Should Germans be Forced to Study Arabic?
by Hugh Fitzgerald (September 2016)
A senior German educator has called for all pupils in the country to be forced to study Arabic until they graduate in the interests of the multicultural state.
Professor of Computer Science Thomas Strothotte and President of a private Hamburg university has argued that German children should be forced to learn Arabic alongside German so they would better understand the country’s 1.5 million new migrants and make them feel more welcome. He said it would help Germany become “a country of immigration, and a multilingual society."
Germany is discussing frankly the problems of integrating over one million migrants that have arrived over the past year, especially in the light of the brutal sex attacks that have been blamed by some on a clash of cultures.
Some have called for newly arrived migrants to be taught about European norms, culture, and language, but professor Strothotte has suggested that teaching Germans Arabic instead will “strengthen integration”, reports Die Welt.
Prof. Strothotte predicts that the continued migrant invasion presents an opportunity for Germany’s youth to access the emerging Arabic market and justifies his call for required Arabic courses by saying that the next few decades will see a “profound transformation” of Europe and the Middle East in which he believes the Arabic language will be vitally important for business and cultural integration.
He claims the move will put Germany forward as an “economic, cultural, and political partner” for the Middle East.
Learning a foreign language is already compulsory in German schools, but students have a choice in what they chose to take besides German. Presently, most choose English. — Breitbart News
This is a curious example of a flag being waved in seeming triumph, but on closer inspection, turns out to be semaphoring civilizational surrender. Professor Strothotte makes the disturbing (but no longer surprising) claim that if all Germans were required to learn Arabic, that would do much to help Germans “understand” these new migrants, by which it is clear he means Muslim migrants, and “make them feel welcome,” and help Germany to truly become “a country of immigration, and a multilingual society.”
Let’s examine what his proposal would entail, and whether it makes sense.
First of all, compulsory Arabic classes, he says, will make Germany a “multilingual society.” But Germany is already a “multilingual society”: 95% Germans study English, and learn it very thoroughly. When Strothote says that Arabic should be made compulsory in German schools, he means either that Arabic should replace English as the one foreign language studied, or he is arguing that German children should learn two foreign languages, with Arabic being the one that is compulsory.
If he means to stick to the study of one foreign language, as now, and insists that it be Arabic, he would be depriving German pupils of the chance to learn English, the one universally recognized world language, the international language of science, business, finance, culture, sport, entertainment, in order that they study Arabic, which is the international language of nothing but terrorism.
How likely is it that German parents or pupils would stand for this? And if he thinks that German children should study three languages, with German and Arabic being the two compulsory ones, taught from first grade to the end of high school, and English presumably chosen by almost all as their third language, that would require that other subjects be cut to make room for Arabic.
The German curriculum is famous for its rigor; there is no dispensable fluff. So every semester, from first grade right through to the end of high school, important subjects would have to be abridged to make room for this exercise in “understanding” and “welcoming” Muslim migrants. What will be sacrificed for the dubious sake of this Arabic study? How many semesters of biology? Physics? Chemistry? History? Philosophy? Art? Music? German parents would be maddened at every bit of class time devoted to Arabic. For what is Arabic’s usefulness, as compared to English? If in addition to German another language is to be made compulsory, everyone – except Professor Stotthotte — would insist that it be English. But if some German pupils do choose a second foreign language, that language is likely to be either of great cultural (literary, artistic, musical) significance, such as French and Italian, or of great commercial importance (Chinese, Spanish for the Latin American market), or of geopolitical significance (Russian).
Knowledge of Arabic, Professor Strothotte insists, will help Germans in commercial dealings in a future Europe that has undergone a “profound transformation,” where Arabic “will be vitally important for business.” Will it? It isn’t now. Perhaps Professor Strothotte is unaware that in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, and all around the Gulf, the language of business is English, as it is elsewhere in the Middle East; there is little or no commercial advantage to be gained from learning Arabic, certainly nothing to justify the enormous effort that would have to be devoted to the task of teaching all German students that difficult language. And there is no reason to expect Arab businessmen will suddenly start to insist on business dealings in Arabic if they have not done so until now.
But business advantage is not Professor Strothotte’s main justification for making study of Arabic compulsory in German schools. He thinks that Germans will “better understand” these new (Muslim migrants) if they learn Arabic, and consequently, “make them feel welcome.”
