Muslims in Munich

By Noah Graff

Patriotic Europeans Against Islamification of the West setting up protest. Munich, Germany. February 21, 2016

Just got back from a trip to Germany last week.

While we Americans are spending our energy hootin and hollerin about the 5000 Syrian refugees we let into the United States in 2015, who we vetted for a year, Europe, Germany in particular, is letting in an ongoing stream of refugees (and many non-refugees) from the Middle East. Germany alone allowed in around 1.1 million immigrants from the Middle East in 2015. Pretty significant when you consider that the entire country is around the size of Montana.

I queried a few people in Munich on their views of the immigrants during my trip. However, I must admit that the two main people in Germany who shared their views with me were not actually German. Maya was an Israeli woman in her 30s who had been living in Munich for five years and Roberta was an expat from Delaware. Maya glumly told me that people feel less safe walking the city’s streets at night than they did a year ago. She believes that many of the immigrants are not actually refugees, but young Middle Eastern men who have slipped in amongst the refugees. I know I’m guilty of racial profiling, but I admit that while I was waiting at an empty train station late in the evening I felt nervous as I observed many young Middle Eastern men loitering around.

One Sunday afternoon Maya and I observed volunteers from the organization PEGIDA setting up a spot for a protest in the famous Odeonsplatz square. PEGIDA, short for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, is a highly controversial Right Wing group, who many people in Germany and around the world have labeled xenophobic and even as modern day Nazis.

The scene was fascinating because the protesters’ tent was being set up in front of the Feldherrnhalle, or Field Marshal’s Hall. During World War II a giant portrait of Hitler had stood under the arches of this building. The ruthless Nazi SS enforced a law, that said anybody passing by the building had to turn toward the portrait and do a hiel Hitler. A little alley on the other side of the building has been memorialized for all of the people who took it to avoid the Fuhrer.

Being the inquisitive folks we are, Maya and I engaged a woman who was helping set up. Low and behold her name is Roberta and she hailed from Delaware, U.S.A. She was personable and eager to stop what she was doing to talk to us.

Roberta was an expat who said she had lived in many countries. She calmly explained that she is concerned about the mass unregulated influx of Muslims’s pouring into Germany and Europe on the whole. She said that the country does not have the resources to take care of all the immigrants and that the money being used to take care of the immigrants could be instead going to support the pensions of the country’s retirees. We asked her about the organization’s opinion of Jews and Israel and she beamed with positive words for both. She also said she has friends in Germany who are Muslim but agree with her in her dislike for the massive influx of refugees. She specified that her friends are “secular Muslims.” Roberta also introduced us to her friend who was also setting up for the protest. She said he is half Jewish. We inquired several times if there were other people in her organization who are antisemitic or extremist and she repeatedly said no.

I admit that a lot of things she said seemed to me to make sense. I am pretty sure I would have mixed feelings about allowing any group of 1.1 million asylum seekers in just one year into my country. I suppose even if a group was comprised of the nicest, safest, most productive people on earth and didn’t require billions of Euros in government assistance, I still wouldn’t love it. Germans now feel less safe, they feel they are being taken advantage of and feel the government is not fixing the problem.

Near the end of the conversation she made a statement I also often hear in the United States that upsets me. She said something like, “Just read the Koran. It says how the Muslims hate everyone and want to take over the world.” What was this PEGIDA? What are they truly about?

I loved visiting Munich, but I’m glad I don’t live there.

Question: Does Donald Trump scare you?

Noah Graff is a used machine tools dealer for Graff-Pinkert and has been Features Editor at Today’s Machining World for 10 years.

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45 thoughts on “Muslims in Munich

  1. Erik

    No, he doesn’t scare me. Because even if he finds a way to get elected, which I still doubt, he will have even less success than his predecessors in getting a shiftless, partisan congress to do anything. He will be a lame duck on entry. Obama had to deal with obstructionism from the opposing party, Trump would have to deal with it from all sides. Even his own party.

    He’s a pariah and a blow-hole. His complete and utter lack of tact and grace will serve to accomplish exactly nothing. Other than making us look like clowns to the entire world.

