CAIRO - Germans of Turkish origin have praised a recent ruling by a UN anti-racism committee accusing Germany of breaking an international agreement by allowing the controversial ex-politician Thilo Sarrazin to spread inflammatory ideas about Muslims.
"This is a historic decision," the Turkish Association Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB), which brought the case to the UN committee, said in a statement on its website cited by Der Spiegel.
"The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Cerd) has established that Sarrazin's comments are based on a sense of racist supremacy or race hate and contain elements of incitement to racial discrimination," it added.
Thilo Sarrazin, a former executive member of Germany's central bank, sparked outrage in 2010 with his book Germany does away with itself - How we're putting our country at jeopardy,
The book had stormed a heated debate on immigration in Germany after accusing Muslim immigrants of undermining the society, which is becoming less intelligent because of them.
In his book, Sarrazin also warns that Germans could become strangers in their own country because of immigration, and argues that Muslims are not compatible with German society.
A few months earlier, he made offending statement in a dialogue with the culture and political magazine Lettre International in September 2009, in which Sarrazin disparaged Muslim immigrants, alleging that they "constantly produce little girls in headscarves" and were part of an "underclass that does not take part in the normal economic cycle."
He also said that "a large number of Arabs and Turks in (Berlin) ... have no productive function other than in the fruit and vegetable trade."
In a ruling published in April, Cerd committee said Sarrazin's book and other statements "contain ideas of racial superiority, denying respect as human beings and depicting generalized negative characteristics of the Turkish population, as well as incitement to racial discrimination."
The German government has been given 90 days to respond with measures to comply with the committee's demands.
These include measures to better educate state prosecutors and judges in racism issues and a review of guidelines for prosecution of racial discrimination.
"The opinion paper from the committee is at the Justice Ministry and will be reviewed," the German government told the Der Tagesspiegel newspaper, which broke the story on Thursday.
Germany has between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims, making up some 5 percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies.
Germans have grown hostile to the Muslim presence recently, with a heated debate on the Muslim immigration into the country.
A recent poll by the Munster University found that Germans view Muslims more negatively than their European neighbors.
Germany's daily Der Spiegel had warned last August that the country is becoming intolerant towards its Muslim minority.
According to a 2010 nationwide poll by the research institute Infratest-dimap, more than one third of the respondents would prefer "a Germany without Islam."