03 September 2018

We need a ‘German Islam,’ says interior ministry

Germany will tighten control over foreign influence of its Muslim community, State Secretary for the Interior Ministry Markus Kerber said Monday, after a week of violent far-right clashes in eastern Germany.

“We have watched foreign forces dictate to German Muslims how to practice their religion for far too long,” Kerber told Tagesspiegel in an interview published Monday. “And because they also have their home here, we will now lend them more support in strengthening their self-confidence.”

“We want to create more discussion formats for German Muslims,” Kerber added. “The minister will also actively encourage German Muslims to conduct a debate on a German Islam.”

According to Kerber, that debate will take place within the so-called Islamkonferenz, which Kerber set up as the interior ministry’s head of policy under Wolfgang Schäuble between 2006-2009 as a “forum for dialogue” on the relationship between Islam and the state.

Kerber responded to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s controversial claim earlier this year that Islam “doesn’t belong in Germany” by saying: “If there is to be an Islam that belongs to Germany, German Muslims must define it as ‘German Islam.'” [POLITICO] Read more