Germany’s President Christian Wulff has recently come under increasing attack from across the political spectrum for not having mentioned a private loan of 500,000€ that he received from the wife of Egon Geerkens, a wealthy German businessman, in October 2008. At this point, he was still serving as a premier of Lower Saxony. When the opposition asked him about his business ties to Geerkens, Wulff neglected to mention the loan. While Wulff had to face questions over this private loan in recent weeks and was accused of deceiving the German Parliament about it, he has now received support from Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. Mazyek called for a respectful handling of the case to preserve Germany’s political stability. According to Mazyek, this was now more important than ever before to prevent society from breaking apart.
Monika Grütters, a CDU-member of the German Parliament, called Muslims in Germany to consider the social climate more strongly and respect the feelings of the majority, rather than encouraging a competition between mosques and Christian churches. Following Grütters, this is especially important in light of the problems Christian communities currently have to deal with – such as an increasing secularising trend. To foster good relations amongst the different faith communities, competitive attitudes have to be discarded.
Germany’s mosques are run by imams from Turkey, Bosnia, or Iran. No one controls them – for fundamentalists this is the chance for unmitigated agitation. On Sunday, April 23rd of this year, Islam seemed to arrive in Germany anew. The debate over Muslims and their beliefs had already taken place many times, but an Islamic theologian had until then never been present. On this evening, however, one appeared in the German Parliament: a real imam, a preacher of the Koran, with a doctorate in the bargain.