December 11, 2013
The parliament of the State of Baden-Württemberg has agreed to abolish the obligation for coffins during funeral processes. More than 650.000 Muslims live in the State of Baden-Württemberg and were left uncertain, whether to return the bodies of their members to the countries of origin or to ask for a Muslim funeral. Also, there will be no need to prove the religious affiliation of Muslims. This was a controversial topic. Unlike many Christians, Muslims are not members of a formal recognized church. The fraction of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was concerned about the rise of Muslim funerals.
Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/regionales/stuttgart/article122820601/Das-Ende-der-Sargpflicht-soll-kommen.html
November 7, 2013
Members of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) have protested against the construction of a mosque in the Northern suburb of Leipzig. Among them is the CDU member Dorothee Dubrau who has initiated an online petition, which has been signed by approximately 3.000 citizens. Local political and religious representatives such as the Evangelical community raised their concerns about the construction of the mosque, whose construction is planned by the Ahmadiyya community. Even the right-wing extremist party NPD used this occasion to organize a demonstration against the mosque.
Meanwhile, CDU Federal parliamentarians criticized the initiative of Dorothee Dubrau, arguing in favor of the mosque construction. The project was approved and legalized months ago. Robert Clemen, parliamentary member of the CDU opposed the initiative, emphasizing that the “freedom of religion would guarantee the peaceful coexistence of religions”.
Die Tageszeitung: http://www.taz.de/Streit-um-Bau-einer-Moschee/!127041/
1 November 2010
Only two weeks after saying attempts to forge a multicultural society had failed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for more immigrants in the country’s civil service and deplored discrimination in employment.
“We currently have a real under-representation of people of immigrant origin in the public service and we have to change that,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast. She added, “When someone has a name that doesn’t sound very German, for certain jobs it often happens that they have difficulties in being employed.”
Merkel was speaking ahead of an “integration summit” she chaired on Wednesday with 115 representatives of public services and other organisations concerned with integrating immigrants to draw up an action plan.
This comes just after Merkel had told a meeting of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party that “Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work. “This approach has failed, totally,” she said on 14 October.
16 September 2010
After months of negotiations between Berlin and Washington, two former inmates of the Guantanamo prison arrived in Germany on Thursday. German officials hope to swiftly integrate them into society. A spokesman for the Hamburg government confirmed that Ahmed Mohammed al-Shurfa, a stateless man of Palestinian descent born in Saudi Arabia, had arrived in the northern German port city.
Later on Thursday, a second former Guantanamo prisoner — 36-year-old Mahmoud Salim al-Ali of Syria — arrived in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in central-western Germany, an official with the state’s Interior Ministry said. “According to our knowledge, he does not pose any threat,2 a spokesman said. “We haven’t brought a sleeper into our country,” he said, referring to the phenomenon of potential terrorists like the 9/11 cell that infiltrate society and appear to be normal residents before they are activated.
Earlier this year, Germany said it was prepared to host two former inmates from the Guantanamo prison. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the decision had been made for “humanitarian reasons.” “I’m not only the federal interior minister, but also a human being and a Christian,” the politician, who is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, said as he announced his decision in July.
Cologne’s city council has approved building plans for what is slated to be Germany’s largest mosque. Politicians hope the structure’s glass design and bilingual program will help integrate the Islamic community. Cologne’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Left Party all voted for the construction of the mosque, which will include two minarets that stretch 55 meters (180 feet) into the sky, the Associated Press reported. Mayor Fritz Schramma was the only Christian Democratic Union (CDU) member to approve the plans. The rest of his party has criticized the mosque’s design as being “too imposing.” Builders from the Governing Body of the Turkish-Islamic Union (DiTiB) will construct the structure with a 37-meter high dome in the city district of Ehrenfeld.