Germany Hardens on Immigrants and Islam

Germany Hardens on Immigrants and Islam

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Germany plans to ban the burka. Will states turn a blind eye to anti-migrant violence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the door to thousands of immigrants has proven the most significant of her long chancellorship. Every bit as important is her repeated refusal to backtrack. The pragmatist who defined her chancellorship by following public opinion stood firm.

Or, rather, stood firmish. While she has not abandoned her position completely, she has certainly shuffled away from it. German attitudes to both Islam and immigration are hardening in a way that not even Ms. Merkel can resist.

On December 6, Ms. Tolerance herself declared that she wanted Germany to ban the burka, the Muslim full-face covering. “The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country,” she said at the Christian Democratic Union’s (cdu) convention, to great applause. “It should be banned wherever it is legally possible.” This would probably see it banned from schools, government buildings and when driving.

This is a revolutionary step—the moment Germany joins Europe’s cultural clash with Islam.

Until five years ago, with the exception of Yugoslavia, no country in Europe had a ban on the burka. The Netherlands has been talking about it for the last decade, but still has not managed to make it law. When France instituted a ban, it received international condemnation—not just from Muslims, but even from Amnesty International, a nongovernmental organization focused on human rights. The France police union complained that the law would be “extremely difficult … if not almost impossible” to enforce.

But the move was popular with the French, and the left has grown used to it. Now that Germany is heading toward a ban, the most remarked on aspect of the story is not that Europe’s leading nation is embracing something that was once seen as controversial and Islamophobic. Instead, the main discussion revolves around German politics.

Conservative critics say that this law is little more than a token gesture—that it does not go far enough in confronting the problems of radical Islam. That is true. But it is still a major step. Thus far Germany has fought the war on terror by focusing on individual terrorists—by raiding houses and cracking down on incitement to violence. For the first time, its target is a cultural symbol—this time a symbol of a more radical and repressive strain of Islam. Germany is starting to accept that it is involved in a clash with a religious movement, not just a few individuals.

During the same speech, Ms. Merkel did not quite admit that she was wrong to open Germany’s doors in 2015. But she did say it would never happen again. “A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not, and must not be repeated,” she declared.

At the same time, her government is hardening its stance on migrants. Foreign Policy contributing editor James Traub wrote:

After spending several days in Dresden last month, what became clear to me is that Germany is trying very hard to get rid of many of the refugees to whom it opened its arms. After a change in policy by the Interior Ministry last spring, Syrians now receive only one year of asylum, which must be renewed, rather than the three years they routinely got before. During the same period, the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, passed a law putting an end to “family reunification” for those who only receive these one-year grants. And Germany has increased the pace of deportations for those who do not receive any form of protection. …There have been more than 250 recorded incidents of violence against refugees in Dresden alone this year; many involve attacks on their housing. Ali Moradi, the managing director of the Refugee Council of Saxony, says in years past the state government simply turned a blind eye to racist and far-right activism, but now it sees the Nazis—a word that Germans apply broadly to violent far-right groups—as potential allies in its own campaign to persuade refugees that they are not welcome. The government has largely stood aside, Moradi says, as violent youths have terrorized refugees, especially in the state’s small towns and villages. At times, federal prosecutors have had to step in when local authorities failed to act in the face of attacks on immigrants.The combination of national legal changes, local restrictions, and growing public intolerance has convinced some of the refugees I met that they made a terrible mistake seeking asylum in Germany.

On October 2, the European Union signed an agreement with Afghanistan to send back Afghan migrants. Now, in general, Germany is deporting migrants that arrived from North Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Of course, not everything has changed overnight. The federal government pays up to $750 for accommodations and living expenses per migrant. But this simply means that costs to the government continue to spiral.

It’s clear why Ms. Merkel is making these changes. While she can still command significant personal approval, many Germans disagree with her when it comes to immigrants and Islam. The strength of popular opinion is forcing her to change course.

During the same convention, Ms. Merkel’s own party voted against her, voting to repeal legalization she passed allowing German citizens to have dual citizenship. Previously, Germans with dual citizenship had to choose which citizenship they wished to keep once they turned 23. The change was mainly designed to allow young Turks who had grown up in Germany to retain both their German and Turkish citizenship. Now her party wants that reversed.

