This fear, Bade calls it “Hysteria,” finds many forms of expression from skinheads to the NPD, but its most public exponent of late has been former railway administrator and SPD Senator, now Bundesbank board member, Thilo Sarrazin. Last year he published a book called Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany abolishes itself”) claiming that immigrant Muslims don’t want to integrate and habitually depend on social services rather than honest t
oil. He calculates that in a few generations the Muslim population will grow and overwhelm Germany.
But there’s more. Sarrazin dives from
there into a murkier cellar when he suggests that Muslims are in some undefined way genetically less intelligent. The only answer, apart from pulling up the drawbridge, is to take away the social benefits that feed them. Offended? It’s hard not to be, especially if you remember the evolutionary eugenic theory that underpinned twentieth century Anti-Semitism. It cannot be wise to dance on the edge of this particular abyss.
Hysteria is a form of fear, the most powerful drive in the reptile brain that underlies everything we think. So this stuff matters. It is not enough simply to huff and puff about its moral shortcomings, or to draw historical parallels, although those are almost inescapable. We cannot address hysteria by embarrassed shuffling fro
m foot to foot as those who have just realised that our eccentric neighbour at a cocktail party is actually potty. Neither should the concern be suppressed, as that only amplifies it and may even seem to validate its more febrile imaginations. If you awake in the night fearing your brain is being chewed up by space monsters, best wake up. The only answer is a truthful analysis of reality. We need to engage the higher end of the Brain with reality.
In fifty minutes of fast paced German liberally sprinkled with hard facts and figures, Bade analysed the real trends in the German population — falling in many places, and increasingly in need of high capacity intelligence from anywhere in the world it can be got. It turns out that most German Muslims see themselves as German, and very much share the general aspirations them of fellow citizens for their children, but often lack to a greater extent the means to bring them about.
Reflecting on the unpleasant soft racism and Islamophobia that can be found in the English media, it strikes me that quality of analysis is very thin on the ground. Politicians run scared before the wind without the means, courage or resources to shine light into the murky cellar. And as was the case with doing God, the field of play is left to the forces of ignorance and tribalism. The whole up to date picture can be found in the Encyclopedia of European Migration and Minorities: From the Seventeenth Century to the Present, which the professor has co-edited. Cambridge University Press. £106.50. They may want to serialise it in the Daily Mail, but don’t hold your breath...