There was quite a lot controversy in several countries, regarding the topic of Islam, islamophobia and problems with Muslim immigrants. There was the Ground Zero mosque debate and the uproar about a plan for Quran burning in America, for example. But it had been eerily silent on that field in Germany. It seemed that while the rest of Europe had their Le Pen, Wilders or Haider, Germans were somehow reluctant to vote for far-right populists, and the islamophobic apocalypticism was limited to a small fringe of mosque protesters or the neo-Nazi fringe nobody takes seriously. But finally, Germany has found its prominent islamophobic voice too! May I introduce: This is Thilo Sarrazin, former Finance Minister in the state of Berlin from 2002 to 2009 and until recently board member of the German Federal Bank. He still is member of the center-left Social Democrats, but the SPD has started a motion to throw him out of the party. So what did he do? He published an alarmistic book called "How Germany is Destrying Itself" that deals with topics like the genetic reasons for intelligence, the connection between intelligence and success/productivity, cultural and genetic reasons for the lack of will to integrate among Muslim immigrants and -- connected with all that, the problem that, in his eyes, genetically stupid people (like immigrants and "white trash") get more kids than successful and thus smart people. His theory: Muslim immigrants in Germany are not successful in average, which proves they are not intelligent. Intelligence has genetic causes, thus Muslim immigrants have bad genes. He speculates that's because of in-breeding. But Muslims and stupid, unsuccessful Germans have a higher birth rate than smart, successful Germans, thus stupid, mostly Muslim people will outbreed the smart Germans. Here more about that: Quote: Thilo Sarrazin has never been one to mince words. The German central bank board member and former senior city official in Berlin has long been a strident critic of German immigration policies, even going so far as to say in an interview last autumn that immigrants sponge off the state, are incapable of integrating themselves into German society and "constantly produce little girls in headscarves." In the interview, which appeared in the cultural magazine Lettre International, he also said that "a large number of Arabs and Turks in (Berlin) ... have no productive function other than in the fruit and vegetable trade." In the same interview, he claimed that the Turks were "conquering Germany ... through a higher birthrate." (...) In another passage, he writes: "I don't want the country of my grandchildren and great grandchildren to be largely Muslim, or that Turkish or Arabic will be spoken in large areas, that women will wear headscarves and the daily rhythm is set by the call of the muezzin. If I want to experience that, I can just take a vacation in the Orient." (...) In a contribution for the mass-circulation tabloid Bild, Sarrazin wrote, in reference to the relative lack of success that immigrants have had in German schools and the country's low birth rates, "we are simply accepting that Germany is becoming smaller and dumber." Two months ago, Sarrazin created similar headlines by saying "we are becoming ... on average dumber" and linked that claim with immigration "from Turkey, the Middle East and Africa." link He also said Jews can be distinguished from other people because of their genes: Quote: An uproar was caused at the same time by an interview with Welt am Sonntag in which he claimed that "all Jews share a certain gene like all Basques share a certain gene that distinguishes these from other people."He subsequently offered his regrets for the irritation caused and explained his source, for instance, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, referring to international media reports on a recent study by Gil Atzmon et al. that appeared in the American Journal of Human Genetics. While implied as an anti-Semitic quote in the press, his record of comments about Jews contradict this. In 2009, he for instance described the Nazi extermination of Jews as "an enormous intellectual bloodletting", a loss which he claimed Germany in general, and Berlin in particular, has never recovered from. link But at least he doesn't claim Jews have bad genes. On the contrary. It's the in-breeding Muslims who have bad genes. So much to give you an impression about this guy. This book has stirred a rather shrill and passionate debate in Germany: The yellow press (most of all the very popular BILD daily) has jumped to his aid claiming that "finally, someone speaks out what the true people thinks!", complaining about the alleged political correctness police that persecutes decent common people who speak out obvious truths. Polls have shown that if he founded a party, 18% of the Germans would consider voting for him. Leading politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats) and Social Democrats chairman Sigmar Gabriel, have distanced themselves from Sarrazin's claims. The Central Council of Jews in Germany asked Sarrazin to join the neo-Nazi NPD "to make clear where he stands". On internet forums or comments to articles about the controversy, you find many statements that strongly agree with Sarrazin, some cautious, but most dripping from hatred, islamophobic bigotry and xenophobia. Political scientists estimate the voter share for ideas right to the conservative Christian Democrats, for a potential right-wing populist party at around 20% -- but they emphasize that as long as no charismatic leader for such a movement exists, chances are low such a party will make more than 5% in elections. Fortunately, Sarrazin isn't very charismatic. He even has a slight speech defect. Probably because of bad genes. What do you think? Do you have an opinion on his ideas? Do you think the public reaction points to something bigger? What do you think about the integration of Muslim immigrants in Western countries?