In a somewhat stunningly desperate effort to change the narrative (after being hit by numerous recent terror attacks claimed by ISIS), German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed today that "islamist terror in Germany wasn't imported with refugees" adding that "terror existed in Germany before the refugee influx." Roughly translated, this Junckerian "don't blame me" lie is the latest effort to regain some public support in her nation (which has plummeted), continuing to position anti-immigrant sentiment as the biggest danger.
Some facts before we shift to Merkel's commentary (via Gatestone Institute):
- Figures released in July by Destatis, the government's statistics agency, showed that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015.
- More than 33,000 migrants who are supposed to be deported are still in Germany and are being cared for by German taxpayers. Many of the migrants destroyed their passports and are believed to have lied about their countries of origin to make it impossible for them to be deported. Others have gone into hiding so that immigration police cannot find them.
- An investigative report by Bavarian Radio BR24 found that deradicalization programs in Germany are failing, because many Salafists do not want to become deradicalized.
- "My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what was in store for us with this big refugee and migration movement. Integration is a Herculean task that does not end with a three-week language course." — Jens Spahn, CSU politician.
But, as Reuters reports, Merkel pushed back against those who linked recent extremist-inspired terrorist attacks in Europe with refugees who have reached the continent.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution.
More than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere arrived in Germany last year. The mood towards them has soured after a spate of attacks on civilians last month, including three carried out by migrants.
Two of those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
"The phenomenon of Islamist terrorism, of IS, is not a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees," Merkel said at an election campaign event for her Christian Democrats in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern ahead of a regional vote on Sept. 4.
Merkel said many people had traveled from Germany to Syria for training with Islamist militants. In June Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said a total of more than 800 were believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq.
"This group has worried us for several years," she said at the event in Neustrelitz, a town 100 km (60 miles) north of Berlin.
The data says otherwise...
Merkel's popularity has suffered in the wake of the attacks and 52 percent of Germans think her migrant policy is bad, a poll published last week showed. And her popularity this week was not helped as The Express reports, asylum seekers in Germany are refusing to undertake work to counteract boredom - using Chancellor Angela Merkel’s generous hospitality as an excuse.
According to mayor Bernd Pohlers of the eastern town of Saxony Waldenburg, the asylum seekers refused to accept the work that was offered to them after they arrived in the country.
The local council spent £600 arranging for the men to have uniforms but were stunned when they were told they would not complete it because they were "guests of Angela Merkel".
While asylum seekers are not allowed to work under immigration rules within the EU, they are allowed to do voluntary work.
However officials in the district of Zwickau came up with a plan to help encourage those without employment to get back to work and to help them become more accepted within the local community.
In order to do this they created voluntary jobs which included a nominal payment of £18 for 20 hours work.
But all of the male residents of the local refugee accommodation who initially agreed to get involved in the charitable activities quit after discovering there was a minimum wage £7.30 (€8.50) in Germany.
The men had been picked up and offered transportation from their paid-for housing where they are also given food and then dropped home.
Mayor Pohlers said: "It was subsequently argued by these people that they are guests of Mrs. Merkel and guests do not have to work.
"Furthermore, they were of the opinion that there is a minimum wage (€8.50) in Germany, and that this had to be paid by the City Waldenburg."
The influx of migrants, many of whom are Muslim, has boosted support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).
As The Washington Post concludes, Merkel's responses suggest that she views anti-immigrant sentiment as potentially dangerous, too.
Germany has a long history of far-right attacks, and many far-right groups have adopted fervently anti-Muslim or anti-migrant views. The Islamic State itself has published scores of texts that attack refugees who abandon its self-proclaimed caliphate; the group seems to relish any opportunity to stoke anti-refugee sentiment in Europe.
Merkel's appearance at the campaign event may also have been a pushback against the rhetoric of the Alternative for Germany party that is expected to do well in upcoming regional elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Although it is pretty clear from her vice-chancellor's words following protest at a 2015 Merkel visit just what they think of the "vermin that must be jailed" Germans who disagree with theur immigration policies...
