German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble believes he has a brilliant solution to the problem of how Germany is going to assimilate a million new Muslim arrivals.
He thinks the refugees need to stop being, well, Muslim.
Of course, he doesn’t say that. But Schaeuble’s meaning is clear to most of us — even though it may be obscure to him. He is calling for the migrants to develop a “German Islam” that is “based on liberalism and tolerance.”
Good luck with that, guys.
Schaeuble, a stalwart of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said: “Without a doubt, the growing number of Muslims in our country today is a challenge for the open-mindedness of mainstream society.”
In a guest article for conservative paper Welt am Sonntag, he added: “The origin of the majority of refugees means that we will be increasingly dealing with people from quite different cultural circles than previously.”
Schaeuble, 74, is seen as possible CDU candidate for Chancellor should Merkel not seek re-election next year.
He acknowledged that sexual attacks by migrants in Cologne and two attacks by migrants claimed by the Islamic State militant group over the summer had soured the mood.
“We should not, in this more tense situation, allow an atmosphere to emerge in which well-integrated people in Germany feel alien,” he said.
Despite the rising number of xenophobic attacks in Germany, Schaeuble said he believed the majority of Germans would say: “Yes, we want you to belong to us.”
Two words we tend not to associate with Islam are “liberalism” and “tolerance.” The reason is simple: you cannot be a good Muslim and express “tolerance” for other religions. And the very notion of “liberalism” is an anathema to all but a few Muslims. And truth be told, those Muslims who call themselves “liberal” aren’t very good Muslims.
To point this out is not bigotry. It is a recognition of fact. In countries where Muslims are a minority, they make a point of remaining separate, holed up in their own communities and wanting as little contact as possible with the majority. There is nothing really wrong with this. It is a choice freely made, and tolerant western countries do little to discourage it.
But Mr. Schaeuble is delusional if he thinks German migrants from Muslim countries are going to suddenly embrace western ideas of democracy and tolerance when Muslims everywhere else have declined to do so. For better or worse, Germany is now stuck with a million people who have very little concern for traditional German values and culture. And the chances are good that their children won’t feel any differently.