As to this dreamy belief that Germans can acquire a “better understanding” of Muslim migrants by learning Arabic, Professor Strothotte overlooks the fact that most Muslim migrants in Germany are not speakers of Arabic, but mainly Turks, who far outnumber the Arabs, with Afghans and Pakistanis and other non-Arabic-speakers rounding out the Muslim mix. Learning Arabic will not help Germans to better “understand” them. Turks in Germany will certainly resent that Arabic, rather than Turkish, was made compulsory, thus causing new problems, new sources of discontent and unrest among the already unruly Muslim population.
Professor Strothotte is eager to redefine Germany: it is, he says, a “country of immigration.” Germany is not quite there yet, but he wants to help it along, rather than try to stem the immigrant tide. He seems happy to accept what he predicts will be the “profound transformation” in Germany and Europe as a result of this ever-increasing population of Muslim migrants, rather than to think of ways to prevent it. Unlike the United States, a “nation of immigrants,” Germany only became a nation with significant numbers of immigrants in recent decades; most of those migrants have been from Muslim lands. Many of those Muslim immigrants (except for the first generation of Turkish “guest workers” who did, in fact, work) are content to remain unemployed for very long periods; 80% of Turks in Germany have been on the dole.
These Muslim migrants choose to come to Germany because of its generous system of benefits, and they take full advantage of the welfare payments for the unemployed, free medical care, education, housing, and family allowances. They are in no hurry to go to work, and when they do, they have not proven to be models of industriousness (as compared not just to the native Germans, but to other immigrant groups, such as the Chinese). The levels of Muslim criminality are much higher than for non-Muslims; the disciplinary problems with Muslim students can wreak havoc in classrooms. Though as yet there have been no grooming-gang scandals in Germany as in the U.K., groups of Muslim men have sexually attacked German girls and women in Cologne and Hamburg. And why not? For the Muslim predators, these girls and women are Infidels, they have it coming. And then, of course, there is the constant threat of Muslim terrorism (for recent examples of such terrorism, see Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, Grafing).
But, some will argue, even if what you say is true, doesn’t Germany “need” some of those Muslim immigrants as workers, despite these problems? No, it doesn’t. If Germany (or France, or the U.K., or any other European nation) needs immigrants, there are tens of millions of them, in South America, in Mexico, in the Philippines, in Eastern Europe (Filipinas and East Europeans, it might be noted, have already become the caregivers of choice for aging Italians) who would come in a heartbeat, bringing with them their rosaries and crosses instead of the Qur’an. Europeans have not made a systematic effort to admit these Christian workers, but for their own safety and general well-being, perhaps they will now recognize the wisdom of doing so.
More and more Germans are coming to a conclusion very different from that of Professor Strothotte: they don’t want to make Germany still more “welcoming” to Muslim migrants; they don’t want to accept this Muslim presence as inevitable; they don’t want to endure the transformation of their own country or to make it still more Muslim-friendly; they want to halt the flow of Muslim migrants and, wherever possible, to make their country not more but less welcoming for Muslim migrants, at first by limiting the generous benefits now available to them, and requiring them to be employed. And they certainly don’t want to be forced to learn Arabic.
Professor Strothotte allows himself to believe that Germans should learn Arabic in order to “understand” these new Muslim migrants. But exactly how will this gigantic pedagogical effort, requiring many years of study, help Germans to “understand” Muslims? Since all over Europe Muslims have not been able to integrate successfully into the larger society, this suggests that the problem is not a German, or a French, or a British one, but lies rather with the Muslims themselves.
What is it that causes Muslims to despise Infidels, to treat their manmade laws with indifference or contempt, to treat government benefits paid for by the Infidels as well-deserved Jizyah, to denounce the polytheism (shirk) of the Christians and the enmity of the poisonous Jews, to be permanently enraged at the refusal of both Christians and Jews to recognize Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets? It is the ideology of Islam.
It is true that Muslims – or at least Arab Muslims – would take grim satisfaction in the news that Arabic were to be made compulsory. They would view this as an act of submission, signifying that the Infidels accept their fate: that Muslims are in Germany to stay, that they cannot be dislodged, that many more will be coming unopposed, and that compulsory Arabic for all Germans is a way to signal acceptance of this thoroughly multicultural New Order. The Infidels are yielding, and by imposing on themselves the study of Arabic, the language of Islam, they are not just adding another language to the required curriculum, but announcing that Islam is on the march, and that there is nothing they can do to stop it. (cf. Manuel Valls, the French minister who recently advised his countrymen about Muslim terrorism, “Get used to it”).