Finally, by way of reference, here is what the month of July 2016 looked like in Germany from a multicultural perspective...(via Gatestone Institute):
July 1. A court in Bavaria ruled that a law that prohibits Muslim legal trainees from wearing headscarves is illegal. The district court in Augsburg ruled in favor of Aqilah Sandhu, a 25-year-old law student who filed a lawsuit against the state for barring her from wearing the headscarf at public appearances in court while performing legal training. The ruling said there was no legal basis for the restriction and "no formal law that obligates legal interns to a neutral worldview or a religious neutrality." Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback, arguing that legal officials as well as trainees in the court needed to present the appearance of impartiality, said he would appeal the ruling.
July 3. A 24-year-old woman, raped by three migrants in Mannheim in January, admitted to lying about the identity of her attackers. Selin Gören, a Turkish-German woman, initially said that her attackers were German nationals, when in fact they were Muslim migrants. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Gören, the spokeswoman of Germany's left-wing youth movement, Solid, said she lied because she was afraid of fueling racism against migrants.
July 4. The newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reported that the 30 biggest German companies listed on the DAX blue-chip stock market index have employed only 54 refugees, including 50 who were hired as couriers by the logistics provider, Deutsche Post. The report casts doubt on Chancellor Angela Merkel's promise to integrate the 1.1 million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 into the German labor market as quickly as possible. Company executives say the main problem is that migrants lack professional qualifications and German language skills.
July 4. A court in Frankfurt sentenced a 35-year-old German-Turkish Salafist to two-and-a half-years in prison for weapons possession, but absolved him of charges relating to terrorism. Halil D. was originally accused of plotting to attack a bicycle race in Frankfurt. At the time of his arrest, police found an arsenal of weapons, including a pipe bomb, in his basement. Halil D. claimed he built the bomb to spring open the contents of a cigarette vending machine. Police also found Islamic State propaganda videos, as well as copies of Dabiq, the Islamic State's online magazine, on his computer. At the time of his arrest, Halil D. said: "I believe in the Sharia. German laws do not apply to me." The court said there was insufficient proof that Halil D. was a terrorist.
Halil D. was accused of plotting to attack a bicycle race in Frankfurt. At the time of his arrest, German police found an arsenal of weapons, including a pipe bomb, in his basement, as well as Islamic State propaganda materials on his computer. The court said there was insufficient proof that Halil D. was a terrorist.
July 7. The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, unanimously approved changes to the criminal code to expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes. Under the bill, also known as the "No Means No" ("Nein heißt Nein") law, any form of non-consensual sex will now be punishable as a crime. Previously, the only cases punishable under German law were those in which the victims could show that they physically resisted their attackers. As Germany's politically correct justice system, is notoriously lenient when it comes to prosecuting, sentencing and deporting foreign offenders, however, the reforms are unlikely to end Germany's migrant rape epidemic.
July 7. More than six months after mobs of Muslim men sexually assaulted more than 1,000 women in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve, a German court issued the first two convictions: The District Court of Cologne gave a 20-year-old Iraqi, identified only as Hussain A., and a 26-year-old Algerian, Hassan T., a one-year suspended sentence and then released both men. Hussain, who was 20 at the time, was sentenced under juvenile law and was ordered to attend an integration course and do 80 hours of community service. The newspaper, Bild, published photographs of a jubilant Hassan smiling as he left the courtroom. An observer said the light sentence was a mockery of justice and would serve as an invitation for criminal migrants to do as they please with German women.
July 8. Teachers at the Kurt Tucholsky secondary school in Hamburg boycotted this year's graduation ceremony to protest a Muslim student who refused to shake hands with a female staff member. The school's director Andrea Lüdtke, sided with the student: "I accept his decision," she said. A German columnist, Heike Klovert, defended Lüdtke by arguing that teachers should not be tasked with integrating students:
"She took her Muslim student seriously. She did not try to bend him to adapt to a supposedly German way of doing things. She understands that respect is not dependent upon a handshake, and that not everyone who does not want to shake hands is a misogynist extremist."
July 10. A Federal Criminal Police Agency (BKA) inquiry into the sex attacks in Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and other German cities on New Year's Eve found that more than 1,200 women were victims of attacks, which were perpetrated by more than 2,000 men, many of whom are believed to be from North Africa. BKA President Holger Münch admitted: "There is a relationship between the attacks and the strong wave of migration in 2015."
