CAIRO - A campaign by a German Muslim group to distribute free copies of the Noble Qur'an as part of efforts to educate people about Islam is inviting anger from German politicians, The Local newspaper reported Wednesday, April 11.
Wherever possible, this aggressive action must be stopped, GÃ¼nter Krings, vice chairman of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) told Die Welt newspaper.
The Salafist Muslim Group The True Religion has launched a campaign to hand out free translated copies of the Qur'an to Germans.
Quran in every house campaign should be stopped, Krings said.
This Islamic group's move threatens religious freedom.
Organizers say the initiative aims to educate Germans about the Islamic teachings.
The campaign, titled Read, has already distributed more than 300,000 Qur'an copies.
Ibrahim Abu Nagie, a Salafist preacher, has urged all German Muslims to hand out copies of the Qur'an to their neighbors.
"If every Muslim does that then within a year we will have supplied every person in Germany with a Qur'an translation and they will not label us as terrorists or radicals or anything else, when they read Allah's book," he said in an undated video on the group's website cited by Reuters.
Abu Nagie said the first phase of the free Qur'an campaign was funded by two Turkish people, and that he had rejected financial support from organizations in Bahrain as they wanted to "write their names in the book".
Germany has between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims, making up some 5 percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies.
Opponents claim that the Qur'an campaign aims to spread radicalization in Germany.
"The radical Salafist group is disturbing the religious peace in our country with their aggressive approach," Krings said.
The Berlin State Office for the Protection of the Constitution has also criticized the campaign.
Salafistism is strongly radicalizing and is promoted by its followers as supposedly the only true Islam, the office said.
Germans have grown hostile to the Muslim presence recently, with a heated debate on the Muslim immigration into the country.
A recent poll by the Munster University found that Germans view Muslims more negatively than their European neighbors.
Germany's daily Der Spiegel had warned last August that the country is becoming intolerant towards its Muslim minority.According to a 2010 nationwide poll by the research institute Infratest-dimap, more than one third of the respondents would prefer "a Germany without Islam."