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Hari's Conclusion About the Popularity of the Eurabia Myth

British writer Johann Hari reviews Mark Steyn's latest book about the "Eurabia" prediction. Andrew Hammel points out the popularity of the "Eurabia" prediction among American Europe-bashers and ends his post in German Joys with Hari's conclusion:
It is a startling indictment of the intellectual standards of the American right that they have welcomed this Eurabian fiction with anything other than cheap, repulsed laughter.
Related post in the Atlantic Review: "Eurabia" and "US Prophets of Europe's Doom are Half Wrong".

UPDATE: I have changed the headline due to comments from our readers. Original headline was: "What the Eurabia Myth Might Say About the American Right"

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Nanne on :

Indeed. The same goes for those in Europe who embrace this racist nuttery.

David on :

No surprise here. This is the same crowd that finds it hilarious when Ann Coulter speaks of "faggots".

Zyme on :

It always astonished me how such ideas could spread so quickly and reach the minds of so many americans. Europe to be taken by muslims? I mean do these people know that we have a cultural identity that´s a bit older than - yesterday? Maybe they simply don´t know what cultural identity means.

Don S on :

Ah yes, the latest installment in "The Steyn Obsession", a monthly feature of this blog. While I agree thta Mr Steyn goes a trifle far in anticipating a Muslim takeover circa 2020 it's not quite as unlikely an occurrance if one projects the timeline to 2060 or so. This assumes that Ralph Peters isn't more correct than Mr Steyn in predicting that a solution will be found before then.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"Ah yes, the latest installment in "The Steyn Obsession", a monthly feature of this blog." [b]Don, please don't make false claims about this blog. [/b] This short post is only the second post about Steyn. The first one was more than six months ago. Thus, it is not "monthly." Besides, "obsession" is an exaggeration. I think you exaggerated much less last year... "it's not quite as unlikely an occurrance if one projects the timeline to 2060 or so." [b]Why not?[/b] I would appreciate it, if you could be a bit more explicit rather than just present your conclusion. Why don't you share you thoughts with us, i.e. the reasons that make you come to your conclusion. The article recommended in this post explains why the Steyn's statistics are nonsense and why making such long timelines is ridiculous. Why do you disagree with the article?

SC on :

JW, I've taken a quick look at the articles linked above and see no statistical analysis much less a refutation of any thesis proposed by Steyn. Being a professional mathematician with a smattering of statistical training, I think I would recognize it. Now the only thing I've seen in this quick review is the assertion that European populations continue to grow at least until the early 2020's before any decline would take place. Is this the refutation you claim to exist? A little thought will show that it isn't. However, Steyn's central thesis appears to be that European social democratic systems create and enable social pathologies in immigrant populations; particularly immigrant Muslim communities. To respond as Hari did by dismissing him as an "uneducated", "ex-disk jockey" and by hyperbolically insinuating that he's a racist - an all-purpose epithet that's lost it's true meaning - is simply to avoid the argument. In reading Hari, I see various rhetorical tricks (i.e. he's conservative, he's funny, so too is Ann Coulter, ergo . . .) but less substance than I would expect from someone so well educated at King's College. Now I noticed that the title of your post is "What the Eurabia Myth might say about the American Right". Well, beyond confirming your own prejudices concerning "THE" American Right, do tell.

David on :

SC, Please enlighten us with your statistical analysis of Steyn's thesis. In fact, Steyn doesn't present any demographic figures to back his argument; he's just convinced that all Muslims - Shiite, Sunni, Sufi - have received orders from Mecca to bury the West with baby terrorists. European women are "too self absorbed" to breed. Steyn's real target is modern Western culture - with its emphasis on personal freedom, feminism, secularism. His utopia is an authoritarian world where (white) women produce babies on command for the good of the Fatherland. The fact that Steyn's book is endorsed by the likes of Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman - two individuals who have been wrong about everything - says it all.

alec on :

An endorsement by Dick Cheney AND Joe Liebermann? I'm surprised he doesn't recommend we put a big bubble over Israel and nuke the rest of the Middle East.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