A few years ago a senior German civil servant, Thilo Sarrazin, startled his countrymen with a sober study of the effects of Muslim migration on Germany. He saw Muslim immigration as the undoing of Germany, and insisted it had to be opposed in every possible way. Sarrazin titled his first book on the Muslim invasion of his country Germany Abolishes Itself. To Professor Strothotte, that sounds not like a problem to be avoided but a solution to be embraced. His prescription is to give up trying to make Muslims assimilate into German society, and instead for Germans to meet their demands, or even, as with his astonishing Arabic proposal, to anticipate them.
Certainly Germans need to understand their Muslim immigrants. But understanding may make them even more alarmed and determined to halt Muslim immigration. Perhaps Professor Strothotte knows this, and that’s why he is so intent on promoting the study of Arabic, in order to deflect attention from the real problem. More and more Germans are discovering that no matter how generously they welcome these immigrants, they do not display either gratitude or a willingness to integrate. This is not what Germans expected, and not a state of affairs they should be forced to endure. Germans are not against all immigration, though often described as such (“racist,” “right-wing,” “anti-immigrant” – these are the media’s standard mix-n’-match epithets), but through unhappy experience they have slowly come to the conclusion that one kind of immigration, that of the Muslims who have been flooding into Germany, is dangerous for them and for their children.
Even the United States, famously a “nation of immigrants,” historically was not open to the whole world; until recently, its voluntary immigration was almost entirely from Europe. Our language, our literature, our laws, our customs, our music and art, were all based on what was brought from Europe. And Germany was never a “nation of immigration” until the last few decades. But misdirected guilt over World War II prevents many Germans from properly defending their own country from a Muslim-immigrant invasion that proceeds, insidiously, on every front. To make up for murderous antisemitism in the past, Germans are paradoxically easing the entry of today’s main carriers of antisemitism, Muslims, into the heart of Europe. That’s not the way to make amends.
Germans have come only reluctantly to the realization that not all immigrants fit in equally; they have drawn the melancholy conclusion that Muslim migrants pose special problems; that their presence has made life for non-Muslims more difficult, dangerous, and expensive; that Muslims are happy to exploit the welfare system, but receive benefits as a matter of right, an unofficial Jizyah.
Again and again the unavoidable question poses itself: Why is it that Christian Arabs — Arabic Copts, Assyrians, Maronites — have had no difficulty assimilating into German as into other European societies? Why is it that the Chinese, the Hindus, the South American Christians, the Sikhs, the Vietnamese Buddhists, have all been integrating without incident into the societies of Western Europe? And finally, why is it that all Muslim migrants, in no matter what country in Europe they may be, and no matter what their ethnic identity — Arabs or Turks, Afghans or Iranians, Bangladeshis or Pakistanis — have exhibited an inability to integrate into European societies?
Making Arabic compulsory would signal to Arabs, and Muslims in Germany, and around the world, that the language of Islam, of the Holy Qur’an, of Jihad, is now to be imposed on Germans, that Arabic will become Germany’s second language, that Muslims are in Germany to stay, and if problems arise, it is the duty of the Germans to change their behavior, their laws, their customs, even their school curricula. That’s also the view of Professor Strothotte; for him it is the Germans who must do the assimilating.
If Germany needs immigrants for economic reasons, shouldn’t it try to make those Muslim migrants feel “welcome” through these compulsory courses in Arabic, and thereby further the great business of that “profound transformation” of Europe through its Muslim population that Professor Strothhotte deems both inevitable and desirable? No. It would make more sense to rely on Christian immigrants who do not regard non-Muslims with contempt, and who are not in thrall to a belief-system that, over 1400 years, from the Atlantic to the East Indies, has always meant trouble for non-Muslims. There is no need for Germany to admit migrants into their midst who regard Germans, because they are Infidels, as acceptable targets for crime, including both the unofficial exaction of the Jizyah, and the sexual assaults on Infidel women we saw in Cologne and Hamburg. Too many of the Muslims in Germany have shown an unwillingness to work or, when they deign to be employed, exhibit an incapacity to produce at the level that the advanced German economy requires. As Sarrazin put it when discussing Muslim employment in Germany Abolishes Itself: “there is only room for so many fruit and vegetable vendors.”
