Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 1 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Mesut Ozil's statement and his resignation from the German national football team has triggered one of the biggest debates on racism and integration in Germany.  The Mesut Ozil case is a watershed in Germany, a fatal signal to millions of young people with a migrant background. This case reinforces their feelings of not being welcome in Germany. If even a national football player and world champion is exposed to racism and does not receive support from politicians, society and the German Football Association, many ask themselves: what should we do to be accepted as full members of this society?

For young Muslims in Germany, the feelings of exclusion are especially acute. They feel disadvantaged not only because of their origin, but also because of their religion. In his letter of resignation Mesut Ozil asks whether there are criteria for being German, which he does not fulfil. 

"My friends Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose are never called German-Polish, so why am I German-Turkish? Is it because it is Turkey? Is it because I'm a Muslim?"

What Ozil says in his resignation statement is not new. Ozil merely describes what many people with a migrant background have always thought and how they have always felt. It is not new, but it has now been put into words by someone who has a broad audience beyond German borders. The whole world is suddenly discussing the inner life of Muslims in general and German Muslims with Turkish migration background in Germany:

"I am German, if we win, if we lose, I am an immigrant"

In Germany and Europe, we have been experiencing increasing xenophobia for many years, which is particularly evident when it comes to Muslim communities. Muslims are in the public spotlight like no other community in Europe. In public disputes, they are often portrayed as a supposedly backward, unenlightened, uneducated, and violent group to be feared.

Numerous studies have already investigated and revealed the negative consequences of these public debates. As it stands, many people are afraid of Muslims, avoiding any contact if they can. And these are not only people from the political far right, but rather even ordinary people from the modest centre.  
In daily life, people experience the effects in almost all walks of life. They are disadvantaged in their search for work and housing, and are not allowed to wear headscarves in public due to legal regulations in some federal states. 
It is not uncommon that Islamophobia manifests itself through violent and criminal acts targeting Muslims, especially those speaking for a peaceful coexistence. The rejection of people of Muslims has reached a point where there are no longer even given any expressions of solidarity when arson attacks are carried out on mosques or when women are attacked on the street for wearing a headscarf. 

The extent of the rejection of Muslims can now be seen even in the reception of refugees, the majority of whom also come from Muslim-majority countries. According to a representative survey, German society would be more receptive if refugees in general are from a different belief.  
It looks as if there will be no resignation on the part of the German Football Association. In a statement, DFB President Reinhard Grindel admitted mistakes in dealing with the case, but he does not speak of personal or professional consequences. 

This also reinforces the fatal impression among ethnic and religious minorities that everything is not so bad, because in the end 'it's all about a Turk'.

Despite the adversity, we must not bury our heads in the sand. Ozil's case has only brought something to light, made something visible. We can see this as an opportunity and finally have an open and honest debate on racism in Germany and Europe.   
We can transform indignation at the way Ozil is treated into energy and discuss together how it was possible to elect an extreme right-wing party like the AfD in Germany to the Bundestag and why right-wing extremists sit in almost all parliaments throughout Europe.

We can also use this opportunity to question ourselves. For example, we can ask ourselves whether and what mistakes we Muslims have made that Islamophobia could increase so much. Self-reflection and self-criticism are virtues and signs of strength, not weakness. We can use this opportunity to get into conversation with our neighbours, friends and all the other people around us.

For us Muslims in Germany and Europe, there is no alternative to this dispute. We must have discussions, demand debates and, over and over again, oppose all forms of racism.  For us, the fight against xenophobia and anti-Muslim racism is without alternatives simply because we live in Europe, are rooted, and see our future here. The romantic idea of Muslims of Turkish origin fifty or sixty years ago who went to make and save some money to only go back to Turkey, no longer exists.

It must therefore be our goal to struggle for a diverse and pluralistic society until everyone, regardless of their origin, language, colour or religion, can live on an equal footing and free of discrimination - regardless of whether they see themselves as Muslims, Christians, Jews, Turks, Germans or German-Turks.

Football star felt he was singled out as scapegoat for World Cup exit due to Turkish heritage and Erdogan meeting.

Mesut Ozil has announced his retirement from international football, hitting out at the "racist" and "disrespectful" treatment he received in the wake of his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Germany's early World Cup exit.

The Arsenal star, who has Turkish ancestry, made the announcement on Sunday in a lengthy statement he posted on his Twitter account.The 29-year-old attacking midfielder, who was part of the German squad that exited the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, felt he was singled out as a scapegoat for the failure due to his Turkish heritage and the Erdogan meeting in May.

Berlin and Ankara trade barbs over Ozil-Gundogan-Erdogan meeting

"It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect," Ozil said.   "The treatment I have received from the DFB [German Football Association] and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt," he added.

"People with racially discriminative backgrounds should not be allowed to work in the largest football federation in the world that has players from dual-heritage families. Attitudes like theirs simply do not reflect the players they supposedly represent."

