In this March 14, 2018, file photo, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer talks to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German Parliament in Berlin. Germany’s new interior minister is positioning himself to the right of Merkel on migration, telling a newspaper on March 16, 2018, that Islam is not a part of Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)

German interior minister questions Islam's place in country

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's new interior minister said Friday he doesn't consider Islam to be a part of Germany, a position that puts him at odds with Chancellor Angela Merkel on the central question of migration.

Horst Seehofer, the country's top security official, told the Bild newspaper that "Islam doesn't belong to Germany," but added that "the Muslims who live with us are, of course, part of Germany."

Seehofer said his message to Muslims was: "Live with us, not parallel to or against us."

His Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, which has always taken a harder line on migration than Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, faces a state election later this year in which the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party is expected to do well.

Asked about Seehofer's comments, Merkel said while Germany is shaped by its Judeo-Christian heritage, "now there are 4 million Muslims living in Germany" — a country of about 82 million people.

"They can live their religion here too," she said. "These Muslims belong to Germany and in the same way their religion belongs to Germany, that is to say Islam."

She added that the Islam practiced by Muslims in Germany would have to conform to the country's constitution.

The head of the Turkish Community in Germany, Gokay Sofuoglu, called Seehofer's comments unhelpful at a time when the country is again seeing a rise in attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions.

"Religious freedom is without a doubt part of Germany," said Sofuoglu. "It's in the constitution."

The phrase "Islam is part of Germany" was coined by former President Christian Wulff in 2010 and has since become a battleground for those who oppose mass migration from Muslim countries.

The Alternative for Germany's campaign in last year's election — which saw the party win seats in national parliament for the first time — included the statement that "Islam is not a part of Germany."

Comments

  1. ” Islam is not part of Germany.”

    He does not get to make that call. The citizens of Germany decide. If more Muslims become citizens…then it is indeed a part of Germany as a culture (not as government since it is a secular state).

  2. Islam does not want to become a part of one’s country. They want to take it over.

  3. Destroy the dome of the rock; obliterate it.

  4. For me, the statement echoes past attitudes towards another religious population not that long ago.

  5. The German minister, Seehofer, is articulating a grievance. His articulation is not clear, but the grievance exists. How can the grievance be articulated more clearly? I suggest the following example.

    Let us say there are two domestic disturbances in the same German town. The local police investigate the two domestic disturbances. The local police find that one of these domestic disturbances involves a family with Saxon blood, and the other a family with Muslim blood.

    In the Saxon domestic disturbance, the local police work with the state’s prosecution lawyer–what the US terms a district attorney, or what India terms a government pleader.

    In the Muslim domestic disturbance, the local police work with quom leaders–quom is the Arabic word for Muslim community leaders.

    What is happening here is that the quom is being recognized in Germany as a legal institution with some jurisdiction in police matters. (Domestic disturbance is a police matter.) This recognition of the quom as a legal institution is done under the auspices of multi-culturalism, without being debated in the German intellectual forums beforehand.

    The quom is a legal institution under sharia, but not under German law. The qoum could eventually become a legal institution under German law also, but only if there is debate about it in German intellectuals beforehand.

    The grievance that the German minister is articulating is that such a debate has not been held, yet (under the auspices of multi-culturalism) the quom is being accepted as a valid institution. And domestic disturbances involving German Muslim families are being handed to this quom.

    I suggest that this is a clearer way of articulating the grievance the German minister is referring to.

  6. Police should treat all crimes the same and process them accordingly.

    Having read you example….I have thoughts.

    While I think the two arrests should be treated differently, I don;t think there would be a problem IF the local police wanted to learn more about the differences in muslim culture….not that this would mean treating them differently under the law…but simply to understand a new culture of which they have little experience.

    I think the American police do the same thing when dealing with investigations to the Amish or Hasidic Jewish communities. It helps them do a better job if they learn more about an unfamiliar culture.

    No more..no less.

  7. So the Interior Minister wants to enable extremism and terrorism by forgoing notions of religious freedom. Exactly what ISIS and co want people like him to do. Make it more difficult for Muslims to exist peaceably in the country. Put them at odds with the government. Promote siege mentality. So instead of trying to foster a culture where people of a minority culture feel attached to the country and willing to defend it from its enemies, they try to make enemies within their borders.

    Way to kick the ball into your own net!

  8. Thank you ISIS stooge for making the job of recruiting for Islamicist terror easier.

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