A discussion paper ( German and English) published by the Germany-based Gustav Stresemann Foundation—a think tank dedicated to the preservation and advancement of liberal democracy in Europe—warns that national and international Islamic organizations are increasingly putting pressure on Western politicians gradually to criminalize any critique of Islam.
The author of the report, the German political scientist Felix Strüning, provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the Islamic lobbying effort—by means of a "human rights lawsuit"—to silence Thilo Sarrazin, a prominent German banker who has criticized the refusal of Muslim immigrants to integrate into German society.
During an October 2009 interview with the Berlin-based culture magazine Lettre International, Sarrazin said:
“A large number of Arabs and Turks in this city […] have no productive function except for the fruit and vegetable trade [...] The proportion of births among Arabs and Turks is two to three times higher than their corresponding proportion of the population. Large parts [of this population] are neither willing to integrate nor capable of integrating. The solution to this problem can only be to stop letting people in […] except for highly qualified individuals and not provide social welfare for immigrants anymore […].”The Turkish Union in Berlin-Brandenburg (Türkischer Bund Berlin-Brandenburg, TBB) responded by pressing criminal charges against Sarrazin due to alleged incitement-to-hatred (Volksverhetzung). However, German prosecutors concluded that Sarrazin's statements were protected by the freedom of expression and they ceased their investigation.
“Integration is an effort of people who integrate themselves. I do not have to accept someone who does nothing. I do not have to accept anyone who lives from the state, rejects this state, does not reasonably provide education for his children and constantly produces new little girls in headscarves. This applies to 70% of the Turkish and 90% of the Arab population in Berlin. Many of them do not want integration.”
The TBB then took its lawsuit to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which was tasked with determining whether Sarrazin's statements violated the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
In February 2013, CERD decided that Sarrazin's statements “contain ideas of racial superiority, denying respect as human beings and depicting generalized negative characteristics of the Turkish population.”
CERD also stated that Sarrazin's statements were “incitement to racial discrimination” because he favors refusing social welfare benefits for Turks and would (with the exception of highly qualified individuals) generally prohibit immigration.