In the London Evening Standard (5 September 2007) Anne McElvoy expresses her admiration for the repressive methods pursued by Angela Merkel’s government in response to the threat of terrorism:
“Germany has a different approach to its Muslim immigrants than Britain. There is less emphasis on a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign; her hardline interior minister Wolfgang Schauble ended up in constitutional hot water for suggesting that if a suspected terrorist was wrongly killed, it was preferable to risking the wider loss of innocent life….
“What is striking is the difference in tone. The vast efforts of the Government in Britain since the first bomb attacks have gone into improving community relations, attempting to find Muslim leaders who can separate potential extremists from the mainstream. Mr Brown has reversed some of the more confrontational Blairite policies, like the ostracism of the Muslim Council of Britain. Borderline organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir remain unbanned.
“In Germany and France, facing increasingly agitated Muslim populations, this would be unthinkable. Vast numbers of suspects are kept under the equivalent of control orders, deportations of troublemakers are more swift and frequent…. Germany, as one senior minister told me recently, does not believe in a ‘softly softly’ solution. ‘Look where that got you’, he said.”