Germany and the Syrian refugees

A Hungarian-language article on Angela Merkel’s current political problems stemming from the refugee crisis was titled “Merkel is either stupid or she knows something.” The quotation is from a German source. I don’t think too many people view Merkel as a stupid, naive politician carried away by emotions. But then, people ask, why does she insist on an increasingly unpopular immigration policy?

One can only guess at her motives, but I believe her decision to stick with her original pro-immigration policy is motivated by moral as well as pragmatic considerations. Only a few days ago she harshly criticized the eastern European governments for not having learned anything from their history. “The eastern Europeans–and I’m counting myself as an eastern European–we have experience that isolation doesn’t help… It makes me a bit sad that precisely those who can consider themselves lucky that they have lived to see the end of the Cold War now think that one can completely stay out of certain developments of globalization…. A rejection [of taking refugees in] as a matter of principle, that is–excuse me for being that blunt–that’s a danger for Europe.” A few hours later in the European Parliament she was outspoken about the Christian Europe that must be defended when she declared: “When someone says: ‘This is not my Europe, I won’t accept Muslims…’ Then I have to say this is not negotiable.”

There is also a pragmatic side to the issue: Germany’s need for a demographic injection. A country’s fertility rate must be at least 2.2 to maintain the size of the population. In Germany ever since 1972 the fertility rate has been lower than that. It hovers around 1.2-1.3. If Germany were only for the native-born, its population would shrink precipitously. Germany already has a large immigrant population. Out of a population of approximately 80 million 16 million people are first- or second-generation immigrants. And their numbers are steadily growing. So, immigration is a fact of life in Germany. It is only the size of the present wave that comes as a shock to the Germans.

It is true that Angela Merkel was critical of what in Germany and some other European countries is called “multi-culturalism,” which in practice means parallel communities living side by side. In Germany this was especially true of the Turkish guest workers because the understanding in those days was that their stay was temporary, and therefore there was no attempt to integrate them into German society. In the last few years, however, the attitude toward immigrants in Germany has changed dramatically. The new arrivals are already hard at work learning the language, and children are enrolled in special classes. The challenge is enormous but Merkel is optimistic. A Hungarian immigrant in Germany who teaches math somewhere in Westphalia phoned György Bolgár yesterday and related her experiences. Some of the children have been in Germany for three months and know a little German, others have just arrived. One teen-aged girl in her class had only three years of schooling. But children learn fast. She enjoys the challenge.

Abcúg.hu published a fascinating piece on how Berliners are coping with the refugee crisis and how Germans are integrating the new immigrants. The refugees spend a few months in hostels until they receive asylum. One of the hostel workers is a Hungarian immigrant herself. The lodging where she works has 400 beds, and soon enough it will have accommodations for 100 more. It is like a dormitory but occupied mostly by families. Syrians receive 400 euros for housing and 400 for living expenses, and a 660 to 960-hour “integration course,” 600 hours of which is set aside for German lessons. The German course tries to prepare the refugee to pass the B1 language test. If he fails the test, he gets another 300 hours of language training. Sixty hours remain for German history and culture as well as for the study of the principles of equal rights and toleration, ideas essential for integration into European culture.

Refugee hostel in Berling

Refugee hostel in Berlin

Civic organizations try to link up immigrants with employers running small companies. One organizer was afraid that it would be difficult to convince German businessmen to hire foreigners, but the experiment has worked. The employers are happy with their new employees, especially since some young Germans wouldn’t accept the kinds of jobs they can offer.

Another Hungarian immigrant who taught German in Hungary now teaches German to children and adults in Berlin. She is convinced that the Syrians will learn German and will be gainfully employed. “With that much help it will be achieved. The great dilemma is whether they will understand everyday cultural differences. For example, that if their child is slapped by a German classmate it is not because he is a Muslim but because this was the way they settled their argument. Or, that the obstetrician is not anti-Muslim when he tells a seven-month pregnant woman that she shouldn’t observe Ramadan.” The teacher continues, “the Syrians are very determined.” They don’t understand how it is possible that some Turks living in Germany still cannot speak the language. They don’t want to find themselves in a similar situation.