“[T]hey overruled Ms. Merkel on a central, symbolic question. The signal is clear. You can be German or Turkish,” wrote the Financial Times. “You cannot be both.”

The same principle is at the heart of the burka law—there are certain strains of Islam that are not German.

There’s much to like in these changes in Germany. A more common-sense migration policy and better recognition of the danger posed by radical Islam. But other elements—like the blind eye state governments are reportedly turning to anti-migrant violence—are more disturbing. Mass migration and radical Islam have done major damage to Germany. But there are already indications that Germany’s response will be just as dangerous.

Europe is building to a clash with radical Islam. The hardening mood in Germany is a sign of this coming clash. To learn more about how this clash is building, read our article “Will Europe Rediscover Its Christian Identity?” from the November-December Trumpet.

Week in Review: German Burka Ban, Reclaiming Sirte, a Phone Call From Taiwan, Undermining Parents, and Much More

Week in Review: German Burka Ban, Reclaiming Sirte, a Phone Call From Taiwan, Undermining Parents, and Much More

Ashley Pon/Getty Images, Fairfax Media/Getty Images, JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images, ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

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Germany bans the burka

  • As German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues her pursuit of another term in office, she is changing her tune to blend with strong popular opinion.
  • On December 6, she declared that she wanted Germany to ban the burka, the Muslim full-face covering. “The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country,” she said at the Christian Democratic Union’s convention. “It should be banned wherever it is legally possible.”
  • This is a revolutionary step—the moment Germany joins Europe’s cultural clash with Islam.
  • Post-Islamic State Libya: chaotic and divided

  • The announcement Tuesday that Libyan militias backed by United States airpower had finally routed the Islamic State from its northern Libyan stronghold of Sirte was supposed to be a moment of jubilee and hope for unity.
  • Yet, as Sudarsan Raghavan wrote for the Washington Post, “Libya could become even more chaotic after the Islamic State loses its stronghold.”
  • Foreign Policy’s Tarek Megerisi referred to the development as a “hollow victory.”
  • The longer Libya remains chaotic, the more vulnerable it becomes to intervention from foreign powers. Daniel 11:40-43 indicate that the chief powers involved in Libya will be a German-led Europe and an Iranian-led alliance.
  • The Taiwan-Trump phone call

  • On December 2, President-elect Donald Trump received a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
  • But according to China, Taiwan isn’t a real country, and that means a phone call with the next American president shouldn’t happen.
  • Will China give in to the rhetoric of Donald Trump—this man who has made it clear that his decisions are based on an isolationist, America-first worldview?
  • Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in August 1998: “How could anyone fail to see that Taiwan is destined to become a part of mainland China? These 21 million people are going to be forced into the Chinese mold; and it is going to happen for one reason: because of a pitifully weak-willed America.”
  • War on family in Ontario, Canada

  • Ontario law once stated that “for all purposes of the law of Ontario, a person is the child of his or her natural parents,” with the exception of adoption.
  • Now, with the passage of Bill 28, known as the “All Families Are Equal Act,” on November 29, the terms “mother,” “father” and “natural parents” are being purged from all Ontario statutes and replaced with the neutered term “parent.” The new law makes it possible for a child to have up to four “parents.”
  • Other news:

  • In 2009, Germany’s ruling coalition stated that removing American-owned nuclear weapons from German soil was one of its goals. Now the debate has moved on—and some want Germany to build its own nukes, as Ulrich Kühn, fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in “The Sudden German Nuke Flirtation.”
  • Anti-Assad rebel forces in Aleppo, Syria, have essentially been defeated. It’s likely that we are about to witness a fracturing within in the Assad alliance, as both Iran and Russia vie for dominance over Syria’s future.
  • Get the details on these stories and more by subscribing to the Trumpet Weekly!

    Enemy of God

    The Prophet Micah wrote about God’s own Church rebelling and becoming His enemy. How did this tragic betrayal happen? And how can you remain loyal to God?

    Have We Forgotten God?

