In the long run, we will only succeed in combating Islamism if we can prevent radicalization and recruitment in the first place. Therefore, in the fall of 2005, our security agencies engaged Muslim associations in a dialogue that was oriented toward joint goals. The agreed upon strategy aims to improve our mutual understanding and to spur joint action against the extremist misuse of religion.
Social marginalization, insufficient German language skills, and a lack of career prospects promote the radicalization of young Muslims in our country. A successful integration policy is therefore an essential instrument of any effective anti-terror strategy.
Immigration and integration are two sides of the same coin. Only the transparent control and restriction of immigration can create the necessary climate for the integration of foreign nationals living here. And their successful integration is necessary as a foundation for further immigration.
And so we demand of people who come to our country that they actively contribute to their own integration and acknowledge the basic values of our society. Thus, integration makes a preventative contribution to the internal security of our country as well.
Immigration policy must also guarantee the protection and security of our country and the people living here. The immigration act that took effect on January 1, 2005, provides the federal states, which are essentially responsible for implementing the Aliens Act, with an extended instrument with which to suppress terrorist and extremist threats.
Within the scope of the present evaluation of the Immigration Act, we are also reviewing whether all security questions have been answered satisfactorily or if further legislative action is needed.
Right-wing extremism is a focal point of the present debate. It demands special attention from both the government and society. For this reason, right-wing extremism is a special area of focus for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
It is gratifying that right-wing extremist parties did not score any notable victories in the past year or in the three Landtag [state assembly] elections in March of this year.
At the end of last year, the NPD [National Democratic Party of Germany] had 6,000 members, that is, 700 more than a year earlier. By renewing their contact with the neo-Nazi scene and concluding their “Germany Pact” with the DVU [German People’s Union], the NPD has tried to increase its significance in the right-wing extremist scene. But having received less than two percent of the vote in the last Bundestag election and in this year’s Landtag elections, they did not succeed in making the breakthrough they had hoped for.
There is nevertheless cause for concern that extremist right-wing ideology is attractive to a considerable segment of young male voters between 18 and 24 years of age. More than 5 percent of the young male vote nationwide, and even almost ten percent in the new federal states, went to the NPD. This must be an incentive for us to promote our democracy more intensively, especially among young people.
The DVU and the Republikaner have consistently missed their mark in the elections. Moreover, both parties’ membership figures have fallen again (the DVU by about 2,000 to a total of 9,000, and the Republikaner by 1,000 to 6,500).