Leave it to an economist to start a book tour to promote his views that Muslims are genetically second class citizens at a time when the world seems to be one big powder keg of religious tension. The Washington Post reports on one Thilo Sarrazin who may or may not know about a certain preacher in Florida who may or may not burn the Koran tomorrow.
The most talked about man in Germany is a 65-year-old economist whose hot new book and sudden groundswell of popular support have the media dubbing him a folk hero. But that is not the only thing they are calling Thilo Sarrazin these days.
Some are also calling him dangerous. Sarrazin, a board member of the German Central Bank until he resigned under pressure Thursday, has divided the nation by postulating the theory that Germany is being “dumbed down” by Muslim immigrants and their children. Wielding statistics and scientific arguments both in his book and in public comments, he delves into territory largely taboo here since the Holocaust, suggesting that “hereditary factors” are at least partly to blame. Turks and Kurdish immigrants, he asserts, are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence than Germans and other ethnic groups, including Jews.
His statements have shocked many in Germany not only because of a national sensitivity to anything remotely smacking of genetic superiority claims in the post-World War II era. What has also shocked many is that so many Germans have rallied to his side as the central bank and his political party have sought to oust him for his pronouncements.
The title translates to “Germany Does Away with Itself”, now closing in on the half-million mark in sales, and Thilo now has 21,000 Facebook friends. While he is no stranger to controversy, you have to wonder whether he thought he was writing the German version of Freakonomics, never anticipating what his political in-correctness might produce.