from an article by Shamil Shams
I am a person from a Muslim background who has been living in Germany for many years, and have always been treated with respect and humility. I have always felt safer in Germany than in Pakistan. I have many German friends and I never felt alienated in the society.
As a Pakistani journalist working in Germany, I have been very skeptical about the German government’s decision to allow thousands of refugees into the country without much scrutiny of their backgrounds.
Of course, I am empathetic towards the plight of the people who are fleeing war-torn countries like Syria, who are facing immense oppression and violence at the hands of Islamic militants as well as President Bashar Assad. I understand their woes, the pain of losing their loved ones, their homes and livelihoods in a civil war that continues to ravage the once peaceful country.
But at the same time, I was sure that the migrants’ influx would ultimately disturb the harmony and balance of German society. I feel that Islamic culture and European norms are not compatible.
Most Germans have responded to the refugee crisis with exemplary humanism. My European friends got angry when I warned them against Chancellor Merkel’s migrant-friendly policy. I found it very naïve that many Germans believed that all Middle Eastern and South Asian refugees would conform to their way of life and values. I told my friends that their understanding of the Muslim world was very limited and flawed. They didn’t pay much attention to my arguments.
My worst fears came true when hundreds of young men from Middle Eastern and North African countries sexually assaulted and raped German women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Many say it was a pre-planned attack, as the Muslim men groped and touched the women’s private parts shamelessly. And now the Germans are finally debating whether it was a good idea to be so open to embracing people from alien cultures.
Actually, I never felt more ashamed in my life.
But the New Year’s Eve assault made me realize that I, too, in a way feel responsible for the heinous act: What happened in Cologne happens every day in my homeland, Pakistan. The men are never ashamed, never feel guilty, never show remorse about the way they treat women in that part of the world.
The men who sexually harassed girls in Cologne were not demented; they knew what they were doing. And I am sure they did it with absolute contempt for the European culture, its norms and its people.
What happened on New Year’s Eve could change the way Germans live and treat foreigners forever. The government must make sure this doesn’t happen.
And I, as a foreigner, also have a responsibility in this regard.
What is potentially even more concerning is Germany wants to import even more refugees…