Many followers of Viktor Orbán’s anti-migrant policy argue that it is easy for Germany to be generous because “they are rich.” But as one of the aid-workers told the reporter of abcúg.hu, “the money by itself wouldn’t be enough, you need the volunteers and the right attitude.”

The people who are helping the refugees are optimistic, so are the refugees. As am I. Eventually the exodus will slow. As for Angela Merkel, once the initial problems are solved, there will be fewer critics.

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tappanch
Guest

Orban’s real concern is to privatize (steal) as much Hungarian public assets and EU support money as possible, the rest is just smoke and mirror.

Apart from his rhetoric, Orban stopped the migration wave for 3 days only !

We are at the 600,000 mark for 2015. The majority of the migrants/refugees arrived after the Merkel government declared their dream number of 800,000 then 1 million for this year on August 19.

If there is more dictatorial oppression or civil war in Turkey, will Ms Merkel take in the 80 million Turkish citizens as refugees and distribute them all over Europe?

In my really humble opinion, Ms Merkel’s policy is short-sighted. The unemployment rate is at catastrophic levels in the southern European countries already, and it will significantly increase in Germany too.

gdfxx
Guest

“If there is more dictatorial oppression or civil war in Turkey, will Ms Merkel take in the 80 million Turkish citizens as refugees and distribute them all over Europe?”

With today’s explosion they all qualify, right?

Webber
Guest

On Orban, I agree.

Your theoretical question about 80 m. citizens of Turkey becoming refugees seems silly for a number of reasons, not least because the entire population would not become refugees.

tappanch
Guest

Illegal alien/migrant/refugee arrivals by sea, through October 9, 2015 – data by UNHCR

Greece:
Arrivals by sea: 445,180

Lesvos: 247,917 (56.79% of 10 islands)
Samos: 57,558 (13.19%)
Chios: 51,293 (11.75%)
Kos: 42,384 ( 9.71%)
Leros: 21,426 ( 4.91%)

Italy: 132,000

Guest

I wish Frau Merkel and the Germans the best of luck with what they are trying to do and sincerely hope they will really succeed in their truly admirable endeavours to absorb and integrate the massive numbers of newcomers.

bimbi
Guest

Yes indeed one wishes Germany success in this great experiment that they have now undertaken. It would be wonderful if the process of settlement and integration were to be proved a success even though that outcome is years down the road.

At the same time there comes to mind that sad adage that “No act of kindness shall go unpunished”.

The great unanswered (and unanswerable) question remains as to whether Germany will be “islamized” or whether Islam will be “germanified”. While many of the immigrants will be grateful to have had the opportunity to resettle and will attempt to adjust to German norms, the uncompromising, forceful and unyielding side of Islam will attempt to speak for all of their co-religionists heralding very difficult times ahead for Germany and Europe as a whole. I for one would not wish to live under a state governed by a cult as Europe was centuries ago and certainly not under a state based on the inhuman and discriminatory writings of the Qur’an.

Webber
Guest

Islamic people in Germany have already been Germanified. There is no sign of your nightmare scenario ever being realized.

bimbi
Guest

Dear Webber: I hope you will not think that I am “picky” in drawing a distinction between the large group of Turks that have settled in Germany 60 – 30 years ago and the present group of immigrants. Yes Germany has (substantially) remained Germany up to this time. The question now refers to the sudden influx of 1 million new immigrants from non-Turkish countries, countries often in a state of active war but where militant Islam is often the most powerful force in those conflicts. I cannot be as sanguine as you with respect to the developments to come. It is simply not a matter (would that it were) of “Where there is a will (in this case a benevolent one) there is a way”. The circumstances then and now are not the same. It would appear to me prudent for Germany and Europe to be vigilant regarding the potential destabilization of its society, now and in the years ahead.

Yes, your comic video was great. Well done Germany.

