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8 Responses to Forum

  1. Kumars Salehi says:

    “Far-right politician converts to Islam, quits AfD party”
    Al Jazeera

    Those of us following German politics will be aware of a number of high-profile defections from the Alternative for Germany party in the wake of their formidable election result last September, which saw them enter the Bundestag as the largest opposition party with 94 seats and 13% of the vote. Of the defections, Arthur Wagner, an AfD representative from Brandenburg, is certainly the most curious, since he has not only stepped down from the anti-Islam party but actually converted to Islam!

    • Kumars Salehi says:

      Justin Huggler
      “Far-right AfD member converted to Islam in protest at acceptance of gay marriage in the church”
      The Telegraph

      A follow-up to this surprising story with a twist that may raise more questions than it answers: Alternative for Germany representative Arthur Wagner, who left the anti-Islam party and converted to Islam, left his Protestant church because of its acceptance of gay marriage (which is now legal in Germany). Not only that, but he shares that he had been considering converting since 2015 – years before he stopped campaigning for the AfD.

  2. Deniz Göktürk says:

    “CSU geht vor Sondierung auf Konfrontationskurs bei Migration”
    Süddeutsche Zeitung

    The year began without government, since the 2017 election had not yielded a clear winner.
    Migration continued to be the fulcrum of debates around the constitution of a coalition government. The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) in particular insisted on stricter border security and restriction of immigration.

    See also the position paper from the CSU party convention at Kloster Seeon January 4-6, 2018, where the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán was an invited speaker.
    “Vieles besser, statt alles gleich – für ein schlankes Europa der Stärke”

  3. Deniz Göktürk says:

    “Die Geschichte relativiert die heutige Flüchtlingskrise”
    Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Interview with historian Philipp Ther on his new book
    Die Außenseiter. Flucht, Flüchtlinge und Integration im modernen Europa. (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2017)

  4. Deniz Göktürk says:

    “Was ist Heimat”
    Süddeutsche Zeitung
    Interesting series of articles

  5. Deniz Gokturk says:

    Can one compare “Ossis” and Migrants?

    Daniel Schulz
    Professorin über Identitäten: “Ostdeutsche sind auch Migranten”

    Naika Foroutan, Professor of Integration Research and Social Policy at Humboldt University in Berlin, known for her study Deutschland postmigrantisch ( has launched an interesting debate comparing the experience of East Germans (“Ossis”) to that of migrants. She claims that experiences such as loosing one’s home and places of memory, feeling foreign and degraded are common to both groups.

    Postitive resonance from Jana Hensel:

    Jana Hensel
    Wilkommen im Club
    Die Zeit

    and from Ferda Ataman:

    Ferda Ataman
    Sind Ossis Auch Nur Migranten?
    Spiegel Online

    Anetta Kahane
    Debatte Ostdeutsche und Migranten: Nicht in die Fallen tappen

    Anetta Kahane, commissioner of foreigners’ affairs in East Berlin in 1990 and founder of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation that is engaged in fighting racism and promoting a democratic civil society, argues that this reasoning about the discrimination of “Ossis” buys into the normalization of right-wing nationalism and overlooks the reality of racism.

  6. Kumars Salehi says:

    Thomas Hummel
    Fußballer und “ihr Land”
    Süddeutsche Zeitung

    The most lasting legacy of Germany’s 2018 World Cup failure may be the memory of how Mesut Özil, a star for Arsenal and a staple of Joachim Löw’s national team, was scapegoated for Germany’s poor performance by the national media and even the management of the team — not just because of a bad day on the pitch, but because Özil and and fellow Turkish-German national team player Ilkay Gündoğan’s picture with Turkish President Erdoğan that had sparked controversy in Germany:

    Philip Oltermann
    Özil and Gündoğan’s Erdoğan picture causes anger in Germany
    The Guardian

    Özil’s performance was blamed on his insufficient allegiance to Germany as a Turk either ignorant of or comfortable with Erdoğan’s apparently un-German authoritarianism, prompting him to resign from the national team with a clear and indignant three-part statement on Twitter ( The Turkish president also responded in support of Özil, condemning the “racist attitude” towards the player he described as “completely patriotic” (, and the hashtag #MeTwo sprung up on Twitter as other Germans of color shared their experiences of racism.

    Kathleen Hildebrand
    “Özil ist Opfer, aber er ist auch Täter”
    Süddeutsche Zeitung

    In an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, social scientist Dr. Özkan Ezli argues that the concept of racism is so nuanced and complex that a number of other factors must also be considered – the desire of the management of the Deutscher Fussball-Bund to minimize their own liability for Germany’s World Cup, for example, or the genuine political statement that Özil, regardless of his professedly apolitical intent, could be said to have made by taking the picture with Erdoğan without further context.

    While he does not ignore xenophobic comments about Özil from right-wing politicians like AfD’s Alice Weidel, Ezli argues that racist intent was projected onto the management when the bulk of the racism Özil faced was from angry fans on social media, and that discrimination on the part of companies like Mercedes-Benz was motivated by the market logic of avoiding extremist politics rather than specifically racial animus.

  7. Kumars Salehi says:

    “Seehofer erklärt Konflikt mit Merkel für beendet”

    The Alternative for Germany’s result in the last election continues to drag the entire German political spectrum rightwards. First AfD left Merkel’s Christian Democrats with an impossible CDU-Liberal-Green coalition as their only face-saving option, and now Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, led by interior minister Horst Seehofer, have shown they can strong-arm her into staying competitive for anti-immigrant votes by closing Germany’s borders to migrants with no papers. “Eine Protestpartei verschwindet, wenn das Problem gelöst ist,” Seehofer argued, more or less explicitly validating the AfD’s criticism of Merkel. “Die AfD wird wieder schwächer werden, wenn die Menschen erkennen, dass wir die für den Aufstieg der AfD ursächlichen Probleme anpacken und lösen.” (“A protest party disappears when the problem is solved. The AfD will become weaker again when people recognize that we are confronting and solving the problems that led to its rise.”)

    “Seehofer macht bei PK geschmacklosen Witz über Flüchtlinge”
    Huffington Post Deutschland

    The CSU leader joked while rolling out the new border controls he was able to get Merkel to agree to in order to keep the essential right-of-center coalition between the CDU and its Bavarian sister party intact: “Ausgerechnet an meinem 69. Geburtstag – das war von mir nicht so bestellt – sind 69 Personen nach Afghanistan zurückgeführt worden.” (“On my 69th birthday of all days—I didn’t ask for this—69 people were sent back to Afghanistan.”)

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