN, as theTurkish Union in Berlin-Brandenburg (Türkischer Bund in Berlin-Brandenburg or TBB) stated with satisfaction in an April 18, 2013, German-language press release. The spokesman of this German-Turkish interest group, Hilmi Kaya Turan, praised a February 26, 2013, “historic decision” by the CERD condemning Germany for not having prosecuted Sarrazin’s criticism of Arab and Turkish immigrants.
Sarrazin, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlandsor SPD), produced a storm of controversy with his August 2010 book Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab: Wie Wir Unser Land aufs Spiel Setzen (“Germany Abolishes Itself: How We Are Risking Our Country“). In the context of this controversy, CERD’s detailed 19-page decisionextensively excerpted in English translation a fall 2009 interview with Sarrazin. In the interview, the Berlin magazine Lettre International discussed some of the upcoming book’s themes.
CERD complained that “[i]n this interview, Mr. Sarrazin expressed himself in a derogatory and discriminatory way about social ‘lower classes’, which are not productive’ and would have to ‘disappear over time’ in order to create a city of the ‘elite’.” Sarrazin specified that about 20% of Berlin’s population depended on welfare payments, which he wanted to cut, “above all to the lower class.”
Berlin’s indigent included within the immigrant population a “large number of Arabs and Turks in this city, whose numbers have grown through erroneous policies, have no productive function, except for the fruit and vegetable trade.” Compounding the problem for Sarrazin was a birthrate among Arabs and Turks about three times their percentage of the population. Sarrazin thereby saw “Turks…conquering Germany just like the Kosovars conquered Kosovo: through a higher birth rate.” Sarrazin “wouldn’t mind if” these immigrants “were East European Jews with about a 15% higher IQ than the one of Germans.” Central to Sarrazin’sthesis was the assumption that “human ability is to some extent socially contingent and to some extent hereditary.” Sarrazin’s “solution to this problem” was “to generally prohibit influx, except for highly qualified individuals and not provide social welfare for immigrants anymore.”
As noted by CERD, Sarrazin’s interview comments prompted on October 23, 2009, a criminal complaint by the TBB under the German Criminal Code’s Article 130 against “Incitement to Hatred” (Volksverhetzung). Yet upon review, German prosecutors suspended their investigations on November 23, 2009, deciding that Sarrazin’s views fell under the protection of free speech contained within Article 5 of Germany’s Basic Law(Grundgesetz). Prosecutors quoted by CERD had judged Sarrazin’s statements as a “contribution to the intellectual debate in a question…very significant for the public.”
Following this domestic defeat, the TBB turned in 2010 to Article 14 of CERD’s governing convention (Article 14), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms …read more