• Germany's news in English

SPD, Greens demand equality for Islam

Published: 07 Oct 2010 08:30 GMT+02:00

The calls came as the peak Jewish body in Germany blasted recent conservative criticism of President Christian Wulff’s reunification speech, in which Wullf acknowledged that Islam was now part of Germany alongside the faiths of Christians and Jews.

In the wake of Wulff’s speech, the centre-left parties hit back against conservatives who had previously attacked Wulff’s remarks as undermining the core values and traditions of Germany.

“Islam needs a fair chance in Germany,” Dieter Wiefelspütz, interior affairs spokesman for the Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary group, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “It would be an important signal to the four million Muslims in Germany if the state recognised Islam as a religious community.”

At present, Christianity and Judaism are recognised by German law as statutory bodies, meaning they can be taught in state schools and have tithing fees collected by the German Finance Ministry as church tax.

Integration policy spokesman for the Greens, Memet Kilic, told the paper: “The recognition of Islam as an equal religious community before the law would convey to Muslims the feeling of being welcome in Germany. The (conservative Christian Democrats) must end their neurotic navel gazing immediately.”

In his speech last Sunday, Wulff said: "Christianity is of course part of Germany. Judaism is of course part of Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history ... But now Islam is also part of Germany," he said in his speech. "When German Muslims write to me to say 'you are our president', I reply with all my heart 'yes, of course I am your president'."

Secretary general of the German Jewish Council, Stephan Kramer, also slammed the conservative response to Wulff’s speech as “close to hysterical” and said it showed “that apparently many politicians even today are shutting themselves off to the reality of an immigrant community.”

He added: “The Muslims living here are part of our society. So of course their religion also belongs in this country.”

Ultimately the right to exercise freely one’s religious beliefs was anchored in the constitution, he said.

Yet the debate within Angela Merkel’s conservatives continued. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Hermann of the Christian Social Union said: “Our fundamental values are clearly grounded in the Christian-western tradition. Germany does not want to integrate to Islam but rather to preserve its cultural identity.”

The acting parliamentary leader for the Christian Democrats, Günter Krings, said Islam was a reality in Germany though he did not want to see the practices of some Muslims incorporated into German society.

“There are values represented with Islam that I don’t want to see in Germany culture, such as the position of women in the community,” he said.

But Kramer said practical solutions had to be found as to how a pluralistic society could be developed for the future. Wulff’s critics, by contrast, were “digging out propagandist phrases to create the impression that Germany was facing an immediate choice between the constitution and Sharia law.”

CDU Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen also took the more positive view that Wulff’s remarks meant many well-integrated Muslims would see Wulff as their president.

“His speech was an acknowledgement to the people of Muslim beliefs who live here and want to live here,” he said. “But it is clear – and the president also said this – Germany’s religious and cultural roots lie in Christianity and Judaism.”

DAPD/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:32 October 7, 2010 by freechoice
God, I hope they are not going to implement Sharia, it's not liberating....
09:46 October 7, 2010 by delvek
Deserves repeating ...

ok, this story is a sweet example of delusion,

Person 1 builds a garden and calls it friendly.

Person 2 builds a pipe bomb and calls it destiny.

... now you know the rest of the story ...
10:18 October 7, 2010 by mehta_p
Are SPD, Greens considering muslims as Votebank?

Is Germany going to loose its identity?

Whole world look Germans as very civilized and talented human beings because of their innovations and adopted technologies.

Will they maintain their image after giving equality to islam?
10:30 October 7, 2010 by Baynik
I would kindly like to refer you all to a news article on the BBC website posted on Tuesday. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11475137

I am not sure that Germany actually upholds many Christian or Jewish morals anyway. The majority of German society is anti-Christian (just read some of the posts on these forums and others!) So the question is, whether religion should be a state decision anyway! They seem to dictate what and how we should believe through their clever media manipulation and so-called liberal agendas. Only the really ignorant could ask for Islam to be added to the mix of chaos. The past few years in Europe, elections showed an increasing shift to the right against the Islamic threat. So, enjoy your final Schweinschnitzel and remember not to get hungry during Ramadam!
10:33 October 7, 2010 by delvek
I highly doubt this will ever occur ...
10:36 October 7, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Cheap media attention seeking. Should be ashamed of themselves.
11:52 October 7, 2010 by dankworth
Equality for Islam. Thats just what europe needs, the asylum run by the refugees.

