Germany’s Refugee Challenge: It’s Mostly the Politicians Who Have Been Overwhelmed

Interview with integration specialist Naika Foroutan – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Frank Hornig and Maximilian Popp, Okt 14, 2015: Doubt has lately begun creeping into the German refugee debate, but integration specialist Naika Foroutan says that the new Germany has sent its message loudly and clearly: We can absorb the refugees … //

… SPIEGEL: Will competition for jobs increase?  

  • Foroutan: That is probable, particularly in the low-wage sector. Members of the lower-middle class, though, could also benefit from immigration because they will be seen as being more qualified relative to the newcomers. The signals from the business world have been positive thus far. Large companies, after all, are perfectly aware of the demographic problems that are approaching.

SPIEGEL: Should we then do everything we can to ensure that the Syrians stay in Germany?

  • Foroutan: The refugees are a gift to business. Young, motivated people are coming to our country … //

SPIEGEL: What will it mean in the future to be German?

  • Foroutan: Who would have said 10 years ago that Munich is typically German? But it apparently is. The people who are helping at the train station (by welcoming and volunteering to help arriving refugees) reflect the approach to life taken by a majority of Germans. That is the new Germany. Germany has changed, and it is now changing dramatically once again.

SPIEGEL: How so? … //

… SPIEGEL: How should the state react when Muslim men refuse to follow instructions from a female doctor or police officer?

  • Foroutan: Those who defy female police officers are defying the state’s authority. That cannot be tolerated. Those who don’t want to be treated by a female doctor have only themselves to blame. That isn’t just true of Syrians, but of all people in this society. It is concerning that the values debate is again focused on the Muslims. Just a few months ago, we were engaged in a critical values debate about the corpses piling up on Europe’s external borders.

SPIEGEL: How can we free the country from its moodiness when it comes to such issues? … //

… SPIEGEL: You came to Germany from Iran when you were 12. What are your memories of your own flight?

  • Foroutan: We had to sell everything we had to pay the migrant smugglers to take my father. First, he fled by himself to Germany by way of Pakistan and Turkey. Only after he arrived did we children fly to join him with my mother, who is German. This feeling of losing everything and starting over in a new place is one I know very well. As well as the feeling of living for years in a transitory state, because you can’t let go of the past and because the arrival is so difficult. My father couldn’t bear it. Not long ago, he went back.

SPIEGEL: Ms. Foroutan, we thank you for this interview.

(full interview text).


The Elephant in the Room – Capitalism and Sustainable Development, on Counterpunch, by GARRY LEECH, Oct 16, 2015;

Max Uthoff: Gegendarstellung 20. Sept 2015 – 3sat festival, 44.34 min, von Bananenrepublik1 am 20. Sept 2015 hochgeladen;

Banned TED Talk: rich people don’t create jobs – Nick Hanauer, 5.49 min, uploaded by Progression of History, May 17, 2012

Global Capitalism, Monthly Update and Discussion, Nov 2011 – uploaded by RichardDWolfpart 1 of 3, 39.59 min, Rick Wolff with Costas Panayotakis and Yanis Varoufakis; part 2 of 3, 39.59 min; part 3 of 3, 39.18 min; Dec 11, 2011.

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