We are not really talking just about a group of people who need shelter from a war. These people are, more likely than not, here to stay permanently, as homesickness vanishes with time, while safety and comfort stay. What’s worrying is that we are talking about immigration not only from a different country or region, which is trivial, but from a different dimension and age. While Europe and the West have embraced Enlightenment and progress since the 18th century, not to speak of our Renaissance, Islam has not moved much past its 8th century world view, dominated by spirituality and tradition, with religion and dogmas more powerful than ever. Without necessarily resorting to the clash of civilisations, we can talk about a mismatch of worlds and perceptions. When this mismatch is limited to a small group in our midst, we can accommodate it, as it’s not going to change our way of life, other than introducing a nice exotic feel on our streets. But the once small minority is becoming a sizeable minority, growing by the day, because of rapid population growth and, more significantly, massive immigration. We are witnessing population movements probably only ominously comparable to the ones which led to the fall of the Roman Empire. Whatever way you put it – I love our lay, tolerant, open Europe – I don’t want to live first through massive islamisation, as we bend over backwards, as usual, to accommodate the new arrivals, followed by a massive right wing backlash, as Putin harvests the populist extremists in Europe to destroy us.
As refugees stream into Europe, and terror attacks spark security fears, one Bavarian village grapples with newcomers — and with the question of what it means to be German.