ABSTRACT

A sense of moral panic underlies the current debate about Islam in Germany which is apparent in discussions concerning citizenship, religious minority rights and access to public funds. The hypothesis of this chapter is that this panic is only partly motivated by fear of Islamic terrorism since 11 September 2001 and Beslan, 1 but instead additionally reflects the change in Turkish migrants’ civic status. The growing number of naturalizations turns ‘Ausländer’ (foreigners) into citizens and threatens to change the balance of power between those who are ‘established’ and the ‘outsiders’ (Elias and Scotson, 1993). Immigrants who were hitherto considered different and unequal and who have been, in German politics, taken care of, rather than integrated into the political system, are increasingly becoming citizens who fight for their rights and seek to establish them by democratic means. This leads to fears of losing control of key issues of German society: The reaction to it is moral panic.