July 10. More than a hundred Shia Muslims took to the streets of Bonn to commemorate the death of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed. Ali was assassinated in 661. Evoking scenes from seventh century Iraq, 130 shirtless men, hypnotically beating their chests and chanting to beating drums, wound their way through downtown Bonn for more than five hours (pictures here). Local health officials reminded doctors they had a legal responsibility to treat anyone with self-inflicted injuries.
July 11. In a new survey, the Pew Research Center found that 61% of Germans believe the recent influx of refugees will "increase the likelihood of terrorism in our country." The survey also found that 61% of Germans believe Muslims in their country "want to be distinct from the larger society."
July 13. The Platanus-Schule, a private bilingual school in Berlin, apologized to a Muslim imam after a teacher at the school called him "misogynistic" and "ill-adapted to German life" because he refused to shake her hand. The imam's lawyer said the apology was insufficient; critics accused the school of "capitulating" and endangering the principle of gender equality in Germany. CDU politician Philipp Lengsfeld wrote on Twitter: "The essence of the handshake debate is not about religion or an individual's opinion, it is about the authority of the state and gender equality."
July 14. Figures released by Destatis, the government's statistics agency, showed that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015. More than 633,000 arrived from Asia, including 309,000 from Syria, 84,000 from Afghanistan and 65,000 from Iraq. More than 113,000 migrants arrived from Africa.
July 14. During a parliamentary investigation into the migrant sex attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve, it was revealed that one of the women who was raped became pregnant. She failed to report the attack to police because she felt ashamed.
July 14. Ruprecht Polenz, a former secretary general of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that the German law which regulates name changes (Namensrecht) should be amended to make it easier for Muslim migrants in Germany who feel discriminated against to change their legal names to Christian-sounding ones. German law generally does not allow foreigners to change their names to German ones, and German courts rarely approve such petitions. By custom and practice, German names are only for Germans.
July 15. At least 24 women were sexually assaulted at a music festival in Bremen. The attacks were similar to the "taharrush gamea" [collective harassment] attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Police have been able to identify only five perpetrators, all of whom are migrants from Afghanistan. Harald Lührs, the lead investigator for sex crimes in Bremen said: "We have never experienced such massive attacks in Bremen. That groups of men surround women in order to grope them, this has never happened here in this magnitude. This is a new problem that the police have to deal with."
July 16. A document leaked to the newsmagazine, Der Spiegel, revealed that more than 33,000 migrants who are supposed to be deported are still in Germany and are being cared for by German taxpayers. Many of the migrants destroyed their passports and are believed to have lied about their countries of origin to make it impossible for them to be deported. Others have gone into hiding so that immigration police cannot find them.
July 17. An investigative report by Bavarian Radio BR24 found that deradicalization programs in Germany are failing because many Salafists do not want to become deradicalized. The report also showed that many jihadists who have returned to Germany from Iraq and Syria are producing propaganda videos for the Islamic State.
July 18. An Afghan asylum seeker wielding an axe was shot dead by police after he injured five people on a train in Würzburg. The man shouted "Allahu Akbar" ["Allah is the Greatest"] during the attack. Green Party MP Renate Künast criticized the police for using lethal force. In a tweet, she wrote: "Why could the attacker not have been incapacitated without killing him???? Questions!" Künast's comments provoked a furious backlash, with many accusing her of showing more sympathy for the perpetrator than for the victims. The outpouring of anger against Künast indicates that Germans have had enough of their politically correct politicians.
July 18. Lutz Bachmann, the leader of the anti-migration Pegida movement, announced the formation of a political party, Popular Party for Freedom and Direct Democracy (Freiheitlich Direktdemokratische Volkspartei, FDDV). The move is in response to government threats to ban the Pegida movement.
July 19. Three teenage jihadists who bombed a Sikh temple in Essen on April 16 were formally charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and "bringing about an explosion." The teenagers, who said they were upset about the way Muslims are being treated by Sikhs in Northern India, were not charged with terrorism offenses.
July 19. The managers of a German Red Cross refugee shelter in Potsdam were accused of covering up the sexual abuse of women at the facility.
July 20. The Federal Labor Office (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) reported that the educational level of newly arrived migrants in Germany is far lower than expected: only a quarter have a high school diploma, while three quarters have no vocational training at all. Only 4% of new arrivals to Germany are highly qualified.
