The father of the Orlando shooter, an Afghan immigrant who came to the USA sometime in the 1980s, hates homosexuals just as much as his son did, but thinks we should leave it to God to punish them. Plus, he makes long, rambling, controversial YouTube videos about obscure ethnic conflicts which have nothing to do with the US. This case raises the same questions as the Tsarnaev case: Why is the US welcoming and granting citizenship to crackpots with medieval views from the most unstable parts of the world? The question is also obviously relevant to contemporary Germany.
Being permitted to live in another country is not a right, it's a privilege -- I should know, I'm doing it now. A country's constitutional guarantees only apply with full force to nationals of that country who are within its borders. The USA, like any other country, is permitted to discriminate on any basis it chooses when it comes to deciding who should be permitted to relocate permanently to within its borders. This is why Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration is quite possibly constitutional, as long as it's not applied to US citizens. It may be a bad idea, it may be bigoted, but it's not against the law.
Many people have some vague idea that countries are not allowed to engage in ethnic and religious discrimination when it comes to immigrants. There must be some international treaty or something that says this is not allowed, right? The answer is no: There never has been, and there never will be. Countries may voluntarily bind themselves to non-discrimination in immigration, but no international law can force them to do so. It's the privilege of any nation to choose whom it wishes to let in and keep out. Germany grants privileged access to Russian-Germans and Jews over all other ethnic groups, and this was and is legal and proper under international law.
This means that people from culturally remote, conflict-torn regions where backward views and noxious superstitions are commonplace (such as Afghanistan) can and should have to face high hurdles and extensive, days-long background questioning. Sure, we'll let Afghans in, but only if they have worldly, tolerant views comparable to the mainstream of the developed Western country they wish to relocate to (let's say the US).
Allah hates gays? Permanent blacklist. Wife-beating's alright? Permanent blacklist. Any trace, no matter how remote, of sympathy for extremists? Permanent blacklist. Anything but 100%, full-throated, unequivocal support for Western-style representative democracy, with all its attendant flaws? Permanent blacklist. As a practical matter, this will mean the majority of Afghans who are given the right to permanently resettle in the US will be members of the educated urban elite.
This is a feature, not a bug.
In the next line over, Norwegians of Norwegian ancestry who want to enter the USA are whisked through with just a few superficial questions. Why? Because it's statistically likely that the majority of Norwegians hold views which will enable them to successfully adapt to American society. The chances of finding a Norwegian who prefers God's law to democracy or passionately hates homosexuals is so small, it can be ignored as a heuristic matter.
A typical counter-argument is that there are plenty of American crackpots with extremist views, so why should America get to exclude Afghan crackpots? The answer is: Because they're our crackpots. They are our problem. The fact that we have problems in our society doesn't mean we should import additional problems from other societies. Especially societies we don't understand, whose problems mean nothing to us.
And even if this argument doesn't strike you as rational, it doesn't have to. If you are allowed to discriminate, that means you can discriminate for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reasons at all. If Germany wanted to, it could pass a law saying that only people with green eyes can immigrate to Germany. If some international tribunal asked Germany why, Germany would not even have to give an answer.
Countries like the USA and Germany have enormous leverage: they are (comparatively) safe, prosperous, well-run societies to which millions of people would like to relocate. They should leverage their desirability to attract only the most adaptable and talented immigrants. Anything less is a disservice to their people.
Why so many mainstream German (and some American) politicians cannot seem to grasp these obvious principles has the world scratching its head.
The Washington Post looks at the burqini ban:
While the burqini may sound straightforward, it is quite controversial. German media recently reported that a public pool in Neutraubling in the German state of Bavaria had banned swimmers from wearing burqinis. According to Abendzeitung, the decision had been made after a young woman had turned up to a water aerobics class in a burqini. A number of other women in the class had complained, which led town officials to decide the outfit was not appropriate at the pool and should not be allowed.
