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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2007 / 29 Tishrei 5768

Germany's Turks provide a lesson on immigration

By Jonathan V. Last


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Immigration reform has fallen off the public agenda, for now. It's just as well. For wealthy, prosperous countries, immigration is not a problem to be fixed; it is a continuing condition to be continually managed. So as we move the topic to the back of the brain to percolate, let's remember that immigration is a global concern. Things are tough all over. Consider the case of Germany.

Germany, a country of 82 million, has 3.5 million Muslims, the second-largest Muslim population in Europe. Almost all of them are immigrants, and three-quarters are from a single country: Turkey.

The story of Turkish immigration to Germany begins in 1961. West Germany was finally experiencing a postwar boom and found itself in need of additional workers to keep pace with the economy. The country signed a bilateral agreement with Turkey to allow German companies to hire Turks as "guest workers" for what was supposed to be largely seasonal employment. In seven years, the number of Turks in Germany rose from 6,800 to 205,000.

In 1973, the guest-worker program was ended and there were 910,000 Turks living in Germany. Contrary to the plan, however, the guest workers had settled in and declined to return to Turkey. Dismayed, the government offered them cash to go home (2,000 Deutschmarks per adult, equal at the time to about $1,000), but few accepted. In 1980, a German court ruled that the guest workers had a right to be reunited in Germany with spouses who lived in Turkey, opening the door to more Turks. A year later, Germany's Turkish population had swelled to 1.5 million.

And this really was Germany's Turkish population. At the time, Germany did not easily allow dual citizenship and did not grant citizenship automatically to people born on its soil. Naturalization also was a difficult process, requiring a 15-year waiting period for adults. It could well happen that a child born in Germany, to German-born parents who happened to be children of Turkish guest workers, would hold Turkish citizenship and be classed as a guest worker. With no mechanism to expel these residents and no good way to integrate them, Germany was stuck with an uncomfortable status quo.

The chief source of unease was that the immigrant class in question was Muslim. German society had a not-unreasonable concern over Muslim immigrants that it would not have had if the immigrants had been Buddhist or Wiccan because Buddhism and Wicca are not intrinsically political, and potentially irredentist, faiths.

In the intervening years, Germany has had its share of Islamic tensions. In 2003, a Muslim teacher won a legal fight to wear a head scarf in the classroom, even though it contradicted Germany's constitutional mandate for religious neutrality. Worse, there have been a number of Muslim terrorist encounters: In 2002, a group of men in the Ruhr valley were caught plotting to attack Jews in Berlin; in 2004, three Ansar al-Islam members were arrested for allegedly planning the assassination of Iraqi politician Ayad Allawi during his visit to Germany; in 2006, a Muslim student was arrested for allegedly plotting a bombing attack in Cologne.

But while these incidents - understandably - made Germans nervous, none of them involved Turkish Muslims. While Muslims of Arab or African origin make up only a tiny part of Germany's Muslim population, they account for most of the cases of Islamic-German conflict. Not all of them, of course: A bomb plot broken up in September involved at least one Turkish national. But as Jonathan Laurence of Boston College noted in his report for the International Crisis Group, "Islam and Identity in Germany", Islamist activism "appears to be confined to the non-Turkish Muslim element."

As it turns out, German Turks aren't even particularly religious: Government estimates put the number who attend mosque somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent. And unlike other European countries, such as England and France, where Saudi-exported Wahhabi extremism has festered, the Islamic religious space in Germany is taken up mostly by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, which is an extension of the secularist Turkish state.

The German government estimates that the country has 28 radical Islamist groups with only about 32,000 members, few of whom are Turks.

If anything, Germany's Turks are something of a blessing: They are not only peaceable and reasonably secularist, but also fruitful. The native fertility rate for German women is a deathly 1.35 (remember, the replacement rate is 2.1). Turkish women in Germany have a healthy fertility rate of 2.3 births per woman. The country needs those babies. Without them, the German welfare state eventually will collapse, with too many pensioners and not enough workers. (It may do so anyway, but Turkish fertility can push back that horizon.)

But despite changing its citizenship laws in 2000 to give temporary citizenship to children born in Germany (if one parent has been living there for more than five years), the country has not yet figured out how to integrate and/or assimilate its Turkish population. On the whole, it is a problem that vexes Germans at least as much as illegal immigration does Americans.

There are lessons here for the United States. First and most glaring: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to problems with immigration. Historical circumstances matter.

Lesson Two: Crucial differences may exist among subsets of demographic groups. Where one type of Islam might pose an existential cultural conflict with Western liberalism; other types do not.

A third lesson, mostly lost in our debate: Sometimes problems carry hidden virtues. And vice versa.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

09/13/07 British battle can offer us a perspective on casualties
09/12/07 Alas, GOP seems set to take hit in Senate
08/30/07 Europeans have supplanted backbones with capitulation
08/24/07 Politics holds the key to ensuring a healthy growth in population
08/17/07 Finessing the Democratic center
08/10/07 Woohoo! Satire seeing a revival
07/31/07 Historical model: For Obama, it's Carter
07/26/07 Baseball, apple pie, a 2nd chance
07/24/07 Harry Potter and the alchemy theory
07/06/07 Life is hard — and often short. The perils of professional wrestling
06/21/07 After Bush: Gingrich and others worry that his shortcomings could have a far-reaching effect on the GOP
03/09/07 Why the British outclass us in acting
01/23/07 Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage
12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?


© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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