Controversial ‘Anti-Islam’ Book Shoots to Top of German Best Seller List

DUISBURG, GERMANY - DECEMBER 11: A general view during the friday prayer at the DITIB-Merkez Mosque is taken on December 11, 2009 in Duisburg, Germany. The recent referendum in Switzerland, in which 57 percent of respondents voted for a ban on the construction of minarets, has sparked a debate across …
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images, File

A new book that is highly critical of Islam is now the number one bestselling non-fiction book in Germany, selling well over 100,000 copies less than two weeks after its initial release.

The book, entitled Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impedes Progress and Threatens Society, is the latest from former Social Democrat (SPD) politician and former member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Thilo Sarrazin. Hostile Takeover now leads Der Spiegel‘s bestseller list for non-fiction.

Mr Sarrazin is no stranger to controversy in Germany, having already published a harsh criticism of the country’s multicultural experiment entitled Germany Abolishes Itself in 2010. He has also become a leading thinker in Germany’s new right, which is largely centred around the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The new work by the former SPD politician has also seen its own share of problems, having originally been picked up by publisher Random House which decided earlier this year they did not want to release the book. The move forced Sarrazin to take Random House to court and publish the book with FinanzBuch Verlag, instead.

During a press conference on August 30th to announce the sale of the book, Sarrazin said: “Everything has been worse than I predicted eight years ago.” He was joined by SPD politician Heinz Buschkowsky who described one of the main theses of the book which examines the higher on average birthrate of Muslims in Germany.

Buschkowsky also described Sarrazin’s proposal to reform the asylum laws in which he recommends asylum seekers be kept in transfer zones and that a decision on their claim should come no later than 30 days after their application saying the current asylum law had “degenerated into a gateway to illegal migration”.

Reactions to the book on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive but divided with 78 percent of reviews giving the book five stars while 17 percent gave it one star.

German media opinion has also been mixed, with right-wing newspaper Junge Freiheit giving the book a glowing review, while most other mainstream media outlets have criticised the book, claiming it not to be entirely factual, or having taken facts out of context.

In one review, for broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Islam expert Ulrich von Schwerin slammed Sarrazin saying: “His whole book shows that he is not concerned with the peaceful formation of coexistence, but rather with speaking the strict separation of peoples and stopping the immigration of Muslims.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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