December 20, 2006

Only Xenophobes Don't Admire Islam

Sociologist Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Heitmeyer is the director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research at the University of Bielefeld.

An article in the "conservative" newspaper DIE WELT from December 14 sheds some light on one of his ongoing projects:
Berlin - Immer mehr Deutsche empfinden Angst vor Muslimen, grenzen Fremde aus und lehnen das demokratische System ab. Schuld daran sollen auch die zunehmenden Identitäts- und Patriotismuskampagnen wie die Nationalstolzkampagne bei der Fußball-WM im Sommer sein. Das sind die diesjährigen Ergebnisse der Langzeituntersuchung „Deutsche Zustände“ des Bielefelder Instituts für interdisziplinäre Konflikt- und Gewaltforschung, die am Donnerstag in Berlin präsentiert wurden.

Danach sieht mittlerweile die Hälfte der Bundesbürger im Islam keine bewundernswerte Kultur mehr, knapp 50 Prozent sind allgemein fremdenfeindlich eingestellt. Fast jeder fünfte Deutsche hänge rechtspopulistischen Vorstellungen an...
Auch der während der diesjährigen Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft entstandene „Party-Patriotismus“ ziehe „keine positiven Effekte nach sich“, behauptet Heitmeyer. Als Beleg führte er eine Befragung an, die unmittelbar vor und nach der Fußball-WM stattfand. Danach stieg der Anteil der derjenigen, die „stolz auf die deutsche Geschichte sind“, von 36,9 auf 46,2 Prozent, sowie derjenigen, die „stolz darauf sind, Deutscher zu sein“, von 79,5 auf 86,4 Prozent. Dagegen sank der Anteil derjenigen, die „stolz auf die Demokratie in Deutschland sind“, von 76,4 auf 64,9 Prozent, sowie derjenigen, die „stolz auf die soziale Sicherheit sind“, von 63,5 auf 57,8 Prozent…

Berlin – An increasing number of Germans are afraid of Muslims, are excluding foreigners and are against the democratic system. Responsible for that are supposedly the increasing number of (German) identity- and patriotism campaigns, like the national pride campaign during the Football Worldcup last summer. That is this year's result of the long-term study "German Circumstances" of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research at the University of Bielefeld, which was introduced in Berlin on Thursday.

According to this study, half of the German population doesn't consider Islam an admirable culture anymore, almost 50 percent are generally xenophobic. Almost every fifth German hatches right-wing populist views...
The "party-patriotism", which emerged during the Football Worldcup doesn't have any positive effects either, so Heitmeyer. As proof he quotes a survey before and after the Worldcup. According to that, the percentage of those who are "proud of the German history" rose from 36.9 to 46.2 percent and those who are "proud to be German" from 79.5 to 86.4 percent. In contrast, the percentage of those who are "proud of the democracy in Germany" dropped from 76.4 to 64.9 percent and the percentage of those who are "proud of the social security" from 63.5 to 57.8 percent…
Isn't that precious? Here we have another overpaid expert not subject to call who is telling us what the hoi polloi ought to feel.

So you are not admiring Islam anymore? That makes you xenophobic and a right wing populist. And to blame are things like the 2005 "Du bist Deutschland" ("You Are Germany") media campaign, started by Bertelsmann jointly with 24 other media companies. Its aim was stimulating and instilling optimism about the future among the young Germans. It was harmless at best, slightly embarrassing in its self-conscious well-intendedness and political correctness at worst.

So that and the "party patriotism" are the obstacles on the German way to perfection. Oh my oh my, I bet Heitmeyer and his buddies were really pissed that any stranger-bashing didn't happen. Wouldn't have it added some spice to the Worldcup and, of course, weight to their warped theories.

The measurable consequences, however, have been horrifying. The percentage of those who are "proud of the German history" rose from a meagre 36.9 to a whopping 46.2 percent, and that in the face of the fact that this history covered not more than 12 years, whereas the trust in the social security system dropped dramatically from 63.5 to an alarming 57.8 percent.

Fancy that! Another one of them Worldcups and we will be a nation of rootless misfits who think that Haydn, Heine, Hegel and Humboldt are more important than Hartz IV.

Let alone the admiration for a murderous death cult.

On a more serious note, I wonder if Heitmeyer would draw the same conclusions had he ever come close to an environment where his son would be beaten half to death in the schoolyard to for his mobile phone or his eight-year-old daughter raped by some admirable Muslim youths. But even the issues closer to home for him, for example the cancelling of an opera to avoid Muslim violence, not to speak of such negligible events like 9/11, Madrid or London, doesn't seem to distract him from his zeal of instilling some goodness in the German's cold hearts.

People like Heitmeyer would be superfluous (well, they are superfluous already, but they would become OBVIOUSLY superfluous) if their apocalyptic scenarios would be debunked as what they are, namely another case of control freakyness and protection of sinecures. Nobody can tell me that a man educated to that level doesn't know what he is doing. He and his ilk are knowingly and consciously buttressing and perpetuating the misery of those who are so far removed from their own life that they can safely assume that they will never hit by it themselves.

The good (?) thing about that is that they are wrong.

People like Heitmeyer would like to keep the people where they are, meek, politically correct, malleable and bullyable, and hey, a bad conscience is always a great lever. They want to ban everything that reeks remotely of fun. They would ban sex, if they could.

More than just a hat tip to outcut TV.