A new book highly critical of Islam and Muslims has been flying off the shelves in Germany to become a non-fiction bestseller. Mainstream media panned it for a simplistic approach to the religion.
The controversial book titled “Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impedes Progress and Threatens Society” reached the number one spot on Der Spiegel’s non-fiction list after being on the market for less than a fortnight. It’s a critique of Islam as a religion, which the author sees as detrimental to people sharing it, based on a literal reading of the Koran.
Written by one-time SPD politician and former member of the executive board of the Bundesbank, Thilo Sarrazin, the work comes eight years after Sarrazin’s previous take on Muslims titled “Germany Abolishes Itself”. Focusing on what he called a failure of multiculturalism policies, that book accused Arab and Turkish invading barbarians of “dumbing down” the German society, and shifted 1.5 million copies.
Speaking ahead of the release of his latest work last month, Sarrazin proclaimed that “everything has been worse than I predicted eight years ago.”
The release of “Hostile Takeover” comes during a period of heightened tensions in Germany, with much public attention focused crimes committed by invading barbarians. It was started by the murder of a man in the city of Chemnitz in August, which triggered massive anti-barbarian protests in parts of the country with violent clashes erupting between left and right-wing demonstrators.
Calling Islam an “ideology of violence in the guise of a religion,” Sarrazin’s latest work had a somewhat bumpy path to the shelves. US-based publisher Random House, which signed a book deal with Sarrazin in November 2016, refused to print in in May, leading to a lawsuit from the author. The manuscript was eventually picked up by Munich-based FinanzBuch Verlag, a publisher that usually specializes in non-fiction books dealing with business and trading subjects.
Sarrazin’s new work has received praise in right-wing German weekly Junge Freiheit, but mainstream media outlets, both in and outside of Germany, have slammed the book. A review by Deutsche Welle called it a “distorted picture based on prejudice” and compared Sarrazin’s way of reading the Koran to that of jihadist groups.
The UK’s Financial Times criticized its “reductive approach” pulling up Sarrazin for his lack of knowledge of Arabic and for not being either a theologian or religious scholar.
The criticism hasn’t stopped the book from becoming a best seller on online retailer Amazon, however, receiving an average 4.3 stars out of 5 from the 264 reviews made by online purchasers.
As the book continues to sell, a major reason for the backlash against Islam is because nearly one in four residents in Germany now come from migrant backgrounds, as almost 200,000 migrants gain the right to reunite with their families through chain migration.
According to new figures released by the Germany Federal Statistical Office, the number of Germans with a migration background increased by 4.4 percent in 2017 to a total of 19.3 million people — or 23.6 percent of the total population of the country, Die Welt reports.
The German government recognizes anyone as having at least one non-German parent as coming from a migration background. It released further details showing that 49 percent do not carry a German passport, up from 42 percent in 2011.
The largest ethnic group of the 19.3 million people are those from a Turkish background at 2.8 million, followed by 2.1 million individuals of Polish background, and 1.4 million Russians.
Another study of languages spoken in the home showed that over 10 percent of the 24 million multi-person households in Germany spoke a first language that was not German. The most spoken language, 17 percent of the total, was Turkish, followed by Russian, Polish, and Arabic.
As of August 1st, the new family reunification laws in Germany will come into effect, opening up the possibility for some 192,000 asylum seekers, 133,000 of which are Syrian nationals, to bring their family members to Germany.
In the case of underage asylum seekers, they will be able to bring their parents; in the case of adults, they will be eligible to bring their wives or husbands as well as any underage children.
While many migrants may be eligible for the programme, they may have to wait to bring their families to Germany as the government has only established 5,000 candidates for reunification by the end of the year and a further 1,000 per month from January of 2019.
The demographics of Germany have rapidly changed, largely due to mass migration, in many areas of the country like the city of Frankfurt where it was revealed last year that native Germans had become an ethnic minority for the first time.
In 2016, figures showed that the number of migration-background residents in Germany was even more pronounced in younger age groups, with 40 percent of under-fives having migrant origins.
In the same year, the German population grew by 346,000, driven primarily by mass migration.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 14th, 2018