Fact Check: Germany Is NOT 'Replacing' Its Native Population With Muslim Africans And Arabs


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Fact Check: Germany Is NOT 'Replacing' Its Native Population With Muslim Africans And Arabs Small Minority

Is Germany "replacing" its native citizenry with Islamic immigrants from the Middle East and Africa? No, that's not true: Official statistics show that a small minority of Germany's population is composed of people from African, Asian or Islamic countries. The majority of registered immigrants hail from other European Union member states or European countries where Islam is not the dominant religion.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on November 7, 2023, under the title (translated from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff) "The truth about Germany." The presenter is Janka Sebestyén, a partner of Megafon Center, which produces social media content in support of Hungary's governing Fidesz party. Sebestyén showed a pop-out video of a man she identifies as a Hungarian emigrant living in Germany, who says (as translated):

I've been living abroad for 10 years, and, well, when I left, [Germany] really was not what it is now ... There are tons of Muslims, Arabs, Africans and all kinds of immigrants there ... What's there, I tell you, is a society that has lost itself. German society is finished, period. And we, the Hungarians, must not allow this to happen.

Sebestyén comments (as translated):

Population replacement? Well, it's not a question anymore, it's the German reality ... I, for sure, do not want to hear some day that Hungary and the Hungarians are lost.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Nov 29 12:36:36 2023 UTC)

The German government took in more than 2 million foreigners, about a third of whom came from Muslim-majority countries, during the refugee crisis of 2015. Even so, data from Germany's Federal Statistical Office casts doubt on the claim that a "population replacement" is underway.

At the end of 2022, some 13.4 million foreigners resided legally in Germany, representing about 16 percent of the total population, the statistics show. Only 5.1 million immigrants, or 6 percent of the total population, were citizens of Asian and African countries (including Turkey, which the Statistical Office classifies as an "EU candidate country.") If we add in the Statistical Office's 2020 figures on immigrants from Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania -- European countries with Muslim majorities -- the number rises to 5.6 million, or 7 percent of the total population.

To be sure, not all migrants from Asia, Africa and European countries with Muslim majorities practice Islam, and not all German Muslims are immigrants. A 2023 report by Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community put the number of Muslims at 5.5 million, "the majority of whom are German nationals."

In other words, more than 90 percent of German residents in 2023 were not from Africa and Asia and were not Muslims.

The majority of foreigners living in Germany -- 6.9 million -- are either citizens of other EU member states, who have the legal right to live there, or nationals of non-EU countries in Europe that do not have Muslim majorities, according to the Statistical Office's 2022 data. Ukrainians, who are allowed to reside in the EU under a temporary protection order implemented after Russia's invasion, accounted for 1.1 million of them.

Since the 2015 refugee crisis, Hungary's government has been "whipping up negative and hostile sentiment against asylum seekers and migrants" through public relations campaigns that portray migrants as "dangerous to Europe's future," according to Human Rights Watch. At the time of writing, the government's 2023 "National Consultation" survey accused the EU of trying to establish "migrant ghettos" in Hungary.

This video on TikTok is an iteration of the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, which argues that global elites are replacing ethnic Europeans with non-white migrants, according to the National Immigration Forum (NIF), a U.S. advocacy group. White supremacists have cited this theory as justification for terrorist acts against ethnic and religious minorities, the NIF says.

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