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.

“Islam humiliates women”: Interview with Necla Kelek

The Turkish-German sociologist Necla Kelek (52) is one of the most renowned critics of Islam in Germany. Her new book warns of playing Islam down (“Himmelsreise. Mein Streit mit den Wächtern des Islam” – Journey to heaven: My dispute with the guards of Islam”).

In this interview, she explains her view of German society and its strong sense of responsibility after World War II. This otherwise very important trait of not criticising other cultures has led to a reluctancy to criticise Islam, even when it appears in a discriminatory form. According to Kelek, who is very critical of Islamic culture, no other culture discriminates against women the way Islam does, and this can be derived from the Quran. She calls for a historic interpretation of the Quran, absolute equality of men and women and for an education of imams at state universities rather than religious institutions.

“Islam humiliates women”: Interview with Necla Kelek

The Turkish-German sociologist Necla Kelek (52) is one of the most renowned critics of Islam in Germany. Her new book warns of playing Islam down (“Himmelsreise. Mein Streit mit den Wächtern des Islam” – Journey to heaven: My dispute with the guards of Islam”).

In this interview, she explains her view of German society and its strong sense of responsibility after World War II. This otherwise very important trait of not criticizing other cultures has led to a reluctance to criticize Islam, even when it appears in a discriminatory form. According to Kelek, who is very critical of Islamic culture, no other culture discriminates against women the way Islam does, and this can be derived from the Quran. She calls for a historic interpretation of the Quran, absolute equality of men and women and for an education of imams at state universities rather than religious institutions.

The views of the new German interior minister de Maizière on Islam in Germany

In an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the new German minister for the interior, Thomas de Maizière, speaks about his stance on Islam in Germany. He affirms the continuous education of imams and religious teachers at German universities. A second area of support will be gender equality and women’s rights. Finally, de Maizière will continue the efforts of the Islam Conference, founded by his predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble, to counter extremism. “We welcome Islam, but not Islamism”, says de Maizière.

Mohammed Moussaoui, the New CFCM President

Mohammed Moussaoui, a 44 year-old former math professor, was the only candidate for the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) elections and won quite expectedly. He replaces the former president, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grande Mosqu_e de Paris. Moussaoui is the vice-president of the French Muslim Assembly (RMF) and is a proponent of a consensual Islam, respectful of both founding texts and current contexts, adding that the CFCM most become more involved in the education of imams in the French context. He speaks French, Arabic, Berber and English. Moussaoui told Le Figaro that the group does not have a theological mission: We are not creating a new theology for a French Islam. I believe the following principle: that in one’s private life, one can keep their clothing and food customs. But on the collective level, French law must apply for everyone. We respect the law on conspicuous religious signs in schools. But we don’t want this restriction to extend to universities, mayors’ offices, or in the workplace.