    Scared? Hell no. Bewildered is more like it. How did we get here? Trump or Hillary? Pick your poison, both choices stink.

      1. allen

        How did we get here? Oh, that’s easy.

        Socialism’s made up of all sorts of sweet sounding promises but the reality isn’t nearly as sweet. Those sweet-sounding promises got a lot of people to buy into socialism but over the decades it’s become increasingly obvious that socialism is all promises and no delivery. So about forty or so years ago we started to reject socialism.

        Ron Reagan’s presidency predates the Tea Party movement but his clear and uncompromising resistance to socialism resonated then and, in that Tea Party movement, its found a modern voice. But there’s other, substantive evidence of the move to the right.

        Gun control, long a pursuit by the left here in America is just about a dead issue. President Obama hasn’t even tried to breath life into the issue, other then via the occasional and not particularly effective use of executive actions.

        Incumbent Democrats, in other then dead safe districts, don’t want to have to explain to their constituents that THEY don’t support gun control, that’s President Obama’s baby. If he couldn’t get his own party lined up to support gun control when there was a Democratic Party majority in both the House and Senate what’s he going to do with both houses lost?

        Then there’s concealed carry reform which has stormed across the U.S. and is now the law in most states.

        Less obvious, but perhaps more portentous, is public education reform.

        Whether in the form of charter schools, vouchers, education tax credits or any form, more states then not have law enable such policy on the books. While defense of the Second Amendment garners a lot of support, and is important, public education’s found in every community in the nation, is part of every states constitution, employs millions of people and is simply an unquestionable fact of life for most Americans whether due to the fact that your kids attend a public school or that you pay for public schools.

        Public education’s woven into the fabric of this nation. Any substantive changes to the way public education’s done tugs on that fabric. All those alternatives to the district system, the basis of the public education system in the U.S., are indeed substantive changes.

        That rightward move has, naturally, engendered more then a little heartburn and not just on the left. The so-called Republican establishment is built on the acceptance of many left wing institutions and, having benefited over the years supporting them, is loath to give them up. That resistance has caused a lot of anger in the Republican Party and the larger conservative community so we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

        There’s enough anger, and suspicion, that someone with hardly any conservative credentials can, if they give the Republican establishment heartburn, get a lot of support.

        That’s how we got here.

    1. Big Al

      Obama had to deal with Obstructionist opposition. I hate to burst your bubble but the democrat’s idea of compromise is “my way or the highway “. It’s a 2 way street my friend. Everybody gives a little to get a little. I haven’t seen that in any Congress in decades.

      1. Erik

        A knee jerk Obama hater, right on time to back up what I am saying. I don’t believe my commentary was partisan at all. If you read it all the way to the end, I make the point that it won’t just be the opposing party obstructing a would-be president Trump. It would be both parties. Making government even less effective, if that’s even possible.

        It’s crap like that that derails reasoned discussion. You see “Obama”, you start with the rhetoric. That’s precisely why congress is the quagmire it is. All knee-jerk partisanship, no negotiation or compromise on EITHER side. EITHER side. You gonna be OK, now?

        So you didn’t ‘burst my bubble”, you exemplified my point. Nice job.

    2. Bruskie

      How did we get here? When a country is in distress it will look for a cure to that distress and that usually will be a political con man, or a true believer like Bernie Sanders, that taps into said distress. Trump isn’t the “dummy” or “fool” the media makes him out to be. Obama, over the last 8 years and the Main Stream Media over the last 30 years have did whatever they could to divide the country into different warring factions and today we literally have a 2 party political system that is at war with itself and a populous that takes there side much too seriously. Media today is more like reality television and needs the viewers, politicians need the vote, they both know very well how to play it.

  2. John Martin

    As Trump started in campaign, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine. I had asked him what he thought of Jesse Jackson, His response was: “As a Black man I can say that I do not agree with anything that Jesse Jackson says or does. Most of my friends and family agree with me, but at this time, Jesse Jackson is the only one talking about these things so GO JESSE!”. I really did not understand his response until Trump started spewing forth, and I found myself telling someone, “as a republican, I do not agree with most of Trump is saying or doing, but he is the only one talking about these things, so go Donald!” Won’t be the last time I am wrong.

