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FDP's Lindner compares Bavaria's CSU with Islam

The Local · 9 Mar 2011, 15:07

Published: 09 Mar 2011 15:07 GMT+01:00

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This week, the general secretary for the Free Democrats, Christian Lindner, delivered the tongue-in-cheek response to CSU member Friedrich’s controversial statement that Islam did not “belong” in Germany because it lacked a historical foundation here.

“The CSU also wasn’t a formative force in Germany history ... But it is still a societal reality that we must live with,” he said of the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. “Today we must also integrate the CSU.”

Linder, whose Free Democrats are Merkel’s junior coalition partners, went on to say: “The Bavarian cultural identity came about when Bavaria was still a monarchy. There was no CSU ... and it’s the same with Islam. It didn’t form our current cultural identity, but we need to integrate it.”

Linder’s comments fell on Shrove Tuesday, part of the Karneval season, a time when politicians tend to impart political truths with humour.

In light of that fact, CSU general secretary Alexander Dobrindt suggested that Lindner had been wearing a “red clown nose” when he compared the party to Islam.

But Lindner’s comments came in response to controversial remarks made last week by Friedrich.

During his first public appearance as Interior Minister where he answered questions by reporters about the shooting of two US airmen in Frankfurt by an alleged Islamist, Friedrich said that Muslims living in Germany were part of society, “but that Islam belongs in Germany is something that has no historical foundation.”

His comment sparked an irked response from opposition parties and members of the FDP, including Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

“Of course Islam belongs in Germany,” she said. “I assume that the new interior minister, along with his predecessors such as Thomas de Maizière, takes the responsibility for integration in his department seriously and is committed to solidarity and not marginalization.”

FDP integration policy expert Serkan Tören recommended that in light of Friedrich’s sentiments the Justice Ministry take over the Islam conference, a meeting between the government and Islamic groups, from the Interior Ministry.

Friedrich’s comments mirrored similar statements he made last autumn amid a rancorous debate over whether Muslim immigrants are capable of integrating into German society.

The debate was sparked by former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin, who made a number of anti-immigrant statements aimed mainly at Turks and Arabs, coinciding with the publication of his controversial book Deutschland schafft sich ab - Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, or “Abolishing Germany - How we’re putting our country in jeopardy.”

Later in the week a spokesperson for Friedrich attempted to calm tempers, saying that Islam was a reality in Germany.

“That does not stand in opposition to the fact that Germany and German culture are above all characterized by the Christian religion and will remain so in the future,“ the spokesman said.

Story continues below…

Last week Friedrich was named as former Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière’s successor after he took over the Defence Ministry from the disgraced Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who resigned in the wake of a plagiarism scandal.

The government's Islam conference was initiated by former Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in 2006 as an attempt to promote a healthier dialogue with the approximately four million Muslims living in Germany.

DPA/The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:11 March 9, 2011 by derExDeutsche
If the CSU were like Islam, the CSU wouldn't exist. It would be called the FDP.
19:12 March 9, 2011 by fryintl
When I moved to Germany, and lived there for 14 years, I had to integrate. Many spoke English and were helpful, but I didn't bring my American noise with me, loud Rock or radios, I talked softer in restaurants, I became as German as possible- to fit in. The fact that people come to Germany and think that all of Germany must now accept the Burkhas (sp please?) and the imams crying out the call to prayer, this is wrong. If you wish to worship in a different manner than your host country is accustomed to, then you should do so privately. The breakdown of a culture, changing something that works with a society of people who still-for the major part, live in the 6th century with Shria, and their way of life, is being forced by people who hate order, advancement and change.

You can look at Islam from a religious point of view, and say, ok, they feel they are right, and thus have a right to