Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The German state of Baden Württemberg introduced a "guiding" questionnaire for applicants for German citizenship. The questionnaire has been criticized by the Greens and others for being biased, as most questions appear to be focusing particular on the Muslim community and making personal views ("Gesinnung") a
criteria for citizenship.

I think the problem is not so much the questions, they are less problematic than some countries asking for cooking recipes as criteria of citizenship. I am just wondering how many "good Germans" would answer questions such as "Imagine your adult son tells you he is gay and wants to live with another man. How do you react?" or "Your daughter applies for a job in Germany. She is rejected while the job was offered to a black African from Somalia. How do you react?" in the desired way. What is the right answer to become an average German (or average West European in general)?

For the full list in German see the following link from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

1 comment:

T K Vogel said...

In fact, one of the experts involved in drafting the questionnaire had an interesting piece in taz (surprisingly enough) a few days ago that's really worth reading:

She's basically saying that these are only guidelines since many civil servants would be unable without guidance to have a meaningful interview with people from diverse backgrounds whose cultures and customs they didn't know. (It's not clear to me how these guidelines mitigate the problem, though.)

Money quote: "Und ich wundere mich, mit welchen Widersprüchen die jetzige Reaktion einhergehen kann: Da wird für die gleichgeschlechtliche Ehe gestritten und gekämpft, und dieselben Leute weigern sich, mit der gleichen Vehemenz für das gleichberechtigte Verhältnis zwischen Mann und Frau zu kämpfen - zumindest wenn es dabei um Muslime geht. Die Vermutung, dass Migranten ganz automatisch in der modernen Gesellschaft ankommen und alles an ihnen schützenswerte "Kultur" ist, hat die Wirklichkeit längst brutal widerlegt."