  3. Bill

    Donald Trump himself does not scare me so much. It is the idea that we as a country could possibly even consider electing him.

  4. mike

    every beginning has an end . . . it is time to let someone from outside give it a try . . . and that would not be Ole Bill and Hillary . . . face it – he says what most of us want to say, or at least think about . . . if one can be honest . . .

  5. Victor

    Trump’s personal, ad hominem attacks make me think we’re in 7th grade.

    I don’t fear him, but the fact that millions of Americans are not repulsed by such bullying is a cause of concern for me.

    It’s not all bad. He did say he was in favor of single-payer healthcare, which I think is a great idea! If it works for those 65+, why not for the rest of us?

  6. Alex Goldis

    Hello Noah,

    Thank you for your insightful report from Munich. As to your question, I am not seeing a lot of objectivity.

    I can’t imagine that you will not touch on the immigration issue where Barack Obama went on record 22 times saying that he “does not have legal authority to act on immigration issues,” but yet breaks all existing immigration laws, bypassing Congress, and allowing a flood of immigrants in. You seem to be silent about that, after upon his orders, the borders are open and without any approval from Congress, he is bringing in Syrian refugees that no one in their reasonable mind could vet, proven by the Muslim born US Citizen shooting Americans in San Bernardino. Where did they get their hateful education from when they are born here? How do you vet them?

    I am also wondering why you are not asking the question if American people are scared of Hillary Clinton, with her immigration policies of letting any and everybody into this country with full benefits paid while American citizens have to work for it, undermining the safety of all American citizens, with the same policies as Obama.

    Lastly, why aren’t we discussing Obama’s criticism of Christian’s that they have to “get off of their high horses” because they committed crimes against Muslims 1,000 years ago?

    I would appreciate seeing some fairly posed questions in your writing.


    Alex Goldis

    1. Noah Graff

      Lots of good ideas Alex.

      But this is mostly just a report of an experience that I thought people would find interesting. It’s not really meant to be an editorial.

      Fun to see people’s reactions though….–for the most part!

      Thanks for reading my friend!

      1. Alex Goldis


        Just for the purpose of disclosure, I am not a Trump supporter. I am not sure that Trump understands what made America great – the value of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

        On the other hand, for the purpose of disclosure, I grew up in the Soviet Union and during my life as a student in Moscow, I saw posters all over for “Progressive Forces Around the World United Against Capitalism.” Today, in the US, we have an openly Progressive Democrat President and two Progressives that are now running for the Democratic nomination.

        You do not need to editorialize anybody, Noah. I suggest to ask the question – Are you scared of Progressives?

        Alex Goldis

  7. Ryan

    Sigh. The only reasonable person, Rand Paul is not up on the ballot. The media did their best to censor his popularity by hiding his stats and creating a blackout of reporting on him as if he didnt exist.

    I would say he would be the perfect candidate if not for his weak foreign policy.

    Americans, I apologize…. the MSM rather sensationalize politics with liars like Hilary, thieves like Sanders, and loud mouths like Trump. It makes for great ratings.

    We need rational intellectual thoughts and solutions to our problems. Something no party can seem to do anymore.

    Personally, I believe as Americans the most important thing we can do collectively is protect the constitution, so I’ll vote for whomever promises to do that best.

    1. Erik

      Rand Paul didn’t sling enough crap to get on TV. It’s really frustrating. He wanted to talk about policy, and that wasn’t any fun, so the press didn’t cover him. Notice how the press decided who would participate in the debates. Not the party, the press. I don’t have an opinion either way about Paul, but I think he’d be better than the Donald or Hillary the liar.

      No one in their right mind would subject themselves to this process. The media is nuts. They’re outraged by Trump, but every time he insults some one (approximately every 36 seconds) it’s ALL THEY COVER.

      There are probably 10,000 more qualified individuals in the business world than any of these hacks. But every one of them has enough common sense to stay away from the circus our process has become. Unreal.

