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Muslim Integration Reignites Germany Debate

Published: 02/03/2012 05:22:00 AM GMT
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CAIRO - A new government study claiming that many Muslims refuse to integrate into the society and tends to violence has reignited a new debate in the Western European country, The Local newspaper reported.“German (more)

CAIRO - A new government study claiming that many Muslims refuse to integrate into the society and tends to violence has reignited a new debate in the Western European country, The Local newspaper reported.

“Germany respects the background and cultural identity of its immigrants,” Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the Bild newspaper.

“But we don't accept the importation of authoritarian, anti-democratic and religiously fanatical points of view.”

A study commissioned by the Interior Ministry found on Thursday, March 1, that nearly 48 percent of non-German Muslims refuse to integrate into the society and reject German majority culture.

The study, “The Daily Life of Young Muslims in Germany”, which interviewed several generations of Muslims living in Germany and evaluated television program, said that 48 percent of non-German Muslims “strongly learned toward separation”.

But the study showed that the percentage rises to 78 percent among German Muslim citizens who favor integration.

The interior minister, who is a member of the Christian Social Union, a sister party of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, said those who fights against freedom and democracy will not have a future in Germany.

The study, which included Muslims between 14 and 32 who had not become German citizens, claimed that there was a “subgroup” of religious extremists among Muslims who hold anti-western views and tend to use violence.

It puts the percentage of this “subgroup” at 15 percent among German Muslim citizens and at 24 among non-citizens.

“Rejecting integration can, but it doesn't have to, provide fertile ground for religious fanaticism and terrorism,” Hans-Peter Uhl, the domestic affairs spokesman of the CSU faction in the German parliament, said in an article on Thursday.

Uhl called on non-German Muslims to show proof that they are seeking to integrate into society.

Provocation

But the study drew fire from the government's coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party.

"I have to wonder that the BMI (Interior Ministry) used taxpayers' money to finance a study that produces headlines but no findings," said Serkan Toren, the FDP's parliamentary faction speaker for domestic politics.

He said religious commitment among young Muslims is often an "empty shell" that has nothing to do with actual religious practice but with "provocation and cultural segregation."

Toren, of Turkish origin, said there was no connection between religion and violence.

"Other studies and my personal experience show that," he said.

Muslim integration has been a thorny issue in Germany, which is home to around four million Muslims, of which nearly half are German citizens.

The country was gripped last year by a fierce debate over Muslim immigrants, which saw many mainstream politicians entering the fray.

The controversy was spurred by central banker Thilo Sarrazin, who accused Muslim immigrants of undermining the society which is becoming less intelligent because of them.German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in, saying that multiculturalism has failed in Germany.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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