SC, This Hari quote is IMHO sufficient to refute Steyn: "[F]or Steyn's predictions to hold true, the current Muslim birthrate needs to hold steady through five decades of life in the West, all Muslims have to become communitarian Islamists bent on sharia law, and there must be no natalist policies from European governments in the meanwhile." Do you believe in global warming based on a few past trends? The Eurabia statistics deal with social factors, which are less predictable than co2 pollution etc. Besides, in the "US Prophets of Europe's Doom are Half Wrong" post I quoted another British author: "Similarly, the American vision of a Muslim takeover of Europe -- creating a new continent called "Eurabia" -- relies on projecting demographic trends to their limit and beyond. Weigel fantasises about a day when "the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer from the central loggia of St Peter's in Rome". Given that just 1.7 per cent of the Italian population is currently Muslim, that seems a long way off. Of the 456m people of the EU, just 15m to 16m are Muslim." And then added: "The American vision"? Surely, most Americans do not share these opinions...? The Financial Times provides his entire review article." [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/452-Financial-Times-US-Prophets-of-Europes-Doom-are-Half-Wrong.html[/url] Thus a) your accusations about my prejudices don't make much sense. I try not to generalize. Besides, I was using "may" in the title and it was clearly a reference to Hari rather than my opinion. b) Given the small number of Muslims, it is ridiculous to believe in Eurabia. c) Integration takes time. Germany or Europe in general has not done a good job so far. The US has been much better, which I have pointed out several times in some of the posts dealing with immigrants: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/plugin/tag/Immigrants[/url] Muslims are increasingly well integrated in society and increasingly less discriminated at work. More and more are ecnomically successful. Birth rates will therefore decline, just like for every other ethnic group. I wonder if those, who believe in Eurabia, also beleve in a Hispanic takeover of the US...

SC on :

JW, it is hard to avoid generalizations isn't it? But there it is in your title. Now my challenge was meant more to tweak or tease than to provoke. Never-the-less, I think you're being a bit coy here. When you use "might" or "may" you suggest the possible affirmation as well as the negation. You can't have one without the other. I suspect that it's a mistake to try to draw any conclusion about "the" American Right from Steyn's or any other polemic just as it would be regarding "the" American Left. The difficulty in defining either, speaks to their diversity. And from what I've read about the book - not having read it myself (full disclosure) I would be unsurprised to learn that the readership comes from a broader spectrum than most are willing to acknowledge. Whether they all agree with what they read is quite another matter. Again, from what I've read about the book, Steyn apparently uses demography as a means to provoke and as a pad from which to launch a cultural and political critique of western societies. Use of demography for this purpose is hardly new, and in its more prosaic forms is very much a part of many current discussions: think US Social Security and Medicare systems. Like it or not, demography plays a significant role in determining social/political and economic dynamics. A gross generalization but with some merit: A population skewed toward the young is more "vital" in many ways, and the youth of that society more influential. Again, think of the US and the baby-boom cohort as it passed from youth to adulthood. While not the majority of the population at any time, that cohort has enjoyed an out sized influence, in particular in their youth, at least in part because of the demographic bulge they represent. Now, if as Steyn apparently suggests, there is a mini-boom among a segment of the population in Europe that is not well assimilated and to some degree alienated from the surrounding culture, and remains so through their youth, the future might not be Eurabia - an amusingly colorful term - but seems likely to be quite different from today. But how? That would be the question wouldn't it? If as some suggest, Steyn's tract is that of a hidden or not so hidden bigot, then have at it. But don't dismiss the general argument solely because a bigot has pronounced it. Steyn's arguments stand or fall on their own, not because Steyn is or isn't a disreputable figure. Over the years there have been many mathematicians who were s.o.b's (Ludwig Bieberbach would qualify), but we don't dismiss their mathematics because of their moral failings. And to be clear, JW, I'm not suggesting you have done this, but I have the sense that other contributors here may have an "itchy trigger finger" so to speak.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"JW, it is hard to avoid generalizations isn't it? But there it is in your title." Yes, it is hard. Writing headlines is an art form. Non-artists like me need a bit of time to *compose* a good headline that is informative, fair, credible, and encourages the reading of the article. Since I am not a native speaker and I don't have that much time, my headlines are not the best. What headline would you give this short post? I could change the headline instantly.