Guest

This latest article on Angela Merkel shows that at last the EU has had enough of the racist East Europen member states attitude and mentality to foreigners.

Even if their mentality cannot be changed quickly, policies should and must be put in place to ensure a more humanitarian treatment of the refugees..

http://www.politico.eu/article/merkel-eu-needs-to-consider-treaty-change/#comment-273155

german1971
Guest

Anybody remembers the 1971 Palestinian refugee wave?

After the Black September 1970, a few thousand Palestinian fled Jordan, via Damascus, arrived in Paris, and continued to Germany.

Zirndorf had more Palestinian refugees than any other nationalities in 1970-1971.

Most of them have not stayed in Germany, but some of them were probably recruited for terror.

All of them were young men, and most were truly trying to leave the Arafat led Fatah terror organization.

That movement was tightly controlled by the Soviet agencies, and has remained a founding source of the terror for the past 55 years.

The Iranian branches of terror are a 35 year old operation.

This problem needs a solution. The Moscow and Tehran centers must cease their subversion.

Istvan
Guest
Eva’s essay on the demographic motivation of Chancellor Merkel’s position on immigration may unfortunately be based on one vision of the need for lower skilled workers in the future, a future with a time horizon of maybe only 15 years. As I have indicated before there are other visions of that future that paint a radically different picture than the one Eva presents as the motivation for Merkel’s open door policy. The vast majority of academic studies conclude that the initial net effect of unskilled labor migration on wages of native workers is small for advanced nations like Germany. in the current context The large adverse effects of migration on wages are to be found among prior cohorts of unskilled immigrants. In the long run, all these effects become smaller still if investment picks up, the economy adjusts, and immigrants and their offspring build human and social capital. It does have a negative impact on the competitive employment of people with intellectual and other disabilities in advanced nations, by making employers less likely to accommodate disabled workers because of a larger labor pool of those not needing such accommodations. But that is the reality of the near term and not… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Istvan:
Who is going to pay for Germans’ retirement? If demographic trends are not turned, there will simply not be the funding there.
The question is being asked in Hungary, too.

Istvan
Guest

Taxes on profits hopefully so the system does not collapse. But collapase is always possible Webber.

bimbi
Guest

But it was this self-same Fidesz government who STOLE the collected private pension funds of Hungarian workers and simply frittered it away for short-term advantage (no doubt principally their own). They thereby dumped on some future government(s) the total amount that they stole as a DEBT to be paid as workers retire. This was only one of Fidesz’s monstrous frauds. The current team of Matolcsy and Co. don’t know their backside from their elbow when it comes to economics, but they do know where to store the loot…

Istvan
Guest

Eva as we know in our own community here in the USA many highly skilled and educated Hungarians had to work in the low skilled sector for a number of years until they received appropriate certification and refined language skills. Our country admits the best and brightest from around the world using special visas, Germany can do the same based on its higher skilled labor requirements. While high skilled jobs will grow in the future there is no reason to believe that growth will be massive. For example the USA is now off shoring computer code writing to India because high skilled workers there get paid less, even Hungary has gotten some of this type of work.

This is a very hard world we are entering into and given my current age I feel lucky I will not see we’re all of this could be going Eva.

Rikard
Guest
Re: Angela Merkel….leader of Germany You know besides being one of the foremost leaders in Europe and around the world she seems to be a very careful reader of history and the Eastern European experience. I am sure that her personal experiences married to her analysis on the future of Europe has set her on the course that she has courageously sailed on. She sees perhaps very icy water but nevertheless isn’t afraid to jump in. Ever since humanity left Africa and spread globally the trek ALWAYS revolved on the unknown and put tremendous pressures on the populations as they migrated and sought a place for themselves. This has countinued inexorably through the millennia. Merkel no doubt believes a ‘community’ can only exist and prosper in an environment not on a philosophy of exclusion which bars the ‘other’ but on one of strong cooperation between asymmetric groups. And she’s has seen the downside to particular human cooperation when it went awry with hate, persecution and abject deaths in her own particular experience. Why is it that it is so difficult for some in Europe to not ‘get’ the history? Why do they consistently seem to always be playing with real… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

I would never say that Chancellor Merkel is stupid, I bet PM Orban doesn’t believe that is the case either. But she may not be as cunning as someone like Orban, which is let us say a dark part of humanity.

