But a return to the cozy pre-refugee era is out of the question. The refugees are here. They have to be integrated. But the way forward is shrouded in fog. At the same time, sober discussion of the problem is impossible. The moral and political faction that represents what might be called Germany’s “welcome culture” rigorously throttles any attempt to discern a connection between refugees and the danger of Islamic terror. This became particularly clear after the recent attacks in Paris.
But since the attacks, it has become clear that at least two of the suspected terrorists traveled into Europe via refugee routes. The men may have used false Syrian passports and simply pretended to be refugees. For the German public and security services, this came as a shock. Such a possibility they had derogated as an “abstract danger” for which they were no “concrete indications.” The path, we were told, was too far for potential terrorists. It was too dangerous. It wasn’t well-suited for transporting the necessary equipment to carry out an attack. And so on. Even today, thousands of refugees are living in Germany who were never registered upon arrival.
The skeptics of today’s refugee policy—the term “concerned citizens” is now being used as a term of aspersion by the pro-refugee faction—are not represented by any party in parliament, but are announcing themselves with increasing vigor in the media and in opinion polls. Still, according to a poll by the Allensbach Institute, nearly half of all Germans are afraid to voice their opinion about the refugee crisis. Germany, you could say, is divided once again. One side has fear of Überfremdung (over-foreignization), of Islam, of radicalization, of limitless immigration. Their opponents have opened their hearts to the refugees and believe in their ability to integrate into German society.