Hatun Sürücü (23) was murdered on the night of February 7th, in a drive by shooting in Tempelhof-Berlin. Her three brothers are under arrest.
This crime has set off a new salvo of articles and discussion in the Berlin media about integration, education, religion (Islam), and immigration. Frequently described as an honor-killing (Ehremord), the murder has provoked the same reactions as usual in what passes as public discourse. Mayor Klaus Wowereit in the Berliner Morgenpost: Was läuft in Berlin falsch bei der Integration von Muslimen? A school principal writes an open letter to his school, where children were reported as praising the killing during class discussion. The words freedom, ours/theirs, us/them, western values are all thrown around in a juggler’s act.
While the Mayor is wondering what is going wrong, concrete, innovative ideas can be applied to what is going right. When there is talk of “our schools” and the “immigration problem,” there is never any mention of diversifying teaching staff, providing teacher training that specifically deals with immigration or integration, diversifying police staff, community policing, diversity training, variations on bilingual education.
How can a policy of integration be taken seriously when former politicians are quoted in the paper as saying:We should have never invited Turkish people to Germany as guest workers. In the two-way process that integration represents, how does one group move closer to another when characterized as a mistake. When is the standard going to change from “our” as an exclusionary term to an “our” that represents the reality of the populations that have lived, live now, and will be living in Berlin for a long time?
In France, republican ideals run through the education curriculum, the slightly misguided idea that you leave your ancestry at the door and come out French, Bac in hand. In the US, immigrants are sold the American Dream. I wonder what exactly immigrants in Germany are supposed to aspire to be? Unemployed?
The continuing tragedy, in addition to this young woman’s death, is that integration and multiculturalism has never even been attempted. It can’t be accelerated; It hasn’t failed. The politics have simply never existed.