Town Mayor Heinz Kiechle told the paper that there was no “burqini ban” per se, and that instead swimming pools simply required conventional swimwear. For women, that would be a standard one-piece swimsuit or a bikini. A burqini would not be allowed, but nor would a wetsuit or a T-shirt. An additional reason for the rule, Kiechle told the Mittelbayerische Zeitung, was that there had been complaints about male asylum seekers in the area attempting to use the pool while wearing underwear.
Swimming pools have become a surprising battleground in Europe’s culture wars in recent years. At the start of this year there were reports that asylum seekers and migrants in a number of countries had been banned from swimming pools after alleged sexual assaults. A more complicated issue is female modesty: In Sweden, a country that prides itself on gender equality, the idea of female-only swimming hours has prompted a backlash by those who say it goes against the country’s ethos.
There are two cultural divides at work here. First, the obvious one between the burqini wearers and the other women.
The other is between an American and a European reading this article. When an American reads this article, the question that pops up is: why are all these people sharing the same pool? If the Muslims want special rules and conditions for pool use, then they should all get together, pool their money (so to speak), and build a pool.
European society still reflects an ever-diminishing glimmer of the idea of communal ownership and enjoyment. You don't have to buy your own car, big plot of land, or swimming pool. We will provide trains, parks, and public pools for you. You'll have to share them, of course, but you'll get 80% of the enjoyment at 1% of the price. And besides, sharing is good for society. Helps combat alienation and selfishness. Sweden's social democrats once lived by the motto: 'Nothing is too good for the people'.
But communal goods presuppose a community of people which can agree on how to use them. There has to be social trust and consensus. Immigrants who don't understand or accept that you have to bathe in different clothes than you live in screw that up. And it's important. I won't go into details, but bathing in clothes causes disgusting hygiene problems.
America is a place with lots of room, prosperous immigrants, cheap real estate, plenty of different ethnic groups, and no broad sense of entitlement that the government should provide free amenities to all. So if Muslims want to swim in a way that fits their culture, they can build a private swimming pool. They can keep everyone else out, if they want, or let them in. It's up to them.
America is full of communal gathering places for various ethnic groups -- there's even a Slovenian Hall in San Francisco. Now, the name is merely historical, you can rent the Slovenian hall for weddings. This is because Slovenes moved out of the immigrant ghettos in a few generations, forgot Slovenian, and no longer feel the need for ethnic solidarity.
The US Midwest is plastered with hundreds of thousands of remnants of the era when German-Americans created their own Singvereine, Kulturvereine, restaurants, festivals, cultural meeting places, and other institutions. There are thousands of American hospitals with ethnic and religious names, which were founded to provide medical care mainly -- and sometimes exclusively -- to one religion or ethnic group. New York City used to have a German hospital located in 'Little Germany'. It changed its name to Lenox Hill Hospital in 1918.
And all of these buildings were built with private funds. Jews built their own hospitals for their fellow Jews, Germans for their fellow Germans, Catholics for their fellow Catholics. Now the objection might be that the kind of conservative Muslims who might want a private swimming pool might not have enough money to build one. As is the case almost everywhere, there's an inverse relationship between how devout people are and how rich they are. The typical American answer to this question is: tough toenails. American-style cultural laissez-faire means nobody will interfere if you want to build your own separate institutions, and that nobody will help you.
Muslim Germans are a minority in a country whose majority doesn't share their cultural predilections. They have a right to fair treatment, but can't expect any sympathy or help from that majority to help them preserve their own alien traditions. Gentiles didn't build Jewish hospitals for American Jews, nor did the US government help Catholics build their own hospitals. If Muslims want their own swimming pools, but cannot yet afford them, they will just have to be patient and keep saving. Or follow the rules at public pools.
