Criticism of Islam by German Church Official Angers Muslims

The chairman of the Protestant Church Nikolaus Schneider has criticised Islam in Germany, stating that Islam appeared “in our society unimpressed by Enlightenment and criticism of religion”. The Central Council of Muslims strongly disapproved of the remark. General Secretary Nurhan Soykan said that no one had the right to criticise a religion and to evaluate whether or not it needed Enlightenment. The Council’s chairman Aiman Mazyek expressed his understanding for the fact that Church officials saw Islam as a challenge, pointing out that Islam practiced monotheism in its purest form, cherished Jesus and Mary, but would not allow a prophet (Jesus) to be crucified – Mazyek’s interpretation being that Islam could be understood by many as an enlightened form of Christianity.

Schneider later explained that he called for an academic Islam, one that is scientifically dealt with at universities in order to study the history and also the Enlightenment as it took place in Germany, so that Islam would arrive at a historical-critical perspective on its own faith. He very much welcomes the education of imams at German universities.

German publisher cancels book that some consider as insulting Islam

A German publisher said Tuesday it had cancelled the printing of a murder mystery about an honor killing because it contained passages insulting Islam and may have prompted Islamist retaliation.

Droste publishers dropped the book by author Gabriele Brinkmann entitled “To Whom Honor is Due” after she refused to change several passages, including one where a fictional character is portrayed making abusive remarks about the Koran.

“After the Mohammad cartoons, one knows that one can’t publish sentences or drawings that defame Islam without expecting a security risk,” said Felix Droste, head of Droste publishers.

The publisher’s decision has prompted criticism that it is bowing to Islamist intimidation and curtailing freedom of speech. The firm has also received threats from far-right groups against its employees for being “friends of Islamists.” German newspapers ran headlines: “Publisher self censors” and “Fear of Islamist attacks.”