TeamBritanniaHu
Guest

The issue is not a religious one, it’s cultural.

petofi
Guest

Professor Doktor Hernad…here’s a prime example of Moslem integration, long term.

Please read clear-eyed and without tears:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Malik_Hasan

Webber
Guest
Petofi, for every example you give of a Muslim terrorist, I could give one of a Christian mass murderer. There was one in Oregon some weeks ago; a Christian of British background who looked for fame by murdering Christians. These people all share one thing, regardless of religious background – severe mental illness. And for every example of a Christian or Muslim mass murderer, I could give ten examples of Muslims who have contributed significantly to world culture. Two years ago most of Europe danced to this tune by the descendant of Muslim immigrants: We will never be free of mass murderers, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or what have you. Here’s another I might remind you of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Beersheba_shootings If you want to concentrate on that sort of thing, your life will be miserable. That is your choice. It’s your business. If you wish to imply (and you apparently do) that Muslims are necessarily mass murderers, you will make the lives of others miserable. That is not just your choice. That is not just your business. That is bigotry, and deserves to be called by its name. P.S. Don’t even try to call me a “bleeding heart” or whatever knee-jerk reaction comes… Read more »
petofi
Guest

@Webber

Try and digest this: I’m not into hating anyone. But it takes only 5 suitcase bombs–in NY, Chicago, London, Paris, Rome–to set western civilization back 2500 years.

The people most likely to bring this to pass are extremist Moslems.
I will yell at the top of my voice to help people focus at the brutal, horrible, reality that may come about.

Member

Conditional Probability 101

From the fact that, given that someone is a terrorist, the conditional probability that he is also a muslim is indeed significantly higher than the relative proportion of muslims on the planet, it definitely does not follow — except for bigots reasoning backwards from their preferred conclusions rather than forward from the evidence and logic — that, given that someone is a muslim, the conditional probability that he is also a terrorist is significantly higher than the relative proportion of terrorists on the planet.

This is because there are orders of magnitude more muslims on the planet than there are terrorists (and plenty of non-muslim terrorists too).

In contrast, I regret to say that given that someone is Hungarian, the conditional probability that he is a bigot does seem to be significantly higher than the proportion of bigots on the planet; and the disease does not seem to be exclusive to Fidik (though they probably contribute the biggest chunk)…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_probability

tappanch
Guest

Axioms:
A. Muhammad is Allah’s last prophet,
B. his [Allah’s] later words abrogate his and other prophets’ earlier words, in case of a contradiction.

Therefore sura 9 [the penultimate sura] is Allah’s ultimate, unchangeable word in the matter of war.

Now read sura 9 (for example verses 1 & 29), and you know what Allah mandated for a religious Muslim to do with probability = 1.

Member

Holy Rit

All the planet’s cults have in their crib sheets nonsensical injunctions by which almost none of the cult members abide. And all cults have some minorities that take (or imagine they take) some of the nonsensical injunctions literally. The proportion of these ueber-zealots in Islam is probably higher than the global average for all cults on the planet today — but the conditional probabilities are still as I described them (and not as apocalyptic Islamophobic bigots portray them). The probability that your muslim neigbour is an ueber-zealot is not significantly higher than that your neighbor from another cult is. It’s just the probability that an ueber-zealot is a muslim that is significantly higher.

That said, all ueber-zealots are a deadly threat today, because of newfound deadly means at their disposal that were not envisioned when their crib sheets were written. And that includes the secular crib-sheets of the US founding fathers, penned in the musket era.