  8. Donnie

    The only thing that scares me about Trump, is that if he is the Republican Party Nominee, he about insures a Hillary win. NOW THAT SCARES ME ! With her socialist doctrine, we the working people will be supporting many more non-working slugs, than we are already supporting. Where as if Trump would go ahead and self-destruct, Cruz as the Republican Party Nominee, would about insure a Hillary defeat. Sure hope Trump hurries and does something really stupid !

    1. rick

      I disagree
      The LEGAL immigrants and working minorities that have lost jobs and or seen reduced wages due to the flood of cheap ILLEGAL labor will cross over and Vote Trump!

  9. Frank

    Some pretty interesting comments for a machinery magazine. I love it.
    Here are a few thoughts:
    1) Over the course of history, mass immigration of mostly single men leads to crime and cultural breakdown. It’s not a racial thing either. Check out the crime stats for any Wild West boom town. Mass quantities of single men into Europe will bring issues and crime.
    2) Importation of mostly unskilled labor will create issues with income equality in Europe. Germany does not need more unskilled workers. For that matter, neither does the US.
    3) Serial immigration will only expand the 1.1 Million into tens of millions. Recent statistics indicate immigrants are prone to marrying the girl they left behind and bringing her to the new hometown. Not much chance of cultural melting pot phenomenon here.
    4) If we assume positive intent and say, 100% of the new refugees are great people, bright, clever and law-biding. Is Europe not devastating the Middle East by absorbing their best, the very ones who would be most likely to eventually fix the issues with the society back home?

  10. Chris

    Don’t let anyone’s language scare you but be led by their actions and accomplishments. I don’t have fear, I don’t have anxiety or worries and I’m not an angry white Christian American. What I do have is a feeling of getting screwed year after year with ENDLESS nonsense from Washington by the same country club playground people year after year. I’m tired of working my butt off only for Washington to carelessly give it away to slackers, lobbyist, diamond government retirement programs, to industrial farmers, to useless studies and projects, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on and on while the debt continues with their fantasy money making machine. I’m tired of them bashing the rich who many have worked 24/7 to get where they are. I’m tired of them getting into everyone business. I’m tired of them blaming the guns. I tired of them telling schools what they need to teach and what our kids need to eat in school. I’m tired of them telling me that the world is going to end because of climate change yet they allow the EPA pollute rivers, allow industrial and chemical companies to spray our food with dangerous pesticides and herbicides including biosolids (human waste) which they claim is harmless to our farm land and food. I’m tired of them strip searching me at the airport by clowns while our borders are wide open. I’m tired of the media and the joker politicians telling me what is good and not good for me and my fellow Americans. I’m tired of being told that America is no longer an exceptional nation. I’m tired of them saying how peaceful Islam is while a woman decapitates a four year old girl’s head and walk Moscow streets brandishing the child’s severed head yelling “Allahu Akbar”. I’m tired of paying for the health care of people who don’t take care of themselves while they call healthcare “affordable” now after huge subsidies like the huge corn subsidies. AND MOST IMPORTANT, I’m tired of them making it so difficult to make anything in the USA anymore. It’s time for a major change and I’m willing to risk complete failure as we ALREADY have complete failure. Trump has a big mouth but look at what “hope and change” got us. A divided nation with Trump. Hello? We are already massively divided. Look what the Bush clan got you. And look what the Clinton clan got you. All total BS. Time for an outsider. Nothing else has worked. . . What is repulsive, Trumps words or the pathetic state this country is in.

  11. Lloyd Graff

    Wow, Chris. What a polemic you wrote. Personally, I think you really exaggerated the case of a terrible, suffering, pathetic America, but your writing is passionate and persuasive and I congratulate you for your ability to synthesize the case for change embodied currently in the. Donald Trump brand.
    Trump has unleashed something fresh, hopeful and maybe dangerous into American politics. He has captured the frustration, whether justified or not, that seems to be present in at least half of the voters if you include the Bernie Sanders fans. I am coming to the crazy conclusion that Donald Trump may be the next Presdent and I think Hillary Clinton and Company have arrived at the same nation. An amalgam of the Trump and Sanders voters, fiercely angry about the status quo could upend American politics in 2016 and virtually nobody except the Donald, Bernie and Chris felt it coming.