The Atlantic summarizes a recent study:
Why do some societies not encourage casual smiling? I got my answer, or at least part of one, when I stumbled across a new paper by Kuba Krys [Kuba Krys? Didn't he lay down a smokin' freestyle on that Kendrick Lamar album? - ed.], a psychologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences [Oh, that Kuba Krys - ed.]. In some countries, smiling might not be a sign of warmth or even respect. It’s evidence that you’re a fool—a tricky fool.
Krys focused on a cultural phenomenon called “uncertainty avoidance.” Cultures that are low on this scale tend to have social systems—courts, health-care systems, safety nets, and so forth—that are unstable. Therefore, people there view the future as unpredictable and uncontrollable.
Smiling is a sign of certainty and confidence, so when people in those countries smile, they might seem odd. Why would you smile when fate is an invisible wolf waiting to shred you? You might, in those “low-UA” countries, even be considered stupid for smiling.
Krys also hypothesized that smiling in corrupt countries would be, um, frowned upon. When everyone’s trying to pull one over on each other, you don’t know if someone’s smiling with good intentions, or because they’re trying to trick you....
He found that in countries like Germany, Switzerland, China, and Malaysia, smiling faces were rated as significantly more intelligent than non-smiling people. But in Japan, India, Iran, South Korea, and—you guessed it—Russia, the smiling faces were considered significantly less intelligent. Even after controlling for other factors, like the economy, there was a strong correlation between how unpredictable a society was and the likelihood they would consider smiling unintelligent.
In countries such as India, Argentina, and the Maldives, meanwhile, smiling was associated with dishonesty—something Krys found to be correlated to their corruption rankings.
I've lived here in Tschermany long enough to witness a change or two. One is the increase in smiles on websites. Just anecdotally, I think the percentage of people smiling in websites about firms and universities has risen steadily. At one point, smiling too much in German would get you the reputation of being 'unseriös', but that seems to be fading these days. Also, cosmetic dentistry is becoming mainstream and affordable here. With the standard delay -- about 20 years after this happened in the USA.
As I have been pointing out for some time now, there's only one workable answer to the coming African migration 'crisis': Europe must intercept all migrant boats in the Mediterranean and immediately return them to their place of origin. No exceptions. This is the Australian policy. Austria's foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz, broke the taboo two days ago (g) and said boats must be intercepted and people returned (after a brief on-the-spot asylum hearing). Other European politicians are still in denial about this fact, wasting time in virtue-signaling, but they will eventually have to buckle under and accept reality.
Typically, what happens now is smugglers pack a boat full of all the migrants that fit. Then they add 20% more, and send it off. The boats don't even have a destination. The migrants wait until they are in international waters, and then send an SOS signal. At that point, they are intercepted by European ships and brought to European territory to file asylum claims. This foolish policy is a pull-factor that has encouraged millions of Africans to pack their bags and bribe smugglers. There are now something like 800,000 migrant waiting in North Africa to board rickety boats.
If they are all brought ashore in Italy, this will be a crisis of unimaginable proportions. Italy is already a country with massive problems, and is already dealing with hundreds of thousands of African migrants sleeping rough, working illegally, committing petty crimes, and dealing drugs. Adding 800,000 new unskilled illegal migrants might well push Italy over the brink into -- well, it's hard to say, but it will be ugly. And trust me, those 800,000 migrants are all going to stay in Italy. No other European country will take them, except perhaps a token contingent for Germany. Austria has already announced it will monitor its border with Italy to prevent passage north. Italy and the EU have been locked in fruitless negotiations for months about what to do with the migrants.
Italy's other plan is to address the so-called 'root causes' of migration (g) by helping African governments better protect their borders and intercept migrants on the way north. In return, Europe will establish asylum processing centers in Africa and open up legal means of immigration to Europe. This is as far as the center-left Renzi government can go. But like the EU's agreement with Turkey, this silly plan outsources Europe's immigration policies to repressive, corrupt, and/or ineffectual states. The whole world asks why Europe should do this instead of simply securing its own borders effectively.
