The controversial SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin is no longer a member of the party. The federal arbitration commission of the SPD confirmed according to its own statements on Friday afternoon in Berlin corresponding decisions of the lower courts. Sarrazin had appealed against them.
“Thilo Sarrazin is no longer a member of the SPD,” wrote General Secretary Lars Klingbeil, relieved on the Internet service Twitter. The 75-year-old has long been criticized in the SPD for his statements critical of Islam.
The Federal Arbitration Commission justified its decision with the fact that “to protect the reputation and credibility of the SPD” the Sarrazin party exclusion was lawful. This “violated the principles and order of the party significantly and thus caused damage”.
Sarrazin’s theses on the fundamental values of the SPD, particularly in his book “Hostile Takeover”, were so different that affiliation to the party was no longer possible, the commission statement said. Sarrazin’s appearances at events of the right-wing populist FPÖ in Austria were also referred to.
“The chapter Thilo Sarrazin is over for us,” said Klingbeil in Berlin. This was a good day for the SPD. “In the future, he will no longer be able to spread his racist and anti-Muslim theses under the guise of SPD membership,” emphasized the Secretary General. He further accused Sarrazin of having been one of the “pioneers” of polarization, hatred and agitation in society in recent years.
Party leader Saskia Esken also welcomed Sarrazin’s exclusion on Twitter. “Sarrazin has expressed racist and anti-Islam and thus has no place in the SPD,” said SPD politician Karl Lauterbach. “And bye,” wrote former party vice-president Ralf Stegner. He also accused Sarrazin of “racism” and spreading “crude inheritance theories”.
In January the state arbitration commission of the Berlin SPD had given the federal executive’s right to exclude the former Berlin finance senator and author from the party. This decision has now been confirmed by the Federal Arbitration Commission.
Sarrazin can still take legal action against the exclusion from the party. It was “also clear” that he would do that, said Sarrazin in Berlin after the decision of the Federal Arbitration Commission. He expressed the suspicion that their decision “was already clear before the trial” and expressed doubts about the fairness of the procedure.
The Berlin AfD wrote that the party would be happy to “be able to win over a clever mind like Thilo Sarrazin as a member”.