CAIRO - A ruling by a UN anti-discrimination committee accusing Germany of breaching international agreements by allowing a former banker to spread derogatory ideas about Muslims is inviting jubilance from the sizable minority.
"This is a historic decision," the Turkish Association Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB), which brought the case to the UN committee, said in a statement 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."
Thilo Sarrazin, a former executive member of Germany's central bank, sparked outrage in 2010 with a book that blamed Muslim immigrants for social ills in Germany.
In his book, the author accused Muslim immigrants of undermining the society, which is becoming less intelligent because of them.
Sarrazin also warned 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 disparaged Muslim immigrants in an interview the culture and political magazine Lettre International, 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."
But TBB has taken the statements to the UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination.
In its ruling the 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."