But only Orban is putting up razor fences — and claiming he’s beholden to do it according to EU writ…

gdfxx
Guest
I will accept this when you can point out any other cult that not only wants to but has implemented not one but several states based on its “nonsensical injunctions”. In many of those states homosexuals are stoned to death. Women who “cheat” on their husbands are stoned to death. People who belong to other cults are oppressed and hit with additional taxes (if not murdered). And lately these “nonsensical injunctions” are applied by large gangs of bandits that not only occupy large parts of Iraq and Syria but have some presence in most Arab countries and more and more in Africa and the rest of the world. And yes, there are terrorists of all kind. But the overwhelming majority of terrorist acts in the world today are perpetrated by people belonging to this group. And when one sees the fervor of their belief, when one sees how they trample each other to death to circle a piece of stone, how they march on the streets of shia cities torturing themselves until their blood flows, one does get scared. By the way, I assume you heard about the election results in Austria. The right wingers lost by a small margin.… Read more »
Webber
Guest

The overwhelming majority of mass murders in the West are not perpetrated by this one group.

But yes, a lot of murders have been perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Can you and Petofi tell me why you feel the need “to yell at the top of your voices” (Petofi’s phrase) about something that ALL of us already know perfectly well?

Do you really think people aren’t informed?

Haven’t you noticed that Jobbik and other extreme right organizations are screaming about this sort of thing all the time, and that it’s very thoroughly covered by the mainstream media?

We’re all standing outside and you’re shouting like idiots “it’s raining, it’s raining!” (as if nobody noticed)

That people disagree with you does not mean that they are not in possession of the facts you have.

I happen to think that it is precisely your sort of “yelling” that is going to evoke murder – of innocent Muslims by extreme right wingers.

Webber
Guest

P.S. By the way, I am quite sure that your sort of thinking and speech helped the extreme right in Austria. So, congratulations. I don’t think you’ll ever do better than that in an election in Austria (it’s an unusual year, in many ways), but I’m sure you’ll try. And heck, you might do better in Hungary. Just keep it up.

Webber
Guest

P.P.S. After the people you are supporting with your “yelling” have finished with the Muslims, you know who their next target will be?

tappanch
Guest
” all cults have some minorities that take (or imagine they take) some of the nonsensical injunctions literally.” This is the crux of the matter !!!! While Jews have already practiced non-literary interpretations of their holy texts more than two thousand years ago (read Josephus Flavius about this), Muhammad ordered LITERARY interpretation . Bukhari (Vol.8. Hadith No. 809): “Narrated Ibn Umar (RA): A Jew and a Jewess were brought to Allah’s Apostle (S) on a charge of committing illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet asked them: ‘What is the legal punishment (for this sin) in your Book (Torah)?’ They replied: ‘Our priests have innovated the blackening of faces with charcoal and Tajbiya’ (being mounted on a donkey, with their faces in opposite directions, then mortified in public). Abdullah bin Salaam said: ‘0 Allah’s Apostle, tell them to bring the Torah.’ The Torah was brought, and then one of the Jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajm (stoning to death) and started reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, Ibn Salaam said to the Jew: ‘Lift up your hand.’ The Divine Verse of the Rajm was under his hand. So Allah’s Apostle (S) ordered that the… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

“So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque.

I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones.”

Sahih Bukhari 6:60:79

Member

I would have thought that you, of all people, Tappanch, would understand conditional probability — and would not reply with 1500-year old anecdotes.

Yes the judaic cult has been largely “detoxified” across the millennia (“aided” by powerlessness and anti-semitism), but monstrousness still waits in the wings, crib-sheets poised, as we see in the West Bank settlements. Ditto the christist cult, house-trained since Inquisitorial days — but don’t count out the gun-totin’ bible belt just yet…

But have we forgotten Hungary? Reverend Orban is wrapping his atrocities in the parchment of the last-mentioned sanitized sect…

(I await the inevitable creed-exonerating cliché from the faithful, so familiar in its NRA counterpart, “Blame the shooter, not the shotgun”… — In Orban’s particularly odious case there’s even some truth to that…)

tappanch
Guest

Dear Stevan Hernad,

Hadiths are NOT ONLY anecdotes, they are obligatory explanations of law, the Muslim analogue of Talmud. There are several layers of Hadith. The compilation made by Bukhari is obligatory for any Sunni. (perhaps for Shi’as too, but I have to research this further)