SC on :

JW, Uh, oh. Giving me a chance to put on the noose and step on the trap are you? Ok, I may be dangling like a misplaced participle in a moment, but here is my suggestion: "What the Eurabian Myth says about the American Right?" Nothing wrong with echoing a critical passage in the text printed below the headline; it seems like a good idea to me. But as you made clear in your first response to my original post, you want to be understood as questioning the passage below; hence your choice of "might" in the headline. However, given that Hari clearly expresses an opinion and a generalization, I would want to separate myself a much as possible from that; which is why I was tweaking you. Phrasing the headline as a question clearly suggests, at least to me, that you are posing a question to your readers without expressing an opinion yourself. There, I've donned my noose and await my fate. I won't dispute the reasoning behind the original assertion of your intent. However, language isn't entirely about logic. I've had this discussion several times with my closest of mathematical collaborators who was born and raised in Austria. In general, he writes better mathematically related prose in English than I have ever managed. And yet, there have been times...

JW-Atlantic Review on :

SC, Thanks for your headline suggestion. I don't like quotation marks in headlines. The MSM uses far too many. Quotation marks are for sissies. ;-) I have just written an update and changed the headline to "Hari's Conclusion About the Popularity of the Eurabia Myth" Other commentators disagreed with the generalizastion about "the American Right" as well.

Don S on :

"Other commentators disagreed with the generalizastion about "the American Right" as well." As I've pointed out a #79 bestseller (#13 at it's peak) doesn't say a great deal about any group. I find the fact that Michael Moore's various screed's have topped the best-seller lists for months in the US and Europe may say a lot more about his target audiences than Steyn's very middlish success says about US conservatives. In thinking about opinion over major chunks of Europe Ronald Reagan's omld joke about his 'right hand not knowing what my far-right hand was doing' might well be useful - except in reverse. Many times is seems to me that France has a left and a far-left. Germany also....

SC on :

JW, Well, the headline you chose couldn't be clearer. :-) "Quotation marks are for sissies." Ha. Or, for "girly-men" as one disinguished Austrian might say. But you're right about the MSM: it's hard to escape all the scare quotes some times. Well, back to my Austrian colleague: We're finishing up a paper and having one of those conversations about language, by email, that I alluded to in a previous post.

Don S on :

Joerg, Both you and Mark steyn make the same mistake - you assume that Americans care whether Eurabia comes about or not. As for the 2060 figure - I have no hard figures (and don't care enough about ex-allies to develop them). But if I did I'd have to say that below-relacement birth levels in the population at large combined with high birth rates in the muslim population combined with immigration from the groups in question would lead one to believe that the change Mr. Syeyn predicted may well come to pass - if not in 2020.... This did disturb me a few years ago - back when I held the f0ond illusion that Germany, France, Belgium et al were friends and allies of the US. I no longer hold that illusion - so I see no reason why the fate of Europe should be of concern to me.

Zyme on :

Why do you bother to tell us about the motives you don´t have anymore?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Don "Both you and Mark steyn make the same mistake - you assume that Americans care whether Eurabia comes about or not." What makes you think that I assume this? Would you please be a bit more specific in your comments. I just notice that this Eurabia topic is very popular in the US blogosphere -- and beyond. [b] Mark Steyn's book was published six month ago and it is still a bestseller. At Amazon's bestseller list "America Alone" is on rank 79.[/b] That's is a higher rank than John Grisham's latest novel. Okay, Steyn's book is currently not as popular as "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which is on rank 8th. That book is also a very harsh and partly unjustified critique of Europe, I heard. What do you think? I find it amazing that Steyn's book is so popular and competes very well with the dozens of self help books (diaeting, getting rich) and novels and fiction. All this suggests that Americans are interested in the Eurabia thesis. Don't you agree? [b] A frequent complaint by conservative Americans is the popularity of Michael Moore books in Germany.[/b] I think you have been one of those commentators who described the popularity of Michael Moore in Germany as evidence of Anti-Amnericanism. I had a look at the German Top 100 Amazon bestseller list: Michael Moore is not on it. In fact, there is not a single book critical of the US on this bestseller list. Now, what conclusion shall I take from Steyn's popularity in the United States? [b] Here is a thesis for you: Americans and Germans/Europeans are not so different. The reasons that motivate Germans/Europeans to buy Michael Moore books are the same reasons that motivate Americans to buy books by Steyn and these books: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/452-Financial-Times-US-Prophets-of-Europes-Doom-are-Half-Wrong.html[/url] [/b] What do you think?