They've already fired one single shot with more to come if the "army of god" have anything to say about it.
12:06 October 7, 2010 by michael4096
I don't see that religion should be written into law at all. However, if it is, then islam should be treated with democratic equality

European history is rife with examples of inequality and its consequences - germany doesn't have a muslim problem today, but disenfranchising 20% of the population is a pretty good way of making sure we have one tomorrow
14:05 October 7, 2010 by delvek
@ micheal, democratic equality? do you live in germany?
14:24 October 7, 2010 by J-Dub
The Muslims want equality, but refuse to let go of things such as Sharia Law and forcing their religion upon others who don't want to follow Islam. I find it a laugh that they cry for equality when they consistently stay isolated from the German population, refuse to integrate, and think that no law is above Sharia Law. If you want equality, teach your religion to get out of the stone age ways and come to the future with the rest of us law abiding citizens. If you follow the laws of the host nation, be productive, and integrate into society then you can't go wrong and there would be no argument here. But this is not what they want. They want attention without having to work for it and only the SPD and Greens are silly enough to give it to them without having to earn it. If Islam wishes to be recognized, it should part its way with terror, part its ways with Sharia Law, abide by the laws of the host nation, and earn its place amongst religion and belief.
15:18 October 7, 2010 by michael4096
The article says that there are 4m muslims in germany - how many do not follow the law? how many are not productive? how many are clamouring for sharia?

You haven't a clue, have you?

But, it doesn't stop you from painting everybody the same with your hateful rhetoric
15:35 October 7, 2010 by nevskj
You must read this really interesting interview:

17:58 October 7, 2010 by raandy
michael4096 I certainly am clueless as to how many do or do not follow the law or are or are not productive or how many are in favor of Sharia law,,please tell me..would be interesting to know
19:06 October 7, 2010 by Richard Hurlbrink
What was the German Culture further sinks into an abyss helped along by the SPD and the Greens who don¦#39;t really care. Germany has become a multi-culture state and the kernel of what was Germany is being destroyed. Germany is losing in peace time what it never lost in war ­ its identity and culture.
21:12 October 7, 2010 by ww77ww
Yes michael, please do post such data and the sources for such.
22:46 October 7, 2010 by veritas_69
Thank you SPD and Greens. You have now completed your journey to the Dark Side.

I think we should make special taxes just for the SPD and Greens (like 12euro per liter benzine) and force them to host entire muslim families in their living rooms. In fact, they must personally endure every stupid idea they come up with for ten years before we even consider making it a law.

What a bunch of idiots.
02:39 October 8, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I have an obvious question which I have not found answered in the news stories or in the forum. Are these Muslims who are now a "part of Germany" also German citizens, or has the concept of national citizenship become meaningless in the Western World? Why are non-citizens entitled to ANY special benefits of either the constitution or the taxpayers in any country?

It seems obvious that non-citizens are entitled to welfare benefits in Germany, so I hereby apply for German welfare. Please mail my welfare checks to me here in the US. I certainly don't want to be a burden on German society, so I will gladly pay the postage. Thanks.
07:44 October 8, 2010 by Landmine
Interesting. So Germany wants to help out Muslims have a fair shake. And let's see, 3 days ago, Germany found out there were German Muslims in terrorist training. Then yesterday 1 German soldier was killed and 7 wounded by radical Islamists and last week Al Qaida declared it will attack German targets here in Germany.