Re: West Bank (you brought it up…)

I still do not understand why you (and lots of American and European politicians nowadays) think that Afghans (just an example) have every right to settle thousands of kilometers away in Europe, but at the same time object that Jews live in Judea, five kilometers from the 1948-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and Jordan.

with friendship, tappanch

Guest

Thank you, Stevan!
I’m not commenting too much because we just arrived in Germany and there are some important things to do.
Just want to say that this “Muslim-refugees-are-by-nature-terrorists-Bashing” seems weird to me – especially coming from people who themselves fled an oppressive regime …
PS:
The Austrians showed themselves to be more human and intelligent than expected, the right wing FPÖ (Jobbik style) did not manage to conquer Vienna!

petofi
Guest

Please try to get off your soapbox, or milk carton, and focus: my example–and it shouldn’t have been hard to understand this–was about moslem ‘adaptation’, or, its unlikeliness. Here was a person, born in the US, who was inculcated with the Moslem penchant for hate and retribution.

This is NOT comparable to white, right wing, extremists in any way.
Your mixing apples and coconuts.

If you can’t extract the Moslem hate towards others from one born in the US; educated in the US; in fact, very well educated to the PHd level…than why do people think that others–moslem immigrants–are likely to adapt? Especially when the whole culture is tilted to disrespect nonbelievers…

Webber
Guest
Petofi You are the one on the soapbox. I have only responded to your (and others’) speechifying about the danger of all Muslims. The moment you stop with this hate-mongering suggesting that Muslims are incapable of “adaptation”, I will stop. I have proven, again and again, that many, many Muslims have adapted fully to Western society. I have posted example after example of Muslims who have fully integrated and reached the pinnacle of success in Western countries. Some of them are women who show their bodies in their performances, like any other Western pop artist. Some of these women are actually living in the Arab world and performing in Arabic. They have millions of Arab fans. I don’t care much for the following performances, but they serves to prove – AGAIN – what I am saying: They demonstrate that what you say about adaptation is false – a lie. If you persist in it, I will say you are not just a bigot, but a liar. You don’t want to see the evidence that has been laid before you. A person who believes that individuals are incapable of “adapting” because of their religious background is a bigot, or worse. Incapable… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Information from June 2015:

No. of murders in the US attributable to Jihadists since 9/11: 26.

No. of murders in the US attributable to extreme r-wingers since 9/11: 48.

Note: this does not include mass murders – school shootings, etc. – that are not ideologically motivated.

Est. no. of deaths by homicide in the US in 2013 (FBI data – last year surveyed): 14,196

Data from:
http://www.npr.org/2015/06/24/417192057/right-wing-extremists-more-dangerous-than-islamic-terrorists-in-u-s
and
https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/november/crime-statistics-for-2013-released/crime-statistics-for-2013-released

Webber
Guest

More than 1,000 mass shootings have been committed in the US in the past three years.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/11/mass-shooting-florida-1000th-sandy-hook

Guest
Sometimes I have the feeling that some people here would like a return to the good old times when heretics and witches were burned on the stake … I well remember that 50 years ago even Germany had a law that punished adultery with I don’t know how many years of prison. And also as a student I could not have a girlfriend stay overnight because there was a law that would have punished the owner of the house for “Kuppelei” … So we’ve developed as humans have been doing for a long time – why shouldn’t those Syriam refugees be different? Again, we’re not talking about the “Muslim states” – the people coming to Europe are fleeing them, don’t you get it! And now back to reality: Yesterday we travelled from Hungary to Germany. So in one of the service areas we met a lot of refugees – many were in the toilet area that I wanted to use. They looked very friendly, talking to each other in a totally foreign language of course and I had no problem getting a free urinal – and I saw that not only were they washing their hands – some of them… Read more »
Webber
Guest

This is just for Petofi:

wpDiscuz