    The two most blessed nations in history have rejected the source of their prosperity and wealth.

    Listen to the Trumpet Daily live each day at 7:00 am (CST) on Trumpet Radio.

    The most remarkable fulfillment of biblical prophecy in modern times was the sudden sprouting forth of the two mightiest world powers: Great Britain, forming the greatest world empire of all time; and the United States of America, the single most powerful nation in history.

    Both of these nations, with incredible suddenness, came into possession of more than two thirds—nearly three fourths—of the cultivated wealth and resources of the whole world. This sensational spurt from virtual obscurity in so short a time gives incontrovertible proof that God’s Word is divinely inspired!

    God made an unconditional promise to the ancient patriarch Abraham that his descendants would be the recipients of unparalleled blessings. The story of how those birthright blessings were passed down through the generations, delayed, and finally fulfilled thousands of years later is one of the most fascinating truths in the all the Bible.

    On this episode of the Trumpet Daily, we look at the birthright inheritance God promised to bestow upon the latter-day descendants of the two birthright tribes—Ephraim and Manasseh.

    The Obama Doctrine—It Won the Nobel Peace Prize, but Lost the Peace

    The Obama Doctrine—It Won the Nobel Peace Prize, but Lost the Peace

    JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

    Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on December 9, 2016.

    Barack Obama was two weeks into his presidency when nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He went on to receive the award less than a year later—not for anything he had done, but for what he had promised to do. Seven years after he accepted that award, the world couldn’t be further from the peace everyone hoped for. On today’s show, Stephen Flurry looks at the Obama Doctrine’s impact on stability and peace around the globe.

    Listen to or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show on:

    Looming Crisis in Algeria

    Looming Crisis in Algeria

    Bechir Ramzy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Algeria may be about to lose its strongman—and its stability.

    Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has almost vanished from the public eye. Ever since a stroke in 2013 left the president wheelchair-bound and battling numerous health issues, observers have been wondering what a soon-coming, post-Bouteflika Algeria will be like.

    The ramifications extend far beyond Algeria’s porous borders. The Trumpet believes that the removal of this strongman will foster confrontation between two regional powers—one from the Middle East and one from Europe.

    History of Conflict

    The catalyst for this impending showdown is national instability. The loss of 79-year-old Bouteflika may revert Algeria back to anarchy—fertile ground for radical Islam. The nation has not always had the tightly controlled society we see today. Recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security’s start center reveal that from 1970 to 2014, Algeria had the second-highest percentage (12 percent) of terrorist attacks among Arab countries.

    Bouteflika played an instrumental role in ending the “black decade”—the civil war that raged from 1991 to 2002. During this conflict, the majority of the fighting was between the government and radical Islamists. The “black decade” led to the deaths of over 150,000 people. More than a million were internally displaced, and thousands were raped, abducted and tortured.

    It is easy to see why the ailing president has worked so hard to keep Islamists in check, even though it meant wielding a heavy hand.

    Perhaps you remember Jan. 16, 2013, when Islamists seized a natural gas facility in Algeria. Algerian authorities stormed the facility, killing 29 terrorists and capturing three. Thirty-nine foreign workers died during the incident. Algerian authorities later released statements claiming that some of the attackers had come from Egypt and had even participated in the assault on the United States Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

    The Algerian government’s heavy-handedness in this and similar incidents—although drawing international condemnation—has kept radical Islamists in check. Should Bouteflika leave office, Islamists may attempt to capitalize on the instability and make their return.

    Inheriting a Tinderbox

    In early February, the Algerian government made constitutional reforms to ensure that the transition of power from Bouteflika to his successor would be peaceful.

    But even if the transition goes smoothly, Bouteflika’s successor will be inheriting a volatile nation. The porous borders to the south and east need constant military attention. The southern expanses are vastly uninhabited, yet they provide the lifeblood of the nation: oil.

    Think tank Stratfor wrote in June last year, “The sharp decline in oil prices has stretched government finances, and the extended downturn in global energy prices—as well as losing the United States as one of the largest consumers of its light, sweet crude—will be a long-term issue for the government regardless of who is in charge.”

