Mesut Özil is the son of a struggling migrant family. Becoming the target of racist attacks after his photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were plastered all over the media in Germany, in mass newspapers like Bild, the most primitive representative of the Nazi spirit, Özil announced after the World Cup matches that he was leaving the German national team.
The announcement he made through his social media accounts had a shock effect in Germany.
It appears that Özil holding Germans’ racism against them was not really expected to lead to a small-scale tremor.
It took a single announcement from Özil to show that Germany’s Nazi past can creep up on it.
Özil saying that he is seen as “German when he succeeds, a migrant when he fails,” disturbed the German community.
Özil is not the only victim of these racist, discriminatory attacks. It happened in France and some other European countries as well and still continues. German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported Özil, but of course this is not enough to conceal Germany’s racism.
Cem Özdemir – whose path to success opened and who came to where he is now because he betrayed his roots – had a significant role in the emergence of the Özil incident. I guess this is what it is to admire your executioner.
Our emigrants remaining attached to their roots drives Europeans insane
We need to look into Özil’s debut a little closely and in depth.
There is an important issue worrying Germans and other European countries housing our emigrants: integration.
What all Europe understands from integration is, really, assimilation – in other words, they expect migrants to forget their roots and entirely melt into the European mold.
Looking at Europeans in general – and specifically at Germans – we are face-to-face with a philosophically deep-rooted problem here.
People who were brought to Europe from other countries as slaves or who came as migrants, generally become wholly assimilated a few generations down the line, or they are otherized and confined to the suburbs.
We cannot really say the same for our emigrants who went from Turkey to Europe, especially those who migrated to Germany. Our emigrants, who went to European countries from Turkey have not severed their ties with Turkey. The developments in communication technologies and television helps them live in Germany as if they are still in Turkey: they live and breathe Turkey.
Now, this makes Germans insane. It makes them go mad.
Man is not wolf to man, but to his homeland, hope and vision
Turkish migrants remaining attached to their roots in Turkey leads to an escalation in racist, discriminatory attitudes and racist attacks against Turkish migrants in Germany.
In the long term, this is seen as a huge problem by Germany.
It does not seem possible for neither Germans nor Europeans to solve this problem. All European countries, especially Germany, are “race-based.” Hence, they do not know how to coexist with societies or communities coming from different religious and cultural backgrounds.
It was like this yesterday; it is the same today and will not change in the future either.
This is one of the main reasons why discourses such as democracy, freedoms and human rights are so intensely discussed in Europe: there is no idea and experience in relation to living together in harmony with different cultures and diversities.
The most developed examples of coexisting with societies and people from different civilizations, different religious and cultural backgrounds, giving the right to live to those who are different, the experience to build their own world is a reality that could be achieved are solely that of Muslims and from the history of Islamic civilization. The experience of living together in harmony, knowing how to learn from different cultures and religions and them in return, is a historic reality gifted to the world solely by us, Muslims, the Abbasids, the Muslims of Andalusia, the Ottoman Empire – something no other civilization could achieve or overcome.
This historic fact is also the sign that if we are able to recover in the next century and make a radical and strong breakthrough of civilization, there is a chance that we might be able to make world history again.
In short, as I always say, in the West, man is the wolf of man. This has always been the case. Yet, with us, man is not the wolf of man, but of his homeland, hope and vision.
Mesut Özil held up a mirror
A civilization that gives no right to life to other civilizations, people of different religious and cultural backgrounds, that looks at others with fear and approaches them as the “other” and a monster, that reproduces itself through others’ weaknesses – which are produced through the media – and that tries to legitimize its dominance over the world in this way, can offer humanity nothing other than imperialism, colonialism, massacres, wars, conflicts and tears.
Mesut Özil is not the first and he will not be the last. It is only one of the racism, xenophobia, discrimination incidents witnessed throughout European history.
Özil held up an important mirror in relation to racist souls, the creepy examples of this racist spirit in the past and present.
Of course, even if little in number, there are strong movements and groups that stand up against racist attacks and discourses in Germany. But it is clear that they are nowhere near enough to change the current situation.
German media’s attack on Özil, their “demonization” of him, shows that Germany does not have neither the intention nor energy to look into the mirror he is holding.