Islam not part of Germany: Merkel ally

2012-04-19 15:01

kalahari.com

  • Angela Merkel
    The meteoric rise of Germany's first female chancellor and one of the world's most powerful women. Now R753.00
    buy now
Berlin - A leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said on Thursday that Islam did not belong to Germany, remarks sure to stir controversy as the government hosts a conference to improve the integration of Muslims.

A row over whether an ultra-conservative Salafist Muslim group should be allowed to hand out millions of free German translations of the Qur'an to non-Muslims had already raised tensions and threatened to overshadow the conference.

"Islam is not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and so does not belong to Germany," Volker Kauder, head of Merkel's conservative bloc in parliament, told the Passauer Neue Presse.

"But Muslims belong to Germany. As state citizens, of course, they enjoy their full rights."

Germany is home to about 4 million Muslims, about half of whom have German citizenship. Many came from Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s and their hard work contributed to Germany's post-war economic miracle. Germany's total population is about 80 million.

While some people of Turkish origin have risen to prominent political and public positions, many others live in their own communities and studies show many youngsters struggle to learn German properly, limiting their chances of finding work.

Painful row

In response to concerns about radicalisation and aware of the potential boost a well-qualified cohort of young Muslims could give to Europe's biggest economy, Merkel set up forums six years ago to improve integration, a highly charged issue.

Two years ago a painful row erupted over a bestselling book by former central banker Thilo Sarrazin, who argued that Turkish and Arab immigrants sponged off the state and threatened Germany's culture.

Soon after, Germany's then-President Christian Wulff won wide praise from Muslims by saying Islam was part of Germany.

Thursday's conference is set to discuss the controversial distribution of the Qur'an by Salafists.

The group "The True Religion" has already handed out several hundred thousand copies on streets across Germany, drawing criticism from many in Merkel's conservative bloc, which is traditionally Catholic. The printer has now stopped printing the books.

Liberal spirit

Some Muslim groups have also criticised the Qur'an campaign but Kenan Kolat, the head of Turkish Communities in Germany, warned against hysteria.

"If there is a glorification of violence, if there is an infringement of free, democratic basic values, then there are police measures that can be used," said Kolat.

"A statement by the Islam Conference which stresses the open and liberal spirit of our Republic against the background of the distribution of the Qur'an by Salafists would be a good signal," Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told Spiegel Online. She is a member of the Free Democrats (FDP), Merkel's liberal junior coalition partner.

Officially the Islam conference, comprising delegates from the federal and state governments and Islamic groups, will discuss questions such as forced marriage and the influence of Islamist groups on young people.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DStv Walka Handheld TV

The Walka Handheld TV is a slim, lightweight device with...

From R199.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.