July 22. Ali Sonboly, an 18-year-old Iranian-German who harbored hatred for Arabs and Turks, killed ten people (including himself) and wounded 35 others at a McDonald's in Munich.
July 23. A mob of men shouting "Allahu Akbar" barged into a nudist beach in Xanten and "insulted and threatened" the beachgoers. Police kept the incident hidden, apparently to avoid negative media coverage of Muslims "in these sensitive times."
July 24. Mohammed Daleel, a 27-year-old migrant from Syria whose asylum application was rejected, injured 15 people when he blew himself up at a concert in Ansbach. The suicide bombing was the first in Germany attributed to the Islamic State. Daleel had fought with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Iraq before coming to Germany. In a cellphone video made before the attack, Daleel vowed that Germans "will not be able to sleep peacefully anymore." Although German authorities had tried to deport Daleel in early 2016, the effort was blocked by German Left Party MP Harald Weinberg, who demanded that Daleel get medical care for a knee injury. "After everything I knew at that time, I would decide the same today," Weinberg told the newspaper Bild.
July 24. A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker murdered a 45-year-old Polish woman and her unborn baby in a machete attack in Reutlingen.
July 24. A 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6AM when the attack occurred. The migrant, who has been living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene. He is unlikely to be deported, however, because Eritrea is considered a conflict zone.
July 25. A 45-year-old Palestinian brandishing a "Rambo knife" and shouting "Allahu Akbar" tried to behead a doctor in Bonn. The attacker's 19-year-old son had complained about the doctor's treatment for a fractured leg. While holding the doctor down on the floor, the man said: "Apologize to my son. Go down on your knees and kiss his hand." The attacker was arrested and then set free.
July 25. Sahra Wagenknecht, the leader of the Left Party (Die Linke), lashed out at Merkel's open-door migration policy:
"The events of the past few days show that the acceptance and integration of a large number of refugees and migrants presents significant problems. It is much more difficult than Merkel tried to persuade us last fall with her reckless 'We can do it' ['Wir schaffen das'].
The government must now do everything possible to ensure that people in our country can feel safe again."
July 25. Frank Henkel, a CDU Senator from Berlin, said:
"No one should delude themselves: We obviously have imported some brutal people who are capable of committing barbaric crimes in our country. We have to say this clearly and without taboos. This also means that we must deal aggressively with Islamism. If we do not, we risk that German politics will be perceived as being detached from reality."
July 25. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière revealed that German authorities are currently investigating 59 refugees because of the "suspicion that they are involved in terrorist structures."
July 25. Following a series of Islam-related attacks in a week, the President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, said: "We must know who is in our country."
July 26. Seehofer, said: "Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany."
July 27. Police raided a mosque in Hildesheim. They also searched eight apartments belonging to members of the mosque. Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of Lower Saxony, said: "The mosque in Hildesheim is a national hot-spot for the radical Salafist scene. After months of preparation, with these raids today, we have taken an important step towards banning the group."
July 27. Police in Ludwigsburg arrested a 15-year-old who they said was planning a mass-shooting similar to the July 22 attack in Munich. During a search of the teenager's home, police found more than 300 rounds of ammunition, as well as knives, chemicals and bullet-proof vests.
July 28. Speaking at an annual summer press conference in Berlin, Merkel insisted there would be no change to her open-door migration stance: "We decided to fulfill our humanitarian tasks. Refusing humanitarian support would be something I would not want to do and I would not recommend this to Germany.... Anxiety and fear cannot guide our political decisions." She also said: "Let me be clear, we are at war with Islamic State; we are not at war with Islam."
July 29. Thomas Jahn, the vice chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), lambasted Merkel's open-door migration policy: "We need to control our borders. That is the most important thing at the moment. And we need to send the dangerous people with Islamist ideology back to the countries outside Europe and the European Union."
July 30. CSU politician Jens Spahn said: "My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what was in store for us with this big refugee and migration movement. Integration is a Herculean task that does not end with a three-week language course." He also called for a burqa ban: "A ban on the full body veil — that is the niqab and the burka — is overdue... I do not want to have to encounter any burqa in this country. In that sense, I am a burqaphobe."
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But yeah, apart from the surge in Islamist terror incidents, the spike in rapes, and the collapse in societal support, everything is awesome for Merkel's immigration policies...