  12. Iron Sights Willie

    Vote for Trump for this one reason only !

    He has added more value to the world, during his life than any of the other politcal wind bags put together. His building projects are Grade “A”. Check out the one in Chicago. We need a project manager for America.




  13. Jerry Cleair

    A credit to our system of checks and balances that we can face this with not only hope but knowledge that we will emerge strong and free. We are still the envy of the world, thank God no matter how misguided we talk of walls to keep people out and not for keeping our young talent here. God Bless us one and ALL.

  14. rick

    For more than twenty years we have been screaming about unsecured borders. How many legislative bills have been passed and signed funding a border wall and security, yet NEVER implemented. We the people took over the house because of The Presidents Phone and Pen. Yes I know the constitution is old and outdated {sarc}. What did the congress do? The funded everything the president wanted.

    What determines a country? Borders Language and culture. The immigrants that have come hear in the past HAVE assimilated! They learned the language and supported and grew with the greatness of this country. I am a product of LEGAL immigrants.

    The current influx demands that we observe their cultures and languages, many of whom are illegally here. They as “refugees” and “migrants” (invaders IMHO) have NO marketable skill due to a lack of education and somehow work our public assistance programs very well. The Middle East Migrants CANNOT be properly vetted due to the turmoil in their home countries. We as a country can become Detroit at this pace. And I hope you do not get blown up or killed at your Christmas Party!

    The establishment republicans would rather have Hillary than Donald. They are all part of the Washington DC “Uni-Party” – no one wants to lose their power. And Trump will hopefully bring some power back to “WE the People”
    So will reaching TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS in national debt help or hurt us???

    “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”

    We had the opportunity to read President Obama’s Books before he was elected. If you did, you would perhaps have had some understanding of his disdain for These United States and his STATED intention to “fundamentally transform America” into a socialist utopia like Greece or Venezuela.

    I recommend reading “The Art of the Deal” by Donald Trump. See who Donald Trump is, His thoughts, values, and dreams. More importantly, his accomplishments. Read about the Wollman Skating rink! All of the government bureaucracy, waste, abuse, and fraud he encountered 30 years ago.

    It is my opinion that Trump will become the nominee, be elected President in a landslide, build a wall, deport them all, and bring about an economic boom like we have never seen!

    glad I do not live here

    1. Jack

      Many that voted for Obama did read his books and agree with him. That’s the scary part.
      Much more to fear from the Obama’s of the world than Trump.

  15. Tracy Ellis

    According to Wikapedia, the statues in the Odeonsplatz are of two leaders of the Bavarian military from the 30 Years War… Johann Tilly and Karl Philipp von Wrede.

  16. mikey

    I get a kick out of reading these comments. All the Obama and Hillary haters are crazy.

    What has Obama done to destroy this country? When he came into office, the country was losing 700,000 jobs a month and we were on the edge of the next great depression. Thanks to his leadership, he was able to get people to come together to save the American auto industry and a lot of your jobs. Although truth be told, most republicans wanted Detroit to go bankrupt.

    I think a lot of the resentment to Obama is just the fact he is black (and a Muslim, or so the RWNJ’s think.)

    Compare the records of republicans to democrats and it’s not even close. Clinton had a surplus when “W” took over. W quickly turned the surplus into a deficit, then lied to get us to go to war in Iraq, squandering an additional $2 trillion and taking us to the worst economy in 80 years. Obama pulled us out of Bush’s hole and has been steadily reducing our deficit spending, while growing the economy. Then there’s the water problem in Flint and how the MI republican governor has handled that fiasco.

    Trump is a joke! His proposals are simplistic and never have any details. Probably so his angry, white guy, followers can better retain the Trump mantra.

    I doubt if Donald has thought anything through; maybe he can’t. His entire campaign is built around getting the trailer trash off their butts and to the polls.

    I do agree with one thing, America is in decline. But it’s not because of Obama, but rather obstructionism on both sides and the concentration of wealth in the top 1%. When the top 1% own most of the wealth, the masses are going to be angry. Hence the reason for Trump’s and Bernie’s ascent.

