Controversial German ex-politician′s speech canceled after threats | News | DW | 30.11.2019
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Controversial German ex-politician's speech canceled after threats

Social Democrat politician Thilo Sarrazin, who has written several books criticizing Islam, was due to appear in Bremen. Local media said staff were put under pressure to drop the event amid planned left-wing protests.

Thilo Sarrazin, who has been accused by Islamic organizations of racism and damaging Germany's reputation, will no longer appear at a private business club in the northwestern city of Bremen next month.

The Weser-Kurier newspaper cited organizers as saying the event, slated for December 10 at the Havanna Lounge, had been canceled due to security concerns.

Read more: Thilo Sarrazin's 'Hostile Takeover': An Islam expert's take on the book

The club said its staff had faced threats over plans to host the controversial Social Democrat (SPD) politician, who has written several books critical of German immigration policy and Islam.

Disruptive protest planned

Local media reported that left-wing groups planned a protest on the evening of the appearance by Sarrazin, who was ejected from the board of Germany's central bank in 2010 at the time of the publication of his first book.

Police confirmed that the protest had been registered with them and that some 250 people were expected to participate.

Last Saturday, the leftist Werder Bremen's Ultra fans unrolled a banner critical of Sarrazin and the Havanna Lounge during the club's Bundesliga match against FC Schalke 04. Havanna Lounge has a box at the Bremen stadium.

The 74-year-old Social Democrat politician has written books with titles such as "Hostile takeover — How Islam hinders progress and threatens society."

Read more: Germany's Thilo Sarrazin in court over controversial book on Islam

Spate of cancelations

Activist pressure in Germany has prompted several other recent events by politicians to be called off.

Last month, former German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière had to cancel his appearance in the central German city of Göttingen. 

The conservative politician later held the event under police protection.

In Hamburg, events featuring the co-founder of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Bernd Lucke, who is also an economics professor, were recently disturbed and blocked.

In July, a German court ruled that the SPD could expel Sarrazin from its membership. It was the third attempt by the center-left party to eject the former Berlin finance senator.

Sarrazin is appealing the decision and remains a member for the time being.

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