Bundesbank official Sarrazin under fire for anti-Muslim views

26 August 2010

Bundesbank official Thilo Sarrazin faced increasing pressure from across the political spectrum due to his controversial views on Muslims and immigrants on Thursday, as calls grew for him to leave the Social Democrats (SPD) and his central bank post. Sarrazin’s new book, called Deutschland schafft sich ab – Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, or “Abolishing Germany – How we’re putting our country in jeopardy,” is due to be released on Monday. In the book, Sarrazin warns that Germans could become “strangers in their own country” because of integration. He plans to begin a book tour beginning next week.

“There is no other religion with such a flowing transition to violence, dictatorship, and terrorism,” he claimed, before making the equally provocative assertion that Muslim immigrants were “associated with taking advantage of social welfare state and criminality.”

Along with members of the Greens and the Left party, politicians from the conservative Christian Democrats are now calling for him to give up his seat on the central bank’s board. Members of his own party said Sarrazin was “abusing” the SPD’s name. Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of the pro-business FDP party called Sarrazin’s theories “confused and unbearable.” “Germany is a country of immigration and we can be proud of the liberal values and openness of our society,” she said. The head of the Social Democrats in Berlin, Michael Müller, said it was possible the party would take new steps to kick the 65-year-old former Berlin’s finance senator out of the party. Sarrazin survived a previous attempt this year to revoke his party membership for previous controversial comments.