“The new minister will notice she is not with the Greens”: Interview with Cem Özdemir

In an interview, Cem Özdemir calls for an international Islam conference in Germany. The leader of the Green Party, who currently participates in a similar conference in Washington, calls for an intensive exchange of Europe with civil representatives from the Islamic world. On the topic of the new Turkish-German minister, Özdemir welcomes that more migrants are becoming involved in shaping German politics, but claims that the conservative CDU is far from taking over the Green Party’s strength of integration politics, as long as the party continues to have politicians like Roland Koch. Koch, the prime minister of the state of Hesse, has stood out with his campaign against dual citizenship and repeated quasi-racist remarks.

Who is the German state supposed to chose as representatives of Islam?

This article discusses the difficult task of Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière of choosing Muslim representatives for the upcoming Islam conference. While it is true that the Islamic Associations are not representative of all German Muslims, the author argues, the latter also fail to exercise their right to form religious associations. If those who feel unrepresented by the current associations do not organize themselves, the state can do little about it. Meanwhile the state has tried to address this problem by inviting individuals (Muslim intellectuals or artists), but the author criticizes that this is the wrong approach, because individuals do not represent any larger group either and do not have to report back to anyone. To his opinion, the state is left with the associations currently active in Germany and it is up to the Muslim population at large to found other bodies if they feel unrepresented.