    Combined, these factors expose Algeria as a tinderbox for civil unrest. All it needs are the radicals to light the match.

    Arab Spring 2.0

    The UN’s Arab Human Development Report 2016 points to the possibility of another uprising, similar to the 2011 Arab Spring. It highlights the growing discomfort of youths in the Middle East. Remember, it was the youths who began some elements of the Arab Spring before it was hijacked by extremists.

    Commenting on the UN report, the Jerusalem Post stated, “The age of a deceptive calm in the stagnating Arab world has passed.” The Jerusalem Post, other media outlets and the UN can see trouble brewing among those disenfranchised with the first Arab Spring.

    Ironically, should a new wave of protests plague Algeria and the Arab world, the same outcome will eventuate, only worse. Since the last Arab Spring, the U.S. has further withdrawn from the region and alienated more allies, the Islamic State has arrived, and Iran has been injected with billions of dollars—dollars it can use to fund instability across the region.

    Bad News for Europe

    Europe is watching these events in the Arab world—and preparing.

    Already swamped with migrants, the last thing Europe needs is more refugees fleeing the war-torn Middle East and North Africa. But even if it is just Algeria that collapses into violence, the chaos could still prove catastrophic.

    British author and journalist Stephen Pollard recently published an article for the Spectator titled “How Algeria Could Destroy the EU.” Pollard suggested that when Bouteflika leaves office, Algeria will “implode.” “The Islamists who have been kept at bay by [Bouteflika’s] iron hand will exploit the vacuum,” he wrote. “And then Europe could be overwhelmed by another great wave of refugees from North Africa.”

    He pointed out that due to historic ties, France would likely have to bear the brunt of the refugee influx. This would likely increase popularity for Marine Le Pen’s right-wing political party, the National Front. Le Pen promises that should her party claim power, France will hold a referendum on leaving the EU. The EU would be shattered.

    While only speculation, Pollard’s article shows how vulnerable Europe is to what is happening in North Africa. If Europe is to stave off this eventuality, it must meet radical Islam head-on.

    Battleground Algeria

    In a December 2015 report, the New York Times referred to Algeria’s relative stability as a “critical bulwark against the jihadist movements encroaching in the region.” It was a fair assessment. With the U.S. aiding in the removal of strongmen in Libya and Egypt, Algeria suddenly became the outer edge of radical Islam’s grasp.

    It is here that European countries are attempting to curtail the radical influence. One nation that stands out in this effort is Germany.

    In “Watch Algeria!” from the April 2013 issue of the Trumpet magazine, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:

    Germany is already preparing for this confrontation. In recent years, its arms trade with Algeria has exploded. In 2010, Germany sold less than €20 million (us$27 million) in military equipment to Algeria. In 2011 and 2012, it sold €400 million worth ($537 million)—over 20 times as much! It also underwrote the sale of two warships worth €2.13 billion ($2.86 billion).

    Germany is looking to prop up Algeria in the face of Iranian-backed extremist infiltration.

    The aforementioned article focused on the 2013 terrorist attack at the natural gas facility in Algeria. Mr. Flurry highlighted how Algeria was becoming a pivotal battleground between Europe and the Middle East. If you haven’t already, be sure to read his article here.

    Prophecy in the book of Daniel mentions the coming confrontation between the king of the north (German-led Europe) and the king of the south (Iranian-led radical Islam). The Trumpet offers numerous articles, booklets and pamphlets proving these identities. If you are interested in any of this free literature, click the literature tab at the top of the page.

    It is critical to understand the identities of these biblical personalities prophesied to clash in our time! Right now Algeria—located at the crossroads of north and south—is caught between two prominent powers.

    Mr. Flurry continued:

    You are going to see these two powers clash very soon …. The Daniel 11:40 clash between the king of the south and the king of the north is about to be fulfilled! All of this violence in Africa is just a prelude to the fulfillment of this prophecy.

    Many trivialize what the Bible says about world events, but we will soon see the writings of the Prophet Daniel and many more come to mind-staggering reality. Both Europe and Iran are undoubtedly preparing for the end of Bouteflika’s reign. With so much at stake, we should too.