Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Blood and soil, more blood

The German route to citizenship based on "blood and soil" and exceedingly difficult for immigrants like the Turks has most sensible people puzzled. This is the root of a lot of problems in modern Europe; how to integrate "the Other." Iranian-born German international soccer player Ashkan Dejagah complicates things a bit. He defers to Iran on this oddity.
The tensions in the Middle East seem to have influenced the decision of Iranian-born German international soccer player Ashkan Dejagah's decision not to travel with the national Under-21 squad for a match in Israel.

Dejagah, who plays for Bundesliga club VfB Wolfsburg, asked his national team managers to withdraw him from Germany's European Championship qualifier against Israel, to be played in Tel Aviv on Friday, citing "personal reasons."

"He came to us citing personal reasons that seemed very plausible," DFB spokesman Jens Grittner said in a statement.

Dejagah was quoted by mass-circulation tabloid daily Bild as saying his motive was cultural.

"I have more Iranian than German blood in my veins," he said in a report published Tuesday. "That should be respected, and besides I'm doing this out of respect. My parents are Iranian."

Dejagah was born in Tehran, but later moved with his parents to Germany. He holds a German passport.

Iranian citizens have been forbidden from traveling to Israel ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the point from which Iran also began to refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Multiculturalism is a long-running farce.

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