Other countries have long since grasped the nettle. Not only do they reject all illegal boat migrants, they openly announce that they are doing so, and explain why:
As the United States' primary maritime law enforcement agency, the Coast Guard is tasked with enforcing immigration law at sea. The Coast Guard conducts patrols and coordinates with other federal agencies and foreign countries to interdict undocumented migrants at sea, denying them entry via maritime routes to the United States, its territories and possessions. Thousands of people try to enter this country illegally every year using maritime routes, many via smuggling operations. Interdicting migrants at sea means they can be quickly returned to their countries of origin without the costly processes required if they successfully enter the United States.
When successful, illegal immigration can potentially cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year in social services. In addition to relieving this financial burden on our citizens, the Coast Guard's efforts help to support legal migration systems. Primarily, the Coast Guard maintains its humanitarian responsibility to prevent the loss of life at sea, since the majority of migrant vessels are dangerously overloaded, unseaworthy or otherwise unsafe.
The US, like Australia, unapologetically protects its own interests, and defends its policy as more humane than any alternative.
But then, of course, the United States is notoriously hostile to refugees. Right?
Wrong. UN Dispatch places the US in the top four countries worldwide for refugee resettlement:
The United States. Influenced by its political and military position regarding conflict in Syria, the U.S. has not favorably made the news on the current refugee crisis, offering to resettle only approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees. Yet looking holistically at its system reveals a sunnier picture of U.S. refugee policy. The United States permanently resettles more refugees than any other country in the world, historically taking half of all applications received via the UN Refugee Agency. Last year, this amounted to about 70,000 refugees worldwide who, for the most part, were living in limbo in the country to which they fled. The USA may not be a viable option for Syrian refugees, but large numbers of refugees from elsewhere are routinely resettled in the USA.
It's simple: if you bribe a smuggler, cram yourselves into boats, and try to sneak into the country illegally, you will be summarily rejected (except for Cubans, but that's changing as we speak). If you comply with the law, cooperate with international organizations, and can actually prove you as an individual face severe persecution, we will resettle you.
It's called setting the right incentives. And it's not only a reasonable policy choice, but by far the best one. All you have to do is give up a few sentimental illusions. But boy, do Europeans love those.
Non-Europeans can't understand the immigration debate in Europe without recognizing a key fact: Every single migrant who enters a (Northern) European country and files an asylum claim is immediately entitled to state-funded housing, healthcare, and education, plus a monthly cash stipend and child benefit. And is automatically legally entitled to all these things indefinitely, no matter what.
If they eventually get to the point where they are employable and then turn down suitable jobs, the benefits may be reduced. But never eliminated. Since the vast majority of migrants arrive not speaking the native language, and a large percentage never learn it to proficiency, all immigrants will be welfare cases for at least 10-15 years, and many will never stop being welfare cases.
In many Western countries, including the U.S. refugees are sponsored and funded by a public-private mix of government (which does the screening), and private charities, often religious in nature, who find housing and aid in integration. This doesn't happen to anywhere near the same extent in Europe. In Europe, private charities operate on a much smaller scale, since they have essentially been frozen out by state welfare. Religious charities run by the major established churches usually have significant government involvement. As the chart above shows, Germany has a comparatively small private charity sector. It's about the OECD average, but it's worth remembering that the OECD includes a lot of countries much poorer than Germany.
So every migrant let into the country who possesses no job skills immediately begins costing the state money. And lots of migrants cost lots of money. Germany is now spending an amount on refugee welfare that exceeds its annual federal education budget. It is spending almost €3 billion per year (g) just caring for 65,000 unaccompanied minor migrants.