Whose side I Germany on again????/
07:57 October 8, 2010 by zaly

Sorry for interrupt,

Just to let you know, Islam and Terrorist is different, islam is religion, Islam has nothing to do with terrorist, wanna study about islam like Daniel?

Islam is increasing rapidly

examples Daniel Stretch, a Swiss Politician Bans Minarets then Converts to Islam.
08:03 October 8, 2010 by Landmine

Gotcha, thanks for the tip. Now... can you show me one Islamic terrorist that is not a Muslim? Just one...
08:17 October 8, 2010 by zaly

So simple, the answer is "Hitler"

Just for inquiry, Do you know why they were so angry like mad UNTIL they become a "terrorist"?

Go figure out and google.
11:12 October 8, 2010 by Landmine

Seriously? You are telling me Hitler was an Islamist Terrorist? You need to stop believing everything your read in the Internet even if it comes from Google.

And I do know why people become terrorists in the Middle East. I spent 4 years in Iraq getting rid of them...
11:22 October 8, 2010 by delvek
Centures of pounding books have resulted in people saying google it, oy ve, we are ucked. Proof Darwin and followers are nobs. The stupidification of people is alarming. Hitler an Islamic Terrorist? I propose you stepped away from the mouse and pick up Mein Kampf and read what Hitler was about before you make such an ignorant statement.

About the only likeness Hitler had to a Islamist Terrorist would be that they both hated Jews but then again throughout history that is not a new story either.
12:55 October 8, 2010 by zaly

As I mention earlier, Islam and Terrorist is different, everybody can become a terrorist if they are angry like mad and it's doesn't matter whether he/she is Islam/Christian/Jews, "Hitler" is one of the example and he was not a Muslim.
13:54 October 8, 2010 by mehta_p

every country has their own internal problems, if the country is islamic or christian or any other. But when shiits are happening on international level that becomes headache to many countries.

What Hilter did was brutal and many countries have shown their anger against him. Even many germans are not fond of him.

Today when we consider shiits happening on international level done by terrorists, then one can clearly see that most of those terrorists are from islamic countries or having to do with islam.

just consider this al-quida group - what is their origin, background, what lead them to become like this.

having anger like mad and becoming terrorists is not only solution.

If bunch of people are disturbing me, that doesn't mean that i should kill innocents as well.
16:59 October 8, 2010 by Landmine
@Delvek and Metha_p...

Thank you, well put...
18:24 October 8, 2010 by zaly

Seems that nobody can't or refused to explain the fact and figure "Why they were angry and mad like hell and willing to do anything till die?"

Let me tell you, this is because of their father land in Palestine, Israel has all the land of the Palestinians. They control the West Bank and Gaza. The Zionist were able to steal the Palestinians land with the help of the British and the UN. In 1947 the Zionist begin destroying Palestinian villages, murdering,and driving the Palestinians out of the country even before the UN partition and before the Arab armies could come to their defense.

justagra Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire before the end of WWI. Palestine never was an French protectorate. Acre,Safad, Tiberias, Nazareth, Jenin, Haifa, Jaffa, Ramla, Majdal, Hebron and Jerusalem are more then a dusty couple of towns. Nothing but a sand box before Zionist. Palestine was a beautiful and productive country before Israel. You need to read and study the history of Palestine, because most of what you think you know is wrong.
18:46 October 8, 2010 by Landmine

We were talking about Muslim terrorists Hitler and Germany...
19:59 October 8, 2010 by HarryR
The integration of religion with the German state is shocking to me as a brit. I'm actually surprised that Islam is not already treated like any other religion. Christianity and judaism are the only 'official' religions?! What nonsense! People can believe what they wish. As an atheist they all sound like nonsense to me. Useful social clubs perhaps.

Religions should have no legal existence of their own. Their significance comes only from the right of individuals to choose to follow them and associate with who they choose. As they can join political parties or debating societies or Amnesy International.

Relgion should be disestablished. If people want to pay a tithe to their religious masters they can write a cheque or authorise a bank transfer.