Don S on :

"Mark Steyn's book was published six month ago and it is still a bestseller. At Amazon's bestseller list "America Alone" is on rank 79." #79 a bestseller? I live in the UK and spend a lot of time in bookstores. Back in the period 2002-2004 virtually every bookstore I visited had what I thought of as a Wall of Bile - with Michale Moore's books prominently displayed alnong with those of Noam Chomsky and many lesser lights. I venture to say that Mr. Moore's worthwhile tome's were not merely #79 after 6 months but more likely #1 - or at least in the top 5. And that was in the 'friendly' UK. I was assured that the Moore phenomena was if anything more dominant in continental countries such as Germany, Belgium, Austria, and France. Though less so in France which after all has it;'s own home-grown Amerika-hate movement which it views with justifiable pride. I doubt if Mr. Steyn's books make it to #1 on the best-seller lists for more than a few days; Moore stayed there for months in the UK and (I assume) in Germany. What is the difference between a top-5 bestseller and one at #79? Considerable, in sales. Perhaps an order of magnitude more - certainly several times. BTW, when I last checked Mr. Steyn he was at a scinilating #91, two whole spots ahead of the "Magic Item Compendium (Dungeons & Dragons Supplement)" in at #93. I played D&D many years ago: these books aren't exactly for the general public. I've never personally purchased one of his books, though I occasionally take in a column. Much less often than a few years ago, however because Steyn's material is usually a stale rehash of what he wrote before.

Pat Patterson on :

I'd like to comment on Johan Hari's review, even thought I'm probably not educated enough, but since there are no citations to check and that many of the quotes are not in ellipses, its useless to try. I guess Mr. Hari went to a different kind of college or university then I did.

2020 on :

The anti-arabic Likud propaganda easily finds its way to both the American and European blogosphere:"You won't be a racist if you cover your xenophobia with an Israeli flag. Any aggression against arabs, any war against arab nations, or against Islam per se is justified then. Don't be afraid - nobody will dare to call you a racist for following and spreading such propaganda or he will feel the antisemitism squeaky club." In America it's LGF, in Germany it's Die Achse des Guten together with their network of 'proud friends of Israel' promoting this new wave of racism in the rightosphere. If you would warn against 'Jewrope on the horizon' you would be rightfully identified as a neo-nazi. Talking about Eurabia makes no exception from that rule.

Don s on :

"Here is a thesis for you: Americans and Germans/Europeans are not so different. The reasons that motivate Germans/Europeans to buy Michael Moore books are the same reasons that motivate Americans to buy books by Steyn and these books:" I have a counter-thesis for you, Joerg. The fact that Mark Steyn is far less of a publishing phenomena in the US than Michael Moore is in Europe reveals that US conservatives are a far more balanced, reflective, and intelligent group of people than the European mainstream - who did make Mondo Mike such a lionised phenomena. I should hasten to add that US lefties proved themselves not much more balanced and intelligent than Europeans - perhaps worse if anything.....

David on :

"US conservatives are a far more balanced, reflective, and intelligent group of people than the European mainstream " Sorry, Don; I have seen zero evidence of that in the US. Is the Fox News network relective of current conservative thinking? Can you name one conservative thinker who is worth considering? The only one I can think of is Francis Fukyama, who, as you know, has had an epiphany recently.

