July 8, 2014
The state of Hesse is looking for new ways to cope with Salafism. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) suggested that the state parliament should consult experts for analyzing and understanding threats emanating from Salafism. Salafism, as Wolfgang Greilich (FDP) said, “threatens the core of free and liberal-democratic society”. He suggested that the state should cooperate with religious communities, security services and schools on the question of what can be done against this menace. The attempt was questioned and criticized by the Left Party asking if there weren’t other relevant issues at stake if it comes to the endangerment of freedom.
The German government’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Markus Löning (FDP), is critical of citizenship laws that force young Turks to choose between German and Turkish nationalities. His view breaks with government policy to date. Daniel Brössler spoke to him
It was a compromise that now forces thousands of young descendants of immigrants in Germany to make a tough decision. Since the year 2000, a regulation has been in force granting immigrants’ children born in Germany since 1990 the right to a German passport. They are temporarily allowed to retain the passport of their parents’ homeland alongside the German one. But by the time they have turned 23 at the latest, they must give up one citizenship, as long as their parents do not come from an EU country, for example.
This has led to quite a number of Germans becoming foreigners again since the beginning of the year. The CDU and CSU, which pushed the compromise through against proposals to fine-tune the legislation by the SPD and the Greens, are keen to maintain the option obligation. But the SPD says if it wins the election it will do away with the ruling – an approach now supported by the government’s Commissioner for Human Rights, FDP politician Markus Löning.
Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) has asked for stricter laws against Terrorism. The recent international incidents in North Africa and Mali would motivate Salafi Islamists to act in Germany, Europe and North Africa. The Minister expects radical Islamists to radicalize when leaving Germany for Egypt.
The Minister claimed for more observation, data collection of bank and mail correspondence of suspected subjects. Also, he demanded easier conditions for the deportation of Islamist extremists. The Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) criticized the proposals of Minister Friedrich as well as the current anti-terror legislations as interventions in civil rights.
After controversial debates about religious motivated circumcision, the German Federal Parliament approves circumcision. The circumcision must be executed by trained persons and must fulfill health and medical regulations.
A prior draft attempted to legalize the circumcision of boys with the minimum age of 14.
However, the majority of the parliament did not approve it.
Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) welcomed the decision of the Federal Parliament: “For decades, parents have not been penalized when accessing professional means to circumcise their sons.” Circumcision would remain legal.
Head of the party in parliament, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) criticized the decision of the district court in Cologne, which had forbidden circumcision, as an alienating act for the Jewish community. Minister of Justice in Berlins, Thomas Heilmann (CDU) interpreted the law as a welcoming signal for Muslims and Jews.
21 August 2010
The German state of Hesse is unlikely to introduce religious education for Muslim school children any time soon. The Liberal Democrat Party (FDP) insists on Muslim associations to comply with the guidelines by the Central Council of Muslims, such as to ensure the full equal status of women, the acknowledgement of religious freedom and full commitment to pluralism and democracy. The state however wants to introduce a Muslim option for school children from 2013/14, but with no teachers training in place as yet and these issues unresolved, this might at first be a course about Islam rather than Islamic instruction by a religious teacher.
After the French debate, calls for banning the burqa are also being heard in Germany. Former MP Lale Akgün of the Social Democrat Party (SPD) said the burqa was a “full body prison”, violating human rights immensely. The German politician of Turkish background called for a ban in public spaces such as universities and schools as well as high security areas like banks and airports.
Most of her fellow SPD politicians, however, do not see a requirement for establishing a new law. Conservative party CDU and liberal FDP would only proscribe it where it conflicts with other liberties such as at schools. Green party leader Cem Özdemir says he cannot tolerate the burqa in public spaces, neither as a citizen, nor as a member of the Green party, but he also pointed out that the debate is a symbolic one and not tackling true conflicts; the number of women wearing a burqa in Germany was near to none.
Muslims in Germany form a potential voting block that cannot to be ignored. According to a study by the Islam Conference last June, the total number of Muslims in Germany lies between 3.8 and 4.3 million, of which 1.84 million hold a German passport. The German Federal Statistics Office conservatively estimates that some 750,000 Muslims are eligible to vote in the country.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) would probably have mixed feelings when glancing at the results of this poll. The Social Democrats are in first place with 35.5 percent of the vote, but only two years ago, 52 percent of Muslims were willing to cast their ballots for the SPD. The party has primarily lost ground to non-voters. The Greens have increased their support by 3.6 percent to a current level of 18 percent. This is a clear result of choosing Cem Özdemir as their leader. The Left Party and FDP don’t even make it to 5 percent, the cut-off threshold for seats in the German Bundestag. The same holds true of the CDU, which only garnered 4 percent support.