Anyway, how is 'official' christianity defined? There are a multitude of squabbling sects.

How many people who are registered as of a particular religion and so therefore paying a tithe thru the tax system are doing so thru lethargy? The Churches do not want these people to have the option to explicitly choose to pay the money or decide to donate it to a more worthwhile purpose.
20:07 October 8, 2010 by zaly

You need to STUDY the cause of root before you blame and called them the "Muslim Terrorist" as I said, Muslim is not a Terrorist and it's not related at all with Islam. ONLY the crazy and idiot people who are "Terrorist", once the bomb exploded it would not choose what is your religion, whether Islam/Christian/Jew all would die and including me too.

20:46 October 8, 2010 by Landmine
My point is, what jihaddist is not a Muslim. Point out one to me, just one, and I will concede your augment.
21:07 October 8, 2010 by Deutschguy
This is dumb. Jihad, whether meant as personal transformation or as violent action, is by definition Muslim.

However, Timothy McVeigh who blew up the Federal Building was a Christian and a terrorist, too.

The US has allies who use their power to fund madrasses, which indoctrinate their students with anti-Western ideals, as well as justifying violent Jihad. And, keeping those allies in power, even though they keep their people poor and angry, is in the political and economic interest of the US and many western corporations.

The Bushes entertain the bin Ladens in their living rooms.
10:47 October 9, 2010 by Landmine
Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist alright, but he was not a Jihadist, he was a sympathizer (not even a memeber) of a Militia Unit. But in the end, he acted alone with a few friends to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah building because of his digust with the Federal Governments taxation of US citizens. Not because it was a Jihad or he a Muslim. In prison awaiting his death sentence, fellow prisoner Ramzi Yousef. Ramzi - a Muslim made frequent but unsuccessful attempts to convert McVeigh to Islam.

The Bushed did entertain the Bin Laden's at the White house and abroad. However, it should be noted this occured before the 9/11 attacks. The Bin Laden family is the most influential family in Saudi Arabia and have a good deal of control over oil production in the Middle East, hence why they were entertained by the Bush's.

It is also interesting to note that the family have renounced and disowned Osama Bin Laden due to his renegade actions against the West.
00:34 October 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Landmine --

The irony of your boast that you spent four years in Iraq "getting rid of them" is that you probably helped to create ten times as many of them as you got rid of. Well done.
07:15 October 10, 2010 by Landmine
I'm not so sure... Everyone always assumes people were killed. Some were, but the majority were given training, jobs, relocation or detention. Only a small percentage were killed.
18:19 October 10, 2010 by zaly
935 lies about Iraq War

It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda.

just propaganda, U.S only interested with Iraq's Oil and until today, this war is lost and cannot be won.
23:32 October 10, 2010 by Landmine
Getting off the subject again Mr Zaly....

The point was my question to you to show me on jihaddist that is not a Muslim.
02:05 October 11, 2010 by zaly

Seems you didn't doing your homework and the cause of the root, do you know the meaning of Jihad?

The primary aim of jihad as warfare is not the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam by force, but rather the expansion and defense of the Islamic state, for more info, goto

Wikipedia Jihad.

I'm here not to teach you everything or spoon feed, If you still don't know, ask Mr. Google and if you still don't understood, you can read and study the meaning of Al'Quran Translation in English, you can find EVERYTHING.
02:42 October 11, 2010 by Bishopbayern
Come and live in christian europe and your welcome but it is first and always christian! if you don't like it don't come.
06:50 October 11, 2010 by zaly

Welcome to the World of Islam my friend and let me clear the confusing.

"What do you know about Jesus (Isa)?" The majority said that they knew nothing about Him; others gave the following views of Jesus:

"He is a prophet. His mother is Mary."

"Jesus is a good person. His teaching is helpful and right."

"They are all one. Jesus is related to Allah."

"He is the same as Allah to the Muslims."

"Only Christians can understand that Jesus died for them."