Don S on :

"Sorry, Don; I have seen zero evidence of that in the US." David, do you regard yourself as the epitome of balance? If this is so I have not seen evidence to date. "Is the Fox News network relective of current conservative thinking?" Umm - you DO realize that I live in the UK, don't you? Fox News is not shown over here, so how would I know enough to have an opinion one way or another? I don't watch very much TV generally so I could not offer a reliable opinion on ITV or the Beeb, either. Among UK newspapers (which I could offer a decent opinion upon) I will say the following: The Telegraph is probably the best. The Times is usually ok but has it's dead fish moments. The Guardian is left-leaning but makes an effort to be somewhat balanced. The Independent is the kind of rag a dead fish would be shamed to be wrapped in. "Can you name one conservative thinker who is worth considering?" Well, I can tell you which writers are found on my book shelf. I have books by Paul Johnson, Victor Hanson, Bjorn Lomborg, Robert Kagan, Andrew Sullivan, George Will, Bob Woodward, Glenn Reynolds, James McPherson, Stephen Ambrose, and many others. Mostly history of various types. Nothing by Steyn, Chomsky, Moore. or Raph Peters. Though I might be tempted by Peters; not for his polemics but for his knowledge of military affairs. What do you have? Mikey Moore & Chmosky no doubt. Molly Ivins? Al Gore? Dershowitz screed on the 2000 election?

David on :

I've never read anything by Michael Moore, but I understand he warned before the fact that the invasion of Iraq would be a disaster. That gives him a better track record than the "historians" on your bookshelf (especially VDH I consider more of a comic writer.) If you are serious about recent history, read Packer's or Rick's books about Iraq.

Don S on :

I have been trying to verify the extraordinary popularity of this book. Today I've seen it as low as #100 and as high as #81 on Amazon.com. It doesn't seem to be listed on either the NY Times bestseller list nor at Publisher's Clearinghouse. John Grisham's latest effort (a nonfiction title) is #9 on the non-fiction list at the latter. I did see something on the net about how the book reached #13 on the NY Times bestseller list - but that is scarcely blockbuster territory. Moore's various comic books invariably do far better than that both in the US and Europe. But that is natural as Moore aims for a less-sophisticated audience..... ;)

rob on :

I don't see why anyone would refer to Hari's petulently disdainful article about Steyn's "America Alone" as convincing. Yes, Hari matriculated to King's College, but to refer to Steyn as uneducated when he attended King Edward's in B'ham reveals more about Mahri's social experience than Steyn's putative lack of education. I really don't understand the amount of vitrol his thesis seems to elicit from continental types. The assertions above are mostly paraphrases of book reviews, whose writers apparently only skimmed the book. The book is all of 200 and something pages with a huge font. It takes three hours to read with a minimal amount of concentration. The thesis is straightforward: before the birth rates of Western muslims begins to approximate those of their Western European counterparts, there will be a surfeit of young musilms, largely living in their own communities and obeying their own law and customs, who may, if Western European governments do not take a strict line (implementing shria laws, deferring to cultural elders, job placement programs not welfare entitlements), feel brave enough to engage in violence against their government to live under sharia law. Steyn does not say that Eurabia will consist of teeming muslim hordes in European cities, but esposes the possibility that a highly-indoctrinated vanguard of this generation of muslims will be in a position to dominate or profoundly influence municipal politics through either democratic means or through extra-legal channels. Steyn refers to opinion studies in the UK by the BBC or the Guardian, I forget, about British muslims thoughts on the attractiveness of sharia law and their relative opinions on terrorism; the results were not pleasant. He also cites the French federal police reports on the 750-odd neighborhoods they list as effectively 'no-go' areas. Furthermore, he mentions the dramatic effect that political terror causes upon domestic government in the Netherlands: Pim Fortuyn, Verdonk, van Gogh et al. America Alone is a political book, not a sociological appraisal of the cultural habits of British muslims in the Midlands. Most of the evidence is circumstantial and the tone is hyperbolic. I don't see how the book's obvious shortcomings should automatically damn his thesis, when there does exist a troubling amount of truth to it? If the state of Berlin is going to allow separate entrances for muslims and germans in the local high school, why should the muslims not ask for more? Why should there be Muslim only days at the municipal swimming pool in Bradford, and not at other municipal offices? Both are valid questions...