Denmark has similar policies to Germany's. Which brings us to Daham Al Hasan, his three wives, and his twenty children:
In Denmark these days, Daham Al Hasan is making headlines. He has twenty children with three wives, but two years ago fled alone from Syria to Denmark, and left his wives and children behind. Recently, under the Danish rules of family unification, one of his wives and eight of his children have joined him in Denmark. But Al Hasan wants all his children with him, as well as all his wives. He has been granted permission for nine additional children to join him, but as Denmark does not allow polygamy, the two remaining wives, under the same rules of family unification, are not permitted to join him. Lawyers, however, estimate that the remaining wives will also be able independently to join their children in Denmark, once they are there.
The case has caused rather a shock in Denmark, not only because of the extraordinary size of the family, and what it will cost the Danish state just in child allowance, but because Al Hassan claims that he is too ill to work or even to learn Danish. "I don't only have mental problems, but also physical problems", he says by way of explanation, "My back and my legs hurt." He has admitted that his "mental illness" consists of missing the children he voluntarily left behind. This means that he and his family live exclusively off the Danish taxpayers' money.
Doing a bit of tidying-up recently, I found a business card I got during a recent trip to Sofia, Bulgaria. I was minding my own business, waiting by the side of the street to be picked up by friends, when I watched a nice, but unspectacular late-model sedan park in a nearby parking lot. A guy dressed in a nice but unspectacular suit, perhaps mid-30s, well-groomed, emerged from the car carrying a briefcase. He spotted me and walked directly over.
He said, "Can I help you?" "No, I'm just waiting for a friend," I replied. Then he said "Well, in case you would like some company," and gave me a business card. I assumed it was his business card, and that he either wanted to buy me a drink to practice his English, or to do something more, er, Greek. Then he walked away. This was the card:
I noticed that there's only one phone number, but the rates on the front and back of the card are different. This hardly speaks for the conscientiousness of Bulgarian pimps. Unless there's actually a difference between 'top models' and 'pretty girls for pleasure'.
The more I thought about it, the more questions I had. The guy who gave me the card looked like a mild-mannered accountant. I was waiting right in the middle of Sofia, not in some park where odd grunting sounds come from the bushes. Do Bulgarian pimps just hand out cards to ordinary Bulgarian men and tell them to give the cards to anyone who looks like a horny tourist? Or is this mere hospitality, like a tribal chieftain offering his wife to a traveler?
In any case, since I was staying with friends, I didn't enjoy the company of any pretty girls for pleasure. But t then again, the minute you exit a German train station, you see that you don't have to leave Germany to enjoy the company of Bulgarian prostitutes (g).
Nabiel Peter Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, born Nabiel Bagadi, and known in the U.K as Peter Mark Emanuel Graf von Wolffersdorff Freiherr von Bogendorff, may have to remain a man of two identities and many more names following a ruling by Europe’s top court on Thursday.
Bringing a years-long legal battle to an end, the European Court of Justice decided that Germany can refuse to recognize the new names of citizens when their new monikers contain outlawed titles of nobility. The ruling may ease fears of so-called name tourism, where EU citizens take advantage of laxer laws on name changes in another member state.
Mr. Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, a German national, acquired British nationality while living in the U.K. and had his names changed to Peter Mark Emanuel Graf von Wolffersdorff Freiherr von Bogerndorff. In German “Graf” and “Freiherr” mean “Count” and “Baron” respectively.
On his return to Germany, Mr. Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff requested the registry office of the city of Karlsruhe to register his new name, which would allow him to update his German identity papers. The Karlsruhe registry refused. The 1919 Weimar constitution abolished noble privileges and titles and prohibited the creation of titles giving the appearance of noble origins, in order to ensure the equality before the law of all German citizens.
The first version of this article was a bit different: "Nabiel Peter Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, born Nabiel Bagadi, is an evidently insane man known in the U.K as ...".
Schwarzenbek, Germany. Never heard of it before? Neither had I. But it does have an English Wikipedia page:
Schwarzenbek is a town in the district of Lauenburg, in Schleswig-Holstein,Germany. It is situated approximately 10 km northeast of Geesthacht, and 35 km east of Hamburg. Schwarzenbeks' coat of arms shows a black wolf on a yellow field, beneath the wolf, the water symbolizes the river Schwarze Beke (meaning Black Creek).