    We can take the country back, but that doesn’t mean handing it off to another career politician or simplistic idiot that plays to people’s fears. It means electing people willing to work with each other to solve problems, and sharing the wealth so it all doesn’t go to a few people.

    Having term limits would be a start, and revamping the tax system needs to be done so everybody pays their fair share.

    I’m sure the republicans have some great ideas. Check them out on the GOP Comedy Hour which airs tonight @9 pm Eastern. SHOULD BE A HOOT!

    1. Chris

      Micky, I could argue, respectfully, every flaw in your points. But I’m not going to. But here is a taste.

      National debt – in 1/2008, the debt was $9.2T. Today it stands at over $19T. Do you see the problem. Open careless borders. Very poor GDP growth. A job growth rate that is mostly jobs with poor wages. A trade deficit with China at nearly $1T. College debt over $1T. Healthcare now at $1T, thanks Mr. O. EVERYTHING the government touches becomes a huge mess. How much was that website?

      Clinton had a surplus? Really. During his term the national debt rose from $4.1T to $5.7T. In every year of his term it went up. What Clinton did was nothing more than creative and phony accounting. Think robbing SSI. The facts are on regarding the debt during his term.

      Regarding the republicans. Here is one for you – both parties suck period.

      I’m part of the masses. I could care less about someone’s wealth. Good for them. What I care about are policies in American that make it reasonably possible to earn a good living through hard work FOR AMERICANS first. Become a slacker, you starve. Fall for some reason, the government helps them brush off and gets them up on their feet in a reasonable manner but you better get back to work and not be a life time slacker sucking off the government like Mr. O has created so many of. Government aid is at a record high. That’s the dem way. I’m tired of Government being a permanent nipple to slackers on my tax dollars. I listed so many ‘tired of’ in my original post.

      Get my point.

    2. Chris

      Hey Mikey, here is ANOTHER reason Obama has been a total disaster. On Jan 29th 2010, if I recall correctly, during the state of the union address, Mr. O promised to double US exports which he explained would expand the economy and bring positive job growth in manufacturing. THE FACT today is, with a new report out, exports are at a 5 ½ year low and our trade deficit is at record highs. He is slowly ripping US manufacturing apart. Control money, control healthcare, control guns and kill manufacturing and you kill America. Time for a major overhaul in Washington. Here is my new formula. Sounding presidential today = 4 more years of screwing Americans.

  17. Sara

    Chris well put I agree with you. I think this time around millions do. Change is needed everywhere in this country soon. The hopeless change the last eight years has hit a nerve with most everyone. Enough already!!!
    I think Trump will win. A possible 60 felonies for a Ivy League lawyer and shifty veteran politician who didn’t understand the Federal laws for the Secretary of State to follow. Really!! We have the Democratic Machine fighting the minority’s War on Poverty for 50+ years with continuing bad statistics each year since the fight began. We need hopeful change and a business person. Not another divisive panderer.
    Is Trump the right choice?? To me better than more division and corruption. All persons matter.

    1. Chris

      Thanks Sara. I’m actually quite well off and totally blessed. But it’s from hard work and responsible decisions and some were hard to make. However, many of my neighbors, friends and most importantly my colleagues in manufacturing that are having a difficult time. I have huge passion for manufacturing and it’s the core our economy. How we are being ‘screwed’ in trade is pathetic. How China is screwing us while corporations like Walmart whores out their trade to China. I don’t deny Walmart wealth but serious, the factories in China are the Slaves for Americans who mostly remain clueless on the damage that our policies have done to Manufacturing. Clearly there are somethings we can’t make based on volumes but many things are quite different. It breaks my heart when some company lays off thousands of unbelievable good people and then calls it a business decision. That is a poor leader and a BS excuse. We should be encouraging buy American more, encouraging companies to stay here and educating people the importance of US manufacturing. I’ve made, like many others, a really good living in manufacturing while having fun and meeting some really good people as well as working on some really cool projects. I don’t just talk, I do my very best to purchase American made products. My jeans, my sneakers, my boots, shirts if I can find them, etc. The decision to buy something 20+% more is difficult but I know it’s the right thing to do. Besides, the quality is so much better. Cheers.


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