From AP, with thanks to Kemaste and KJL:
BERLIN (AP) – Shop signs in Arabic and Turkish, storefront mosques and women wearing headscarves in the streets are evidence of how new arrivals have found a slice of home in Berlin’s heavily immigrant Neukoelln neighborhood.
For years, Germans viewed such neighborhoods as a sign of a tolerant, multicultural society. But the Nov. 2 slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh allegedly by an Islamic radical has raised alarm in next-door Germany, which is home to more than 3 million Muslims.
Fears that growing alienation between immigrants and majority Germans could lead to strife have prompted politicians including Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to send a message to Muslims immigrants: Learn German, fit in, commit to democratic rules.
In Neukoelln, where 80 percent of elementary school students are not German, some civic leaders say the debate underscores something they have said for some time: Immigrants are not going to conform to mainstream German society over time.
More than anything, politicians and law enforcement officials worry that Muslims who reject German culture are more susceptible to radical Islam – a fear stoked by the fact that three of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots lived and studied in Germany. One politician has urged that imams be required to preach in German to help authorities keep tabs on them. Germans would like to see more Muslim immigrants like Alev Ozbingol, 22, who recently left Turkey to join her Turkish-born husband in Berlin and look for a job.
I wonder if it has occurred to those pols and cops that it might be the other way around: Muslims who are more susceptible to radical Islam might reject German culture, and no amount of “reaching out” will change that.
No, I doubt it has:
Buschkowsky says it’s time Germany made a new push to reach out and integrate its Muslims.
“Those who feel shut out,” he warns, “become easy prey for hate preachers and criminal groups.”
But what of those who choose to be shut out? Is attachment to Sharia and jihadist radicalism really bred by being “shut out”? Then why did it exist before such communities in Germany even existed, let alone before they were “shut out”?