Turkish migration researcher and sociologist Necla Kelek has slammed left-wing parties’ insistence that migrants be allowed to import their families to Germany — an issue proving to be a major sticking point in coalition talks — warning that the phenomena leads to problems with “political Islam”.
“Family reunification promotes parallel societies and also sends the wrong signal to people in their home countries,” Kelek told Die Welt in an interview earlier this week. “It would be better not to have a grand coalition than one made under such a concession.”
After negotiations between Angela Merkel’s nominally conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), the classic liberal FDP and the far left Greens collapsed earlier this month, the German Chancellor’s party is in talks with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to form another so-called grand coalition with the left-wing party.
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But setting out their conditions for partnering with Merkel, the party refused to back an upper limit on the number of migrants brought to Germany through family reunification policies.
Deputy SPD leader Ralf Stegner stressed that allowing refugees to import family members is a “humanitarian obligation” for the nation, and an issue on which the party will not compromise.
Kelek said she vehemently disagrees with left-wing politicians’ claim that it’s difficult for migrants to integrate if they are not allowed to bring their families to Germany with them — an argument made by the Council of Europe, as well as activist NGOs across the continent, which claim a major barrier to integration is migrants’ inability to ship extended family into their new adoptive country.
“The opposite is the case,” the lecturer in migration sociology told the German broadsheet. “In oriental-Muslim societies, family means the extended family, the clan — which is patriarchally organised.
“With family reunificati, n we import the Islamic family system, which leads to parallel societies and integration problems.”
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The arrival of family members, she added, results in a situation where: “Nobody has to adjust [to living in German society] anymore because immigrants can live only among people from their own communities, carrying on with oppressive traditions like child marriage.”
In the interview, Kelek — who has written extensively on the phenomenon of Islamic “parallel societies” in Germany — asserted that problems the country is seeing have been worsened by “the refugee policy as a whole”, referencing Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open the country to a huge influx of Arab asylum seekers.
“It is unbelievable how the chancellor looks away and refuses to take political Islam and the resulting problems seriously,” she said, slamming the CDU leader for comparing the Bible with the Quran.
“Islam is not just about spirituality, but also about the conveyance of values into society,” contended Kelek, adding: “It is this ignorance that created the refugee problem.”