Supreme party court confirms Thilo Sarrazin’s exclusion from the SPD
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Thilo Sarrazin flies out of the SPD – in the third attempt. Like the two previous instances, the top party court also considers the exclusion of the controversial author to be justified. But he wants to keep fighting.
ESuccess for the SPD leadership: The controversial ex-politician and author Thilo Sarrazin is no longer a member of the Social Democrats. The highest party arbitral tribunal declared the 75-year-old’s exclusion on Friday in Berlin admissible. “The party exclusion is thus effective,” it said in the message.
The current process was triggered by Sarrazin’s book “Hostile takeover: How Islam hinders progress and threatens society”, which was published in 2018. He himself thinks he “wrote scientific non-fiction”. For SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil, however, the book contains “racist theses”. This was also the opinion of the arbitral tribunals at district and state level, which each considered an exclusion of parties to be justified.
The SPD has not only had trouble with Sarrazin since 2018, but for more than a decade. The Berlin State Association wanted to officially kick him out for the first time in 2009 after an interview. But the state arbitration commission saw no violation of the party order at the time. At that time, Sarrazin, who has been in the SPD since 1973, had spoken of the “production of headscarf girls”.
Another party order procedure followed in 2011 after the book “Germany abolished” was published. It ended in an amicable agreement between the party leadership and the author. Sarrazin’s provocations against his comrades did not end there. He moved in right circles, in 2018 he appeared alongside AfD chief Jörg Meuthen and also spoke in the Bundestag at the invitation of the AfD.
In the third procedure, the SPD leadership wanted to be as watertight as possible and first had a commission examine the latest Sarrazin book – and then pushed for the party to be excluded. The reason: The theses are racist, Islamophobic, discriminatory and damage the reputation and credibility of the SPD. The district arbitration committee agreed to this, then the arbitral tribunal at the state level.
After his expulsion, Sarrazin wants to contest the decision before the Berlin district court. The 75-year-old announced on Friday in Berlin. “In my view, the decision was already made before the hearing,” he said. “This was not an open, honest and fair process”. No quote from his book “Hostile Takeover: How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society”, which was the decisive factor for the exclusion of the party, was classified as wrong or racist, said Sarrazin.
The legal hurdles for a party exclusion are high so that the instrument cannot be misused to suppress criticism. The process can also be strategically uncomfortable for parties, because it always provides a stage for unloved members.
SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil welcomed Friday’s decision. “The chapter Thilo Sarrazin is over for us,” said Klingbeil on Friday in Berlin. “In the future, he will no longer be able to spread his racist, anti-Muslim theses under the guise of SPD membership.” This was an important and good day for the SPD.