It's probably a typical North German village, with red-brick churches, quaint ivy-encrusted row-houses, and lots of tea drinkers. 15,000 inhabitants.
But then 78 migrant families, mostly Syrian and Afghan, arrived. They were sent to the middle of nowhere by the German migrant resettlement plan, the so-called Königsteiner Agreement, which is intended to spread the burden of resettlement evenly and prevent the creation of ghettos.
All the children had to be packed into Schwarzenbek's school system, which had to expand German as a Second Language classes. And a group of between 8 and 15 migrant boys, depending on whom you ask, are harassing and beating (g) the other children. Severely enough to inflict bruises and scrape wounds. Parents are reporting that their children are afraid to go to school. Nobody can figure out exactly why the boys are doing this, since they speak no German. But all the victims mentioned in the article are girls.
Of course, in rural areas of the third world, this sort of behavior would probably be countered by giving the boys a solid beating. Assuming, of course, that the boys' behavior was seen as a problem at all. But Germany's not that kind of country, so instead school authorities have called the parents in for 'discussions'. Not right away, of course -- they had to wait two weeks for Arabic and Dari/Pashto translators to arrive first. I can imagine those translators have their work cut out for them, traveling to one remote hamlet after another.
Parents have complained: "Principal Andreas Hartung did not try to minimize the problem, but asked the parents for patience: 'Give us time.' A new employee tasked with social integration has only been at the school for two weeks." Given that Schwarzenbek prides itself on being a stable bedroom community, parents weren't expecting their children being terrorized by gangs of foreigners at school. That's why they don't live in Hamburg.
Meanwhile, according to the former chair of the roundtable Willkommenskultur, Christoph Ziehm, the mood in the town is threatening to change. Enraged parents are posting Facebook comments, some with racist overtones, about their experiences. Although the chairman says it's regrettable that a minority of children are besmirching the reputation of the majority who cause no problems, he also agrees that integrating these very foreign foreigners is a "major social problem" and says: "When it comes to the subject of equal rights for women, Syrian families are fifty years behind us, and Afghans are eighty."
And that comes from the chief proponent of Willkommenskultur.
Meanwhile, similar scenes are no doubt occurring in thousands of towns and villages across Germany. Stay tuned.
Hat tip to Stakhanov for a link to this article:
More and more people from the Russian Caucasus region are crossing from Belarus into Poland, where the vast majority immediately apply for refugee status. According to the Polish border authority, 90 percent of all asylum requests are made at the Brest-Terespol border crossing. In the first half of 2013, 9,500 people requested asylum: 8,730 were of Russian origin. That's almost twice as many as in the previous year.
Passport control at the train station in Belarus is not usually a problem for North Caucasians. Belarusian border officials are not required to check whether Russian citizens have a visa for the EU, they just have to check that their passports are in order.
When the train leaves the station, it's immediately apparent how nervous people are. They are reluctant to engage in conversation. All you find out is that most of them are from Chechnya, and that they're travelling without an EU visa. They say they want to go to the West, and that they have relatives already living there. The situation in their homeland is "not good". There is "no freedom."
When the train arrives in Terespol, people with a valid EU visa are allowed to leave the train first. Those without a visa sometimes have to wait several hours in the train before Polish border officials take them to a special room where they are questioned by the Polish authorities. The asylum seekers have often been advised what to say by fellow Caucasians in Belarus.
...Caucasians abroad are well-connected. If someone has been recognised as a refugee in a EU country, the news spreads very fast, and more and more people come from the northern Caucasus to Brest as a result.
Only around 30 percent of the asylum seekers stay to complete the asylum procedure in Poland. For most of the Caucasians, Poland is not their final destination. They quickly leave the refugee housing and travel illegally to other EU countries, like Germany.
