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Obstacles do not derail free speech summit with Thilo Sarrazin

Editor-in-Chief Roger Köppel of a Swiss weekly magazine invited author and Islam critic Thilo Sarrazin to the "summit of free speech". There were however a few bumps in the road to the summit.

Published: October 5, 2018, 8:00 am

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    The free speech event organised by Die Weltwoche, was held at the Maritim Hotel in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, The establishment is owned by none other than the Emir of Qatar.

    The Emir is actually considered to be an important patron of Islamist forces, as well as the international TV channel Al Jazeera. Köppel thus issued a tongue-in-cheek reminder at the beginning of the event: “If Islamic-critical remarks are uttered here today, please do not tell the Emir.”

    Sarrazin did not disappoint during his presentation. “Where I was wrong before, I was wrong because I had been too cautious,” he said, with reference to his bestselling book published eight years ago, titled: Germany abolishes itself.

    On the subject of his party, the SPD, which is mulling a new exclusion procedure – the third – against him, the former Berlin Finance Senator noted: “Had my party studied the analysis of that time better, there would be no AfD today in the Bundestag.”

    Similarly in the SPD, he said, the culture of debate in Germany has a peculiar way of dealing with Islam. “Repression seems to be the answer, not debate.”

    For his host, the Swiss editor Köppel, strange attitudes are evident in Germany about Sarrazin’s new book Hostile takeover, in which the author deals with the danger of Islam. He wanted to know from Sarrazin why this is so. “A section of the media suspects that it is going in the wrong direction,” said Sarrazin in response. But those who continue to deny it, would otherwise have to admit that they had been wrong for 30 years, he added.

    Sarrazin has concentrated mainly on statistics and demographic projections. Other factors, such as socioeconomic ones, which some argue could lead to a fall in the birth rate among Muslims, play a minor role according the former Bundesbank board member. “In 40 to 60 years, there will be Muslim majorities all over Europe,” he predicted.

    His solution: “Immigration from Islamic countries must be stopped to a large extent.” It is a “dangerous basic idea” to assume that all people in the world “function in the same way as we do”.

    He also noted: “We have to increase the pressure on the Muslims living here to adapt.” Sarrazin again drew his usual pessimistic conclusion: A reform of Islam can only come from the Muslims themselves. Measures in the sphere of politics or society to reform religion would not bear fruit, he said.

    Sarrazin, curiously, does not want to defend German culture. He was asked whether the return to Christianity and its values ​​could not help self-consciously oppose Islamization, but Sarrazin once again revealed his contempt for Christianity. “It would be a mistake to overcome one superstition with the other superstition.”

    The website of Köppel’s Zurich weekly magazine apparently became the target of a hacker attack early on Tuesday morning before the event in Berlin. This was announced by the magazine in a press release.

    The target of the attack was the online ticket orders for the summit with Thilo Sarrazin. The German author was also due to speak on refugees, Islam and state pension recipients not only on Wednesday in Berlin, but on Thursday in Zurich and on Friday in Vienna.

    The authors of the attack are still unknown the Swiss s daily the Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported.

    Die Weltwoche reported an “attack on freedom of speech” and said they suspected a political motive. The attack has since been averted and the ticket orders are working again, the daily said.

    Sarrazin’s success with Germany abolishes itself, have been breaking the best-seller records since 2010 with 1.5 million books sold.

    Many political leaders and journalists, who admit that they have not read his books, say they are against his theses. But Sarrazin says he speaks on all topics underpinned by careful research: Facts lead to opinions.

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