Mesut Özil

Ozil said he could not accept "German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad".
He added: "I am German when we win, but an immigrant when we lose."  
Ozil earned 92 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009. He was a key member of the country's 2014 World Cup-winning side.  
"This decision has been extremely difficult to make because I've always given everything for my teammates ... but when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough," he wrote.  
"That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever, be accepted."

Ozil met Erdogan in London in May [Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters]

Ozil drew criticism at home after his meeting in Erdogan. He and Ilkay Gundogan - a teammate also of Turkish descent who likewise posed with Erdogan - were jeered in warm-up games before the World Cup in Russia. In his statement on Sunday, Ozil said if he had not met the Turkish president, he would have been "disrespecting the roots of my ancestors".
Ozil and Gundogan meet German president over Erdogan photo row

"For me having a picture with President Erdogan wasn't about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family's country," he said.  The Arsenal midfielder also said that he was loyal to both his Turkish and German origins and insisted he did not intend to make a political statement.

"Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey," he said. "I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish."

Ozil holds the World Cup trophy after Germany beat Argentina at the 2014 final in Brazil [Antonio Lacerda/EPA]

Relations between Germany and Turkey have soured amid a crackdown by Erdogan's government on suspected supporters of a failed military coup in July 2016.

"My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies," Ozil said.

"I get that this may be hard to understand, as in most cultures the political leader cannot be thought of as being separate from the person. But in this case it is different. Whatever the outcome would've been in this previous election, or the election before that, I would have still taken the picture."


Official accuses Germany of 'Erdoganphobia' as football federation says president used players in election campaign.
Umut Uras

A senior Turkish official has slammed the German football federation, media and several politicians after they criticised two German players of Turkish descent who met Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he seeks re-election.  Erdogan met Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan during an official visit to the United Kingdom. Both also play for the German national team. Turkey's striker Cenk Tosun was also at the gathering.

Photos taken in London show the players handing jerseys to the Turkish president and were published on social media on Monday by Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

One image shows the wording on Gundogan's jersey, which reads: "With respect for my president".

Reinhard Grindel, president of the German football federation DFB, accused the players in a series of tweets of being manipulated by Erdogan's election campaign."DFB, of course, respects the special situation of our players with a migration background. But football and the DFB stand for values that are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan," Grindel said.

"That is why it is not good for our national players to be abused by his campaign manoeuvres. Our two players certainly did not help the integration work of DFB with this action."


Erdogan and his party are campaigning for the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.  Yasin Aktay, a senior Erdogan adviser, called the reaction to the photos a new example of "Erdoganphobia" that is flourishing in Germany - in addition to "Islamophobia".
"He is the publicly elected president of Turkey. He represents the whole of the Turkish public in that position. This reaction shows that German authorities have an irrational fanaticism against Erdogan," Aktay told Al Jazeera.

Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and Cenk Tosun welcomed Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to London — and gave him signed shirts from their respective clubs as a gift.

AK Parti

He criticised Germany by making an apparent reference to dissident Turkish journalistDundar's meeting with German President Joachim Gauck late last year.  "German authorities casually meet and pose with a person who is accused of espionage in Turkey as the German president did," he said.  "Conversely, German officials and politicians condemn Turkish German football players for posing in photos with their president as a result of nothing but natural emotions." Aktay also stressed that Erdogan, who is a former football player, met the players in a personal capacity and the meeting had nothing to do with the June elections.

Many strains

Dundar, who currently resides in Germany, was sentenced in Turkey for revealing state secrets after his newspaper, Cumhuriyet, published a story about Turkish intelligence vehicles allegedly carrying weapons to rebels in Syria in 2015.  Dundar is one of many strains in the relations between Berlin and Ankara. Turkish and German officials have been in a war of words in recent years. Ankara accuses Berlin of supporting "terrorism", while Germany has denounced the deterioration of democratic and human rights in Turkey.  The Turkish government says Germany supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging war against the Turkish state since the 1980s.

'Gross foul'

Sevim Dagdelen, deputy chairperson of the Left Party parliamentary group in Germany, said all national team players have to be role models and should stand for fair play, not just on the pitch. "Them courting Erdogan as their president while Turkey persecutes democrats and journalists is a gross foul," said Dagdelen. Cem Ozdemir, Green Party co-leader, tweeted: "It is distasteful and embarrassing for football millionaires to be homage for [Erdogan's] election campaign."   In an editorial, the national Bild newspaper called the players "political idiots, but football geniuses".  "If you have a moral position, you don't laugh into the camera with Erdogan," it said, though it refuted calls to kick the players off the national team.

Germany and other Western European governments have repeatedly condemned the Turkish government's detentions and purges of tens of thousands of people after a failed coup attempt in July 2016.  Erdogan's government says the crackdown follows the rule of law and aims to remove coup supporters from state institutions and other parts of society.

Messages In This Thread
HOW GLOBAL ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY BECAME ACCEPTABLE - by globalvision2000administrator - 07-25-2018, 09:01 PM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 7 Guest(s)