They are usually not aware that according to EU law they cannot apply for asylum in another EU country if they have already applied for asylum at the Belarusian-Polish border. They have to reckon with the possibility that they will be deported back to Poland. But for these North Caucasians, it's still preferable to going back to their homeland.
Here's the most important fact, which this article completely ignores: Chechnya is a hotbed of radical Islamic terrorism:
Since the September 11 attacks, and the Arab revolutions, a new generation of Chechen Muslim radicals, who want to create a Taliban-style government across the Caucasus Mountains to be governed by Sharia, has risen to fight. They are in their 20s and 30s and use the Internet. They reportedly have a website, where Chechen jihadists, from around the world, now fighting in Syria, Pakistan and Turkey, post their reports.
Their new leader, Doku Umarov, called by some Russia's Osama bin Laden, has said, "Today in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Palestine our brothers are fighting. Everyone who attacks Muslims wherever they are our enemies, common enemies. Our enemy is not Russia only, but everyone who wages war against Islam and Muslims." Three weeks ago he called to Chechens living in other countries to come home to Chechnya to take part in the fight.
Chechen Islamists are also helping Ukrainian separatists:
The Chechens are also renowned for their deft ambushes and raids. In the Chechen wars, insurgents had a policy of killing officers and contract soldiers who were taken prisoner, but conscripted soldiers were spared.
In Ukraine, the Chechens’ calls of “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” are said to strike fear in the hearts of the Russians.
In the interview, the Chechen commander said his men liked to fight with little protective gear. “This is the way we look at it,” he said. “We believe in God, so we don’t need armored vests.”
And let's not forget that Chechens were responsible for the most spectacular acts of terrorism after 9/11:
Russian analysts correctly assessed that without the liquidation of these Islamist warlords, low-intensity warfare in Chechnya could have lasted for a very long time. This assessment was substantiated by tragic terrorist attacks that followed in Chechnya and in Russia itself – airliner bombings, assassinations of pro-Moscow Chechen leaders, and unprecedentedly brutal attacks in the Moscow Theater Siege (2002), Moscow metro (2004) and in Beslan (2004).
The Moscow Theater (Nord Ost) siege was a devastating terrorist event, conducted by a few dozen Chechen terrorists. Armed with automatic weapons and explosives, the assailants took 850 hostages and demanded the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. The siege was led by Movsar Barayev, who was killed along with most terrorists and 129 hostages in the controversial counter-terrorist operation conducted by Russian Special Forces.
In February 2004, Moscow’s residents experienced another severe terrorist attack in the Avtozavodskaya metro station. Forty persons lost their lives this suicide attack, which was perpetrated under the instructions of Shamil Basayev and Ibn al-Khattab.
The attack in Beslan in September the same year was a pinnacle of Chechen Islamist brutality – an event in which hundreds of hostages were killed, including 186 children and hundreds more were wounded or reported missing.
I could go on and on and on citing sources. Everyone except for naive Germans understands that Chechnya is probably the country with the highest proportion of radical Islamists in the entire world right now. Predictably, both Vladimir Putin and his handpicked viceroy in Chechnya are cracking down hard on Islamism in the North Caucasus.
So when these taciturn Chechens vaguely complain that it's "not good" for them and there is "no freedom" in their homeland, it is entirely possible that many of them are radical Islamists fleeing government security measures. But of course, they will lie to German immigration authorities, recycling stories that were already used successfully by former migrants.
Will Germany do what any sane, self-respecting nation would do? That is, detain all of these migrants until a thorough background screening can be performed, carefully analyze their stories of persecution, and immediately reject anyone who lied about his grounds for asylum, and anyone with any ties to radical Islam? Will Germany, in other words, put the security and safety of its citizens -- and by extension, the citizens of Europe -- first and foremost?
A few months ago, I would have said "no". But voices of common sense seem to gradually be re-asserting themselves in Germany recently, so I have a very, very cautious hope.