An Experiment in Freedom of Opinion at Siegen University

When Thilo Sarrazin came to speak at Siegen University in Germany, social justice warriors among the students did their best to de-platform him. Even though they failed to keep his “hate speech” off campus, the event — which was billed as “an experiment in freedom of opinion” — could hardly be called a rousing success.

Apparently free speech in Germany will remain largely experimental…

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

This video is a composite of two original clips, so there are two transcripts below.

Video transcript#1:

00:00   When Thilo Sarrazin was invited by the Siegen University professor Dr. Dieter Schönecker,
00:05   it was heavily criticised by many students and many of his colleagues.
00:09   Even the AStA (General Students’ Committee) at the University of Siegen protested.
00:12   Thilo Sarrazin is a person who provokes and pushes the social discourse
00:16   toward the right, first of all. Second, one must also point out that Thilo Sarrazin
00:19   is not scientific, of course. None of his books are qualified
00:23   to be quoted from, nor are they recognised by a scientific field.
00:26   The university also distanced itself from the event and Thilo Sarrazin.
00:30   The speakers fees from faculty funds
00:33   were withdrawn. Dr. Schönecker sees that as an attack on his scientific freedom.

Video transcript #2:

00:03   Protest against Thilo Sarrazin. While his opponents loudly voice their opinions outside,
00:07   he is well-protected, giving his point of view on the first floor. For the event the audience
00:12   had to pre-register, while the protesters must stay outside. They would prefer that Sarrazin
00:16   be shut out along with his criticism of migration and Islam. For them, he goes too far.
00:20   I don’t want this university to be tarnished as a “far-right” university or as a university that
00:24   offers a platform for right-wing populists. —Sarrazin’s lecture is part of an experiment.
00:29   An experiment in freedom of expression. Dieter Schöndecker invited several
00:32   right-leaning speakers, which caused aggravation among his colleagues and cancellations
00:36   from speakers who were left-leaning.
00:40   This phenomenon especially has to do with those colleagues from the left side of the spectrum
00:44   who believe opinions they consider as extreme right or populist right just shouldn’t be permitted.
00:52   They want to forbid them from speaking. —And then he arrives. Thilo Sarrazin.
00:57   Schöndecker doesn’t support his theories, but believes he should be allowed to give his lecture
01:01   on freedom of expression. Sarrazin sees himself as a victim of the media’s political correctness.
01:06   It doesn’t disturb me how they treat me. I can handle it. What bothers me, regarding my case,
01:17   is what I derive about the quality of the media and in part university-based humanities.
01:26   Successful experiment? Inside a critical debate about his theories has begun.
01:31   Outside, the protestors hold out. So, we had to ask the one question:
01:34   Have you read Thilo Sarrazin’s book to the end? —Nope. I don’t think I could stand it.
01:39   I won’t answer that question. —Other students and professors support his being invited
01:45   to speak. —It is quite simply indispensable that we grapple with opinions that aren’t usually
01:52   represented at universities. —At least this way he cannot complain that no one listens to his
01:58   point of view. —Nevertheless, the message “Come out of the echo chamber!” didn’t reach
02:02   everyone. —A little more courage to invite people
02:05   who are politically controversial would help
02:08   break open the echo chamber we currently find ourselves in. —Sarrazin is leaving.
02:13   The working hypothesis appears confirmed.
02:16   Sarrazin and his opponents alike staying within their own bubbles.

6 thoughts on “An Experiment in Freedom of Opinion at Siegen University

  1. Germany and this bubble heads are so over , it remains me of Year 2015 when all this nut jobs was holding flowers and waving with Teddy bears to this male Islamic horders , who now is reaping and murdering so called “refugees “ ( Merkel horror project) they didn’t wake up yet , this people are so brainwashed, and I’m Afraid it’s too late for this kind of lecture, , very sad ..

  2. Video#1
    a. Why should a publication by someone with a university degree and experienced federal banker not be scientific?
    b. Sarrazin never claimed that, however
    c. he excusively quotes publically accessible ‘ scientific’ sources like official stats , records and books.
    That is qualifying enough, isn’t it?
    The argument is typically stalinist: this man can not be taken serious, should we advise psychiatric treatment or reeducation camp?

  3. Excellent website.

    I don’t know how relevant the following comment is for Europe, but it seems highly relevant for the United States, so I’ll post it.

    When one brings up disturbing facts about Islam, one must also have a constitutional, non-violent solution. Otherwise we will naturally run into a brick wall.

    As we all know, the opposition thinks, and very often asks, “so what’s your solution? kill them all?” The assumption made by many on the left is that we have no solution except the fascist one of “killing them all” or some other brutal solution. So here’s a proposal for a solution that could pass constitutional muster, because the policy does not focus on any religious or ethnic group and is non-violent:

    The US should institute, with exceptions for some individuals, a moratorium on immigration from nations that do not protect freedom of religion or freedom of speech. This would affect many nations besides the Muslim-majority ones, and it probably would not exclude every Muslim majority nation. China would tend to be excluded (but not Taiwan, Japan, or South Korea). The policy would also pressure European nations to stop clamping down on freedom of speech. In response to such a policy, something like a First Amendment might come into being in some European nations.

    There could be exceptions to the rule, for example Ph.D.s needed by US industry or the military could be considered, as could people from oppressed minorities that support freedom of religion and speech.

    Is the above policy politically impossible? Right now, perhaps. But we must have a non-violent constitutional policy to meet the challenge we see. Otherwise defeat may be inevitable.

    • The problem with your suggestion is that it would exclude genuine refugees. Now there is a case for excluding most Muslim “refugees” on the grounds of security, safety from rape gangs, etc (the Bataclan massacre in Paris in 2015 was perpetrated by terrorists with fake Syrian passports), but was Canada wrong to give asylum to the young Saudi woman fleeing her family?

      At least we should give sanctuary to persecuted minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, something at which my own country of Britain has failed lamentably.

      • Your country and my country don’t seem to distinguish between real and fake refugees. In addition, it seems that there is an absolute bias in both our countries toward importing Muslims and excluding Christians and any other faith. That is why the young Saudi woman makes news.
        So, while I find your comments useful, I don’t think them workable in today’s climate.
        Keep in mind the hell storm Trump came up against for barring immigration from 5 Muslim majority nations (out of 57 Muslim nations) two years ago.
        Just as an indicator, I read a very small press release a few days ago stating the KSA was expelling Rohingyas back to Bangladesh! I ask myself why the West seems to feel responsible for the plight of people living under Islam when Muslim majority countries do not?
        This has to change and I would be quite OK if Western countries started shaming Muslim countries. Why does the West feel such an obligation when Muslim countries don’t seem to give a damn!

        • I agree with you, Babs.
          When even Muslims don’t care about their own, why should we care about them?
          I am living in a Muslim majority country where most non-Muslims and Muslims are known to care only for the rich or are known to be spreading their Islamic practices without care for our poor nonbelievers rights to the point of caausing great discomfort to some of us who have live in their midst out of no other choice.
          This type of Oriental madness mentality (ie their obsession in pushing of halal labeled food and other extremely inconsiderate third world business practices from Muslims as well from non-Muslims in Asia got to stop before it is spread to Europe or other Western countries.

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