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Thanks for your comment, Rob. "I don't see how the book's obvious shortcomings should automatically damn his thesis, when there does exist a troubling amount of truth to it? If the state of Berlin is going to allow separate entrances for muslims and germans in the local high school, why should the muslims not ask for more?" I live in Berlin and I am not aware of any school with a separate entrance for Muslims. This would be totally unconstitutional. Where did you read about this? Besides, quite a few Muslims are German.

rob on :

I am sorry that I did not include a hypertext. It was in the Tagesspiegel a while back. The only trace of it I can find is by some CDU guy here: http://www.idea.de/index.php?id=217&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=51932&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=128&cHash=98631c8f11. I know considering the site of the 'information' you can easily dispute its factual veracity, but the Tagesspiegel's archive is pay-per-view; not goanna happen. Besides, you can rely on the British example, who are subject to the ECHR's perview as much as the Germans, regardless of the BVG's view that the Grundgesetz trumps treaty law. This type of behaviour is patently contraventive of the non-discrimination/equal protection clauses of the European Social Charter, but for it to be adjudicated so someone has to take it to court, reasonably exhaust all sources of domestic remedy on every appellate level and then wait oh a couple of years for the boys from Strausbourg to get off their well-cushioned asses.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I looked at the Tagesspiegel archive and I did not find any pay-per view article on this matter. What keywords did you use for it? You could get the headline for free... I found one freely available interview at Tagesspiegel from November 2006 with two judges. One of them claimed: "Neulich ist uns von einer Schule berichtet worden, wo ein Eingang von den Schülern inoffiziell nur für Türken und Araber reserviert wurde. Da durften deutsche Schüler nicht durch." [url]http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/archiv/23.11.2006/2915719.asp[/url] Rough translation for those who don't read German: "Recently there were reports about a school with one entrance that was inoffically reserved for Turkish and Arab students." The article goes on to describe that this was enforced by bullying. I don't know those judges and what sources they use. I have never heard about a school in Berlin with such separate entrances. I know there is some bullying at schools in Berlin, which is a problem in many cities around the world, incl. the US, but nobody claims that those, who bully in the US, are about to set up something like Eurabia. Bullying is VERY bad and should be treated as a BIG problem. I think it would be big news in the media, if this problem would continue to exist. We would know the name of the school in Berlin. And there would be plenty of articles available online; just like with that Rütli school in Neukoelln a while back. But there are none. Perhaps there was this kind of bullying at one school for a couple of days. That is bad. But there is nothing to suggest that this bullying has lasted. Your comment and the link to this Ulfkotte guy, however, gave the impression to me that the city of Berlin has set up separate entrances or is allowing such apartheid bullying, but that is not the case. Ulfotte: "An zwei Berliner Schulen gebe es bereits getrennte Eingänge für Juden und Christen einerseits und Araber und Türken andererseits" Your claim "If the state of Berlin is going to allow separate entrances for muslims and germans in the local high school."

Wintermute on :

I'm not convinced by Ulfkotte's argumentation (at least the argumentation that's been reported in the link). There is actually very little factual information and a lot of hearsay. The thing about the piggy banks has been going through the media for years now (and it is still often used by PI or Henryk M. Broder to show how we all become dhimmis), but so far nobody seems to have been able to actually locate any bank that really prohibited piggy banks. There was one story from Australia, I think, but that turned out to be BS. If you want me to, I'll try and find the link. So this seems a lot like the story that in Austria Muslims try to force schools to adopt a new plus sign because the current one looks too much like a Christian cross. (I always thought it would be vampires that protested the use of +-signs for that reason.) This also goes through the usual channels quite a bit, but nobody can give a reliable source or name the school where it happened. To me Ulfkotte's argumentation looks like a mixture of factual inaccuracies, hearsay stories and singular events that he sees as a general phenomenon. I don't claim that he's lying, I'd just prefer some hard facts or reliable sources for the things he states.