Were Arabic to be made compulsory, instructors would have to be chosen from among native speakers of Arabic. In the West such teachers have often been found to offer, along with their language lessons, large doses of Arab and Islamic propaganda. Even the U.S. Army found this true of the Arabic-language instructors it employed in Iraq, and Christian Arabs were quickly brought in to replace the more egregious purveyors of Muslim propaganda among the language teachers. A penetrating analysis of how Muslim Arabs mix their language instruction with Islamic apologetics is offered by Franck Salameh, a Lebanese Christian who taught in Middlebury’s Arabic Summer School.
And thus the German government would likely find itself innocently paying for a vast army of teachers of Arabic who are also apologists for Islam: a pedagogic fifth column.
But it will not come to this. Professor Strothotte’s suggestion will be rejected. And though his suggestion is outrageous, it does raise the matter of what, if not Arabic, needs to be taught to all German adults? The German government presumes to protect and instruct its citizens, and it ought at this point in the history of a thoroughly confused West, recognize the need to offer courses on the rudiments of Islam.
Who would teach such a course? The teachers should not be Muslims, nor non-Muslim apologists for Islam. They ought, rather, to be Germans who have undergone rigorous training in both the ideology of Islam, and in the history of Islamic conquests. They ought to be able to discuss the contents of the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira, to go through the most important “Jihad verses,” to explain the main events in Muhammad’s life, including his marriage to little Aisha when she was nine, and how he had the bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza decapitated, and how he attacked the Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis and divvied up the loot (including the women), and how he took pleasure in the assassinations of the mocking poetess Asma bint Marwan and the 120-year-old Jewish man, Abu Afak. And they should be able to explain that because Muhammad is seen as the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) by Believers, his example affects the conduct of Muslims today.
These instructors should be able to explain the interpretive doctrine of “naskh” or abrogation, which effectively nullifies the more moderate, Meccan verses. They should be ready to explain that Qur’an 2:256 (“there is no compulsion in religion”) doesn’t quite mean what it appears to say, because the imposition of the Jizyah and many other economic, social, political disabilities on non-Muslims clearly amounts to such “compulsion.” They would be taught how 5:32, which seems to forbid killing innocents, can only be understood when read along with 5:33, which spells out exceptions so large a truck-bomber could drive right through them. (It is 2:256 and 5:32 without 5:33 that are usually trotted out by Muslim apologists, so these verses need to be given special attention.)
And these instructors ought, further, to be able to discuss 1,400 years of Muslim conquest of many different lands and the subjugation of many different peoples, and of what happened when Islam dominated, and Muslims ruled.
If such courses on Islam of this type were to be offered to Germans, adults rather than schoolchildren, would Muslim migrants claim to feel less “welcome”? Of course. But so what? Would such courses, on the other hand, help Germans to better “understand” those Muslim migrants? Yes, certainly. The Germans have been making Muslims feel welcome for the last few decades, and it has gotten them Cologne and Hamburg, Munich and Ansbach, Reutlingen and Gafing. It’s time to stop with the Welcome Wagons, it’s time to try the truth. Would Muslims try to prevent the government from offering such a course, insisting that “only Muslims” can teach courses about Islam? Yes, undoubtedly. But again, so what? The contents of that government-sponsored course on Islam should be transparent, with a fixed syllabus of readings (from the Qur’an, Hadith, Sira), posted online, accessible to all. The classes that are given live should be taped and made similarly available online. If Muslims claim to find inaccuracies in the government-sponsored course, they must make their complaints public for everyone to examine and corrections, if called-for, will be made by a government-appointed committee of experts. Complaints that are seen to be preposterous will only strengthen the case against Islam. If the course instructors are well-trained, intellectually nimble, and careful always to adduce supporting textual authority, they will be able to stand their ground, and unhappy Muslims will be at their wit’s end, for nothing upsets them more than Infidels who know their Islam.
Germans, now immunized against the sanitized version of Islam that they have been fed for so long, will realize that the problem with Muslim migrants has nothing to do with, and cannot be ameliorated by, compulsory instruction in Arabic. Alle deutschen Schüler sollen Arabisch lernen? Nein, a thousand times nein. And Germans will focus less on trying to sympathetically “understand” the Muslim migrants who have invaded their country, less on making them feel still more “welcome,” — there’s been far too much of both already — and more on understanding the meaning, and permanent menace, of Islam, and on ensuring that Germany does not “abolish itself” after all.
And who might be put in charge of this vital pedagogic effort? Not the benighted Professor Strothotte, with his sweetly sinister dream of a “profound transformation” of Europe by its burgeoning Muslim population but, if he’s willing to take on the task, that former German civil servant and dour truth-teller, Herr Thilo Sarrazin.
First published in Jihad Watch.
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