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We are currently experiencing a difficult time in Germany, Europe and the world. Nowadays many things are inextricably linked to each other. This can be best seen in the current refugee debate. In Syria, there has been a war that forced millions of people to flee. Because the refugee policy in the EU has failed, Germany, under the leadership of Angela Merkel, was somewhat compelled to take up at least one million refugees. At least since the event of the New Year’s Eve-Night in Cologne, the brutal murder of the student in Freiburg and the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin, I can sense clearly that something has changed in Germany. Reservations and resentments against Muslims have become stronger. People are insecure and many find it difficult to find their place in a more complex world. This atmosphere is then used by right-wing groups to spread their own xenophobic and racist ideology.

This development worries me very much personally. I am a Muslim and come from a conservative family. In September 1987, I went to Germany as an eight-year-old with my family and we applied for political asylum at the Frankfurt airport. As a Kurdish family, we sought shelter because we could not live our Kurdish identity and culture in our ancient home in the south-eastern part of Turkey (Northern Kurdistan).

Apart from some personal items, we had nothing with us. Germany welcomed us unconditionally and gave us the protection, which was denied to us in our old home. I then went to the language school, learned German, made it to the secondary modern school and eventually did the German “Abitur”. With German funds I was able to study at the best universities in Germany and Europe, without the German state calling for a concrete consideration from me. Within the framework of German laws, I could live out my religion and engage in political activities. German authorities have never given me any trouble.

I owe almost everything to this country. In no other country in the world did I feel as safe and free as in Germany. Despite some problems, this country is a colorful and tolerant country. I therefore vehemently oppose all the persons and organizations who are supposed to commit attacks in the name of Islam. They do not speak in my name. In the same breath, however, I condemn those groups which scapegoat my religion for any social problem in Germany and Europe.

Germany is my home. I have no other and I am proud of the achievements in this country. I know that there are millions of other Muslims in this country, who see it the same way. I sincerely hope that they will now speak more strongly, publicly condemn the attack on the Berlin Christmas market, and will firmly and actively oppose every form of extremism in our country. We will not allow our country to be destroyed by a few violent and ideologically blind people.

 

Kahraman Evsen, President of the Kurdish-European Society