Axel on :

In my opinion, nothing but rumors combined with bad journalism... The ultra-conservative catholic webpage kath.net wrote about a speech Ulfkotte gave on 8th March where he stated that more and more banks are abandoning piggy banks ("So trennten sich immer mehr Banken von Sparschweinen, weil das Schwein im Islam als unrein gelte und man nicht muslimische Kunden verprellen wolle.") and that actually two Berlin schools have separate entrances for Jews/Christians and Arabs/Turks ("An zwei Berliner Schulen gebe es bereits getrennte Eingänge für Juden und Christen einerseits und Araber und Türken andererseits.") Hmm, and what about the great number of students in Berlin who aren't baptized? According to Ulfkotte, more and more butcher's shops are also targets of islamic trespasses. Well, I live in a German city where 7 percent of the population are Muslims and I've never heard about one single religiously motivated trespass. What the hell is he talking about? So I wrote an e-mail to him, mentioned the speech and asked for concrete information regarding the two issues "piggy banks" and "separate entrances". I also wanted to know if he personally checked the facts. The answer came today and is only one sentence: "Sie finden die Antworten in meinen Büchern und bei www.... auf der Nachrichtenseite oder im Archiv." (You'll find the answers in my books and on www... in the news section or the archive.) Needless to say that I didn't find the answers on his webpage and I'm also not interested in buying his books. So much for his credibility.

rob on :

I apologize for being so tardy in responding, but yesterday was hectic. The words I used on the Tagesspiegel archive search engine was: Eingang, Eingaenge, einheimisch (seems to be the euphemism de jour), Gewalt, Schule. Nothing came back, so I tried Gewalt and Schule and am wading buckets of article abstracts and checking NZZ and Spiegel Online's arhives which are the only other papers I read now and again... Just reading the headline will not help very much. It was an aside in an article about the rapid escalation in school violence and the sectarian nature of a lot of the violence. It was a throw-away line about the de facto segregation of the student entrances, enforced by violence, peer pressure and the intra-scholastic territorial claims by certain cliques. The headline didnt read the head of the school administration for the federal State of Berlin thinks we should have separate entrances to schools or anything similar. It was some 16 year old girl talking about the various groups' territories in school. You guys are right. I can not produce the article I remember. Just tried Google one last time and only came up with religious websites and reactionary bloggers. I definitely did not read it on one of those sites. So I apologize, if I made this up which it appears I very well may have, to you and the Fatherland I impugned.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"So I apologize, if I made this up which it appears I very well may have, to you and the Fatherland I impugned." No problem, Rob. The "Fatherland" can handle it ;-) I appreciate that you searched at various places for this. I read a lot and think that this or that has happened, but then I check google to see if my memory proves right, which it sometimes does not. "It was some 16 year old girl talking about the various groups' territories in school." Well, one 16 year old girl... Puberty... Anyway, I do consider bullying a problem. I am just unaware of bullying having a religious aspect to it.

mbast on :

Eurabia. Hispanic states of America. Those are just two of the many bogus issues created by each side in the Americano-European debate to prove to the opposition that "they" are wrong and "we" are right. Righteousness (or perhaps I should use the German word "Rechthaberei", which seems more suitable), nothing more. The Americans need a "we-told-you-so" to justify Iraq, the Europeans retaliate with "yeah, but you'll soon be ruled by hispanics yourself". I'm not going to try to dispel the "Eurabia" or "Hispanic US" myths because that would be an impossible task. You can't prove a myth, so you can't disprove it either. Which is why it's such a convenient way of bashing each other, of course. Truth is, there are integration problems with lots of foreign nationalities in Europe and the US as well. Not all the problems in Europe, not even most, are islamic in nature. And not all the immigration and population problems in the US are problems created by the ominous "Hispanics". Jeez, if you want to have a meaningful discussion you need to pick a serious topic, not rumours, half-truths and intangible "per-maybe-haps" information. Anything else is only going to get you a gut-driven xenophobic dogfight. As demonstrated by some posts in this thread. And if you really want my completely gut-driven and not in any way factually supported opinion: my bet isn't on the muslims or hispanics, my bet is that both Europe and the US will be speaking Chinese in about 50 years time anyway, so the point will probably be moot ;-).

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Isn't it interesting that this post attracted more comments than all the other serious posts in the last two weeks...?

David on :

Just a footnote to this discussion. The source of this mis-information, Udo Ulfkotte, is apparently starting a new anti-Islamic political party in Germany - according to [url=http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,472151,00.html] Spiegel Online [/url]. He still doesn't have a name for this neo-conservative project. I recommend he calls it the "Bier-Steyn Partei".

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