"No idea about Christ. Only seen Christ on TV."

"Holy man."

"Jesus is not the Son of God."

Isa was not Jewish, but Palestinian. Isa did not die on the cross but instead had someone die in his place. Isa is a Muslim prophet. Isa is only found in the Koran. The name Isa doesn¦#39;t have any Biblical support or any meaning found in Biblical scholarship.

If Jesus (Isa) pray to Allah, the only single God, there is no other God other than Allah, why Christian wanna pray to Jesus (Isa)?

Why don't Christian pray DIRECTLY to Allah instead of Jesus (Isa)?

It's because Jesus (Isa) is God or Son of God? of course, is impossible, since the Qu¦#39;ran clearly states that ¦quot;Allah has no son,¦quot; while by contrast, Christian salvation is based in John 3:16, which clearly states that ¦quot;God gave his only be gotten Son….¦quot;

The truth is he is not a God or Son of God.
08:10 October 11, 2010 by Landmine

You keep missing the point and attempting to make new unrelated ones. Just answer the question initially asked. You try to make points but fail to answer anything.

Can't really have a conversion with anyone like that now can one? So I'm not going to waste anymore time and space listening to your brainwashed ideas which you seem tho think are correct....
10:59 October 11, 2010 by zaly

Seems that you can't open your mind and study the root of cause and keep on asking the question that you can simply answer it BUT still can't think the Basic 5Ws,






Anything had happen must have the answer and you shld study from the beginning.
12:30 October 11, 2010 by Landmine
I don't need to study anything about Islam, you all Muslims want to cram your religion to the rest of the world and cry foul anytime anyone insults anything about it and your ass backwards ways. No need to study that -I have seen enough in Iraq to know living in the past without freedom of speech, choice or religion is no good for anyone.

But you all are so ignorant about things like that that you can't do anything but start problems with anyone who doesn't accept your ways. And you have been doing this for thousands of years yet was it not for oil, that area of the world would be nothing but dry desert. It will be that again once the oil dries up, so enjoy your soap box while you still have one...
18:38 October 11, 2010 by zaly
Seems that all my point was solid till you don't know how to challenge and ignoring all the fact and figure, your point is empty, created the scapegoat and chased for Al'Qaeda? Osama? Weapons of mass destruction? till today which is doesn't exist but only oil worth multi million and keep on blame forever and ever and ever..

Good luck.. :)

19:14 October 11, 2010 by Landmine
if u stayed with the subject rather than rant all over the place about totally irrelevant issues, then maybe I'd be more inclined to listen to you. But you lost it from the point where you said Hitler is an Islamic terrorist. Everything else after that from you from there on was senseless babbling...

No different than you hear from someone who has no clue or open minded intelligence and is just parroting what others say without and trying to interpret it or make any sense of it all...
04:39 October 12, 2010 by zaly
Sorry to say,

You can't think properly ALL are RELATED till you don't know how to respond with solid answer and keep on blame I was babbling forever and ever and ever...

Good luck and Allah bless you.

Thank you.

The End.
07:01 October 12, 2010 by Landmine
whatever dude...
Today's headlines
Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

Greece bailout
Merkel and Tsipras tight-lipped on Brussels talks
Chancellor Merkel and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Photo:DPA

Merkel and Tsipras tight-lipped on Brussels talks

Chancellor Merkel and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras met in Brussles on Thursday in what the Chancellor described as “constructive” talks. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
EU leaders triple rescue mission funds
EU leaders meet for migration summit in Brussels on April 23rd. Photo: DPA.

EU leaders triple rescue mission funds

Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to send two navy ships for search and rescue efforts as EU leaders agreed on a plan in Brussels on Thursday to curb the soaring number of migrants dying as they seek a better life in Europe. READ  

German beer day: take the tour
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
A Greek learning politics in Germany
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Football and the €30,000 firework
Why scientists oppose killer robots
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
Freed after 25 years on death row
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
German photographer takes world's top prize
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd