Sputnik: What reaction has "Hostile Takeover" seen so far? Do you see your theses gaining more acceptance today?
Thilo Sarrazin: The book has been on sale for a week. It will be number one on the Spiegel bestseller list next week. Although the reviews are mostly very flat and negative, readers don't seem to be letting that deter them.
Sputnik: As the title suggests, the book warns of Islam's negative impact on Western society. What's the most dangerous thing about Islam for you? What are you afraid of?
Thilo Sarrazin: Ultimately, Islam promotes hostility to all the "infidels." It also severely limits the role of women; it's common all over the Islamic world that women marry early. They're very much dependent on their husbands and have relatively many children. As a result, Islam and the Muslim world in general, are superior in demographic terms throughout the world. Wherever there are Muslim minorities, they grow faster than the majority society.
This trend applies to Germany or Russia, or any other country, even India. So here we have the combination of a lifestyle by Muslims that differs from the values of our society. And thus there's a risk that this will eventually cause our societies to topple.
Sputnik: You say that everything is much worse than in "Germany Abolishes Itself", which came out in 2010. And what is worse?
Thilo Sarrazin: There is more violence and terrorism around Islam. There is a higher level of immigration to the West than we expected at that time. And the much hoped-for adaptation of Muslims to Western values and lifestyles has largely failed.
Thilo Sarrazin: But the Bible has a very different role than the Koran. The Bible is understood as a scripture that arose from a historical context and must be interpreted from that context. However, the vast majority of Muslims see the Koran as the literal revelation of God from the mouth of Allah. In this respect, the Koran can't be relativized to anything. At most, one can think about when and under which tree Muhammad learned those revelations.
Sputnik: In the past, however, the Bible was taken literally. And it took the Reformation to…
Thilo Sarrazin: Yes, but still you can and should read and interpret the Bible from a historical-critical context. This is mostly not the case with the Koran because it's the revelation of God. Thus everything — its brutal language, radicalism, calls for Holy War, its obvious oppression of women and so on — take on a completely different role.
Sputnik: Your book also raises the issue of the repatriation of Muslims "if necessary, by the use of military means." What do you mean by that? Do you really want to shoot the migrants if necessary?
Thilo Sarrazin: This is about the issue of illegal immigration. That's another topic. That has much to do with the fact that many of those who have come to us illegally are Muslims. If you have no residence permit, you must return to your home country. Basically, this rule must apply to all migrants. This means that if now a Russian has no residence permit, then he is just sent back to Russia; of course, this should work in agreement with the Russian authorities.
For those countries in Africa or the Middle East where the authorities refuse to take back their own citizens, one has to say at some point that if negotiated solutions don't help, they will be brought back anyway. If this has to be done under military protection, then so be it. Illegal immigrants from Senegal have to be deposited on the coast of Senegal if they have no residence permit.
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Sputnik: Do you have any concerns that your theses may stir up hatred and violence towards other people?
Thilo Sarrazin: I don't see my book like that. I make a clear analysis and I ask how the state and society should address certain issues. I don't call, either directly or indirectly, for violence against people. I'm totally against that.
Thilo Sarrazin: If the police arrest a thief caught red-handed or a street thug, they will use the appropriate means. Today, the government holds the monopoly over the instruments of violence.
Sputnik: You draw parallels between Islam and terrorism, misogyny, above-average crime, below-average education, high birth rates, high immigration pressure and backwardness in the migrants' home countries. Have you found nothing good and positive in Islam and the Koran?
Thilo Sarrazin: I interpret the Koran the way I understand it. It seems to me that my interpretation is close to that of the vast majority of Islamic religious scholars. I only provide facts and connections. That doesn't mean that some individual Muslims can't be nice and peaceful. It has nothing to do with certain individuals.
Sputnik: Do you really have nothing positive to say about Islam?
Thilo Sarrazin: No, I believe the world would have been a better place if Islam had never existed.
Sputnik: What's your vision of Germany in 50 years? It seems that your words that "Germany abolishes itself" have turned out to be prophetic.
Thilo Sarrazin: I am always very careful with forecasts. I can only analyze the existing and historical trends. What I can't foresee is a break in the trends. For example, anyone who was thinking of Russia's future in 1913 couldn't possibly foresee the October Revolution of 1917. In this respect, something can happen that may disrupt existing trends. One can't foresee such things; one can only predict some developments based on the existing system. And I'm describing what I see.
Sputnik: If nothing changes and the government continues pursuing a liberal immigration policy for the next 50 years, are you critical about the change in our society?
Thilo Sarrazin: Hence the name "The Hostile Takeover." In that case, we're going to have an Islamic majority in society.
Sputnik: According to your theory, the influx of migrants to Germany in the 1950-1960s would have made society more intolerant, perhaps more stupid and violent. But if you look around…
Thilo Sarrazin: That's indeed the society that we have today. We need to understand that there have been different guest worker groups. The Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese either went back home or integrated well with us. Most of them went home while most migrant workers from Islamic countries, mainly Turkey and Morocco, have been poorly integrated.
And if you look at where the third and fourth generation migrants live today, you can see that Germany would be more prosperous in per capita income, and there would be less tension if these immigrant workers had never immigrated.
Sputnik: Nevertheless, our society has become much more tolerant of women, homosexuals and immigrants. The right-wing forces have gained support among many minorities. The economy is booming. Although PISA studies don't see Germany at the top, we are still leaders in many scientific fields.
Thilo Sarrazin: This has been done despite the presence of Arabs and Turks in Germany.
Sputnik: Recently SPD officials have been demanding your resignation. According to Lars Klingbeil, the SPD's General Secretary, "what Sarrazin writes has nothing to do with the SPD's position." Why are you still in the party?
Thilo Sarrazin: I've been in the party for 45 years and I haven't changed. For those who demand my resignation, I recommend reading my book which, obviously, they haven't read.
Sputnik: Can you still identify with the SPD?
Thilo Sarrazin: I haven't changed my position on major political issues since joining the SPD, and I continue fighting for them; for 45 years already.
Thilo Sarrazin: They would have had to take into account everything that I have written about immigration, Islam and the euro since 2010. Then we would have had neither the Eurozone crisis nor the bailouts for the Greeks. There wouldn't have been mass immigration in 2015. In the summer of 2015 support for the AfD was somewhere far below five percent. Ultimately, it's the wrong policy that has made AfD great.
Sputnik: Had the SPD taken your warnings seriously, there would have probably been no riots in Chemnitz. What's your take on this? Can you understand the people's reaction?
Thilo Sarrazin: You have to be careful with your estimates. There have been murders for which immigrants are responsible. So, it's relatively clear that these murders wouldn't have happened if the killers hadn't immigrated into Germany. And that's why there are questions about the upsurge in violence to German politicians. And therefore, anyone who says that this is a result of the false immigration policy is absolutely right.
Sputnik: Your book warns against the Islamization of our society. How can you prevent this? What's your approach?
Thilo Sarrazin: The Muslims living with us must be placed under a stronger pressure for integration and assimilation. My book has the necessary measures and approaches. Moreover, we must stop further immigration of Muslims to Germany.
Sputnik: Do you mean a complete stop?
Thilo Sarrazin: In the book I say "fundamentally stop" — everything is clear there. You have to agree politically, and there you can talk about details.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.