Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.



All observers agree on one thing: the growing problem of hatred in Germany requires a structural response. The main problem of the country, as well as most other European countries, is the weakness of the ethnic policy. German leaders responsible for the integration of refugees sincerely believe that their inclusion into German life will happen automatically, as Western values have obvious attractiveness. However, the modern history of neighbouring countries, and even of Germany itself, suggests the opposite: on average, 25% of immigrants in the first to third generation say they are not ready to integrate and recognise themselves as Germans. Instead, they prefer life in self-made ghettos, where they raise their children on the values of the countries from which they came.

In order to integrate this part of the population, it is necessary to abandon the program of voluntary assimilation, which is what all modern integration projects are, in fact. It is necessary to begin to understand what excites the multimillion-strong mass of Asians. Germany declared that on its territory this Convention will be applied to Danes, Serbs (Sorbs), Friezes and German Gypsies (Sinti and Roma). This leaves out many numerous minority groups. Federal Constitution of Germany does not contain any special provisions regarding protection of minorities; these are contained only in the constitutions of Federal Lands. Therefore, the term “minority” in Germany does not include the so-called new minorities – groups that migrated to Germany in the past decades. Largely, these include Turks, former Yugoslavians, and Russian-speaking Jews. These peoples are not officially recognised as minorities; however, the current German legislation provides them with rights to develop their language, culture and religion.

Given Germany’s reservations to the Framework Convention, the federal states should take advantage of their rights and provide individual ethnic groups that do not have state recognition with a special status, which would allow them to receive state support within a certain federal state.

The initiative on equating the Christian and Muslim religious holidays in Bremen, Hamburg and Hessen needs to be commended; it should serve as an example for other federal states with a significant Muslim population.

In order to solve the problems of tolerance, it is necessary to carry out additional structural reforms in a number of areas. It is important that in 2015 the criminal code obliged the courts to take into account racial and other forms of hatred in crime. However, the country still faces such a huge problem as institutional racism, primarily in law enforcement and the judiciary.

The government should take steps to further train the staff of these bodies in order to explain to them the specifics of hate crimes. There must be widespread condemnation at the government level of both hate crimes and manifestations of institutional racism. In addition, authorities should work closely with the Muslim community when it comes to preventing radicalization and a potential relapse among former convicts. Cultural relativism should not jeopardise fundamental values, such as gender equality and freedom of thought, as well as the cultural and religious traditions of the indigenous population of Germany. Concessions to minorities in the form of refusal to celebrate Christmas, the replacement of standard school meals with halal meals for all students, including non-Muslims, etc., should be replaced by a real education of mutual tolerance. Extreme forms of cultural relativism undermine constitutional rights and freedoms and can lead to segregation and radicalisation. Media and civil society should promote the general applicability of the rule of law through political and religious spheres.

It is also necessary to make hate crime statistics more transparent. Currently, hate crime data is obscured by the term "politically motivated crimes", where it is mixed with other crimes directed, for example, against the state.

The existing legislative system of the country requires changes. In particular, Germany should extend the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities to the so-called "new minorities", which formed over the past decades as a result of migration processes. It is also necessary to ratify Protocol No. 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits any discrimination of groups and individuals. Given the high level of labour immigration to Germany, it seems important that Germany should join the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

It is also recommended to stop the practice of deportation of Afghan citizens. The data of German and international organizations confirm the fact that at the moment none of the provinces of Afghanistan is completely safe. The health and life of the deportees is threatened. Three political forces in the country consistently oppose the deportation of Afghans. These parties have leverage to change the situation: in early 2018, the SPD created a federal coalition with the CDU / CSU, and the Green and Left parties form governments in a number of federal states. These political forces should use their influence to introduce a moratorium on the expulsion of Afghans throughout the FRG. It is also advisable to heed the opinion of human rights defenders and prepare a new analysis of the situation in Afghanistan, both in the country as a whole and in each of the 34 provinces.

It is advisable to take into account the criticism of the current Equality Act and expand the list of discriminatory factors / practices listed in §1, bringing it into line with the European Convention on Human Rights. Practice shows that there is discrimination based on the absence of German citizenship, the presence of overweight, the presence of young children (when hiring), the place of birth within Germany (in the east of the country), etc. in the FRG. Another way would be to move to a post-category approach in jurisprudence.

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