Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, December 06, 2004


MaxedOutMama, who is doing a great job covering European news, had an interesting post about Turks and Muslims in Germany last week. She was worried that Germans were becoming intolerant of Turks and Muslims, and that this might undermine Germany's good relationship with Turkey (a customer for its arms sales). This Tech Central column suggests that she was onto something:

Some 60 percent of Germans see their country as being überfremdet - an increase of 5 percent over the number two years ago who believe that the six million foreigners out of 80 million inhabitants are infiltrating Germany. The main target of German xenophobia is the community of three million Muslims, mostly Turks. Some 70 percent of Germans believe Muslims are not suited to Western societies, the German one in particular. Two years ago the number was 55 percent.

German Jews are confronted with rising anti-Semitism. Amazingly, according to the study, two-thirds of Germans consider the conduct of Israel towards the Palestinians the same as the conduct of the Nazis towards the Jews. Paul Spiegel, chairman of the Central Council of German Jews, is not surprised. For quite a while he has noticed that within German society "there is no distinction anymore between Jews, foreigners and Muslims".

It's interesting how things are tied together: rising xenophobia is linked to economic stagnation:

[T]he major increase of xenophobia can be traced to persons who consider themselves as politically moderate. He links this trend with a growing feeling of economic uncertainty of Germans. The country, governed since 1998 by Gerhard Schröder and his Social-Democrats in a coalition with Greens, has been suffering for three years from no economic growth. The study shows that 40 percent of Germans expect a worsening of their economic situation.

Leftists like to think that economic illiberalism and social and political liberalism are compatible. Here's more evidence against that notion.


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