Wednesday, January 19, 2005

From fashion victim to asylum seekers

Last week the murder of a German fashion designer rocked Germany...okay, I am exaggerating, it jiggled Germany. I mean, like a friend said, Moshammer was no Versace. Like Paris Hilton, his biggest product was himself. He was found dead in his apartment Friday morning. Over the weekend the Munich police apprehended a suspect, an Iraqi living in Germany since seeking asylum a few years ago.

The apparent murder motive is the fact that Moshammer offered this guy 2000 Euros for sex, and then after the deed, refused to pay up. So he ends up being strangled with a telephone cord. I don’t think Moshammer deserved to die for this, but I can imagine that it wasn’t the first time he had done such a thing: offer someone money for sex, then refuse to pay, knowing in full that there was no legal recourse for the “wronged” guy. So, while I don’t condone this murder, I can understand someone being really pissed off about this guy ripping him off, and him having no recourse, that in the heat of the moment he offs Moshammer. Happens all the time…it’s human nature, whether we like it or not. Months/years later at the trial, the perpetrator will also not understand why he did it.

However, the plot thickens: this guy was a repeat offender…also something that happens a lot. They were able to pinpoint him, because they had his DNA from another case, where he was accused of rape. He was never charged, for some reason or another. He was also accused of aggravated assault in another case.

So, here is my gripe: I am perturbed that someone seeking asylum here ends up killing a fellow German resident after already showing some anti-social behavior. I agree that there are German citizens who behave just as despicably, and we can’t really do anything about it…but why does someone who is a guest in this country get so many chances? At what point do immigration officials decide it is time to revoke someone’s residency? A famous example of this problem with “misbehaving” asylum seekers is the Caliph of Cologne.

He was finally extradited October 2004:

Turkey, which is predominantly Muslim, wants to put him on trial for attempting to overthrow its secular government, calling for a holy war and plotting to attack a shrine to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey`s founder. [my emphasis]

Okay…so I think I have to back up Schily’s statement: foreigners who violate the constitutional order shouldn’t have the right to benefit from that constitutional order.

And another sigh is elicited by this. I mean, I think we have a tendency to hari-kari. We sometimes have so many laws to protect people’s rights, that we end up strangling ourselves.

So, now we come to the second part of this rant: this was an Iraqi asylum seeker. I have been having difficulty finding information on the current policy for asylum seekers from Iraq. But I did find this article from 2003:

As U.S. and British troops work to forge some stability out of the chaos that is present-day Iraq, German officials are watching to see what to do with the tens of thousands of Iraqis currently housed in refugee homes across the country.

After suspending all decisions on Iraqi asylum seekers and halting deportations as war broke out, Germany's Interior Ministry has since kept quiet on the fate of more than 30,000 Iraqi exiles. A ministry spokesperson told DW-RADIO that they are waiting for the situation in Iraq to become clearer before formulating a new policy.

That silence has raised concern among asylum advocates like the organization Pro Asyl that the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFL) could begin deportations before a transitional government is set up to stabilize the country.

"There were comments from the (BAFL) during the war that they were planning to start procedures to repeal decisions that granted Iraqis asylum relatively soon after the end of combat operations," Bernd Mesovic, a Pro Asyl spokesman told DW-RADIO. "But we hope that reason will prevail here, since the circumstances are still altogether unclear, and at the moment, the humanitarian situation in the country hardly allows such considerations."

Fear to return

Such hope is shared by Iraqi exile Mohammed Hussein Hashem, who arrived in Germany just six months ago and applied for political asylum. A decision on his application has currently been put on hold, but Hashem fears he would will have to return to a country not much less dangerous than the one he left.

"At the moment there's no government in Iraq. How can a country fare, how can the situation be when there's no government?" asked Hashem, who has spent the past half year sharing a shabby apartment in an asylum seekers home. "That's the one thing. Then everyday life there -- the basic necessities like electricity, water, work and a functioning currency. When life returns to normality and stability, yes, then I can go back. No problem."


Well, I find this attitude really unproductive. I can understand being afraid, but I can’t respect the cowardice. Basically, this person and many like them think it’s not their responsibility to make things better in Iraq. They would rather wait until things clear up and the standard of living is better before returning. What if everyone thought that way? What if those in the tsunami stricken areas just sat around and waited for the water supply to clean itself, and the villages to rebuild themselves? These cowards want the burden of rebuilding to be borne by others, and then go back and enjoy the fruits of other’s labors without having toiled themselves. True patriots don’t stand on the sidelines.

I have no idea what happened to Mr. Hussein Hashem. I wonder if he went back to Iraq, or if he is still waiting for things to get better. I hope he has returned, to help those who didn't have the same luxury to watch and wait.


Blogger Sminklemeyer said...

i would have never known of this if it weren't for your blog. quite interesting, my friend. quite interesting indeed.

1:54 AM  
Blogger SpotlessMind said...

"Moshammer is no Versace"? I have heard this

9:41 AM  
Blogger Ariane said...

You are right, and Germany is far from being the only country where immigrant offenders are almost treated better than local criminals. People feel bad about giving trouble to criminals who are strangers because they think they'll be seen as racists.
See, we have similar problems here in Québec...

1:54 AM  

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