Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | To believe in a European utopia before Muslims arrived is delusional

There are at least six million reasons why Dejagah would be better off not identifying with German history and culture when it comes to contemplating a visit to Israel. But, for the time being, here are just two. First, he will find a far less murderous recent history of antisemitism in his Iranian heritage than he will in his German. Second, if any nation exemplifies the limits of integration without a vigorous culture of anti-racism it is Germany – the European nation where Jews were most assimilated and almost found themselves wiped out.

The point is not to handcuff the likes of Pofalla to their history but to liberate them from self-delusion. No competition between Iran and Germany to see who has hated Jews least can produce a winner anyone can be proud of. But in Pofalla’s case it illustrates that when you live in a street full of glass houses everybody should think twice about what they throw and who they throw it at.

This is not a lesson confined to Germany. It has become a Europe-wide habit to refer to Muslims in particular and migrants in general as though they are barbarians who must either be civilised or banished, before they pollute the egalitarian societies in which they were either born or now live. Lacking all sense of humility, self-awareness and historical literacy, Europe’s political class acts as though these communities not only manifest homophobia, sexism, antisemitism, political violence and social unrest, but also as though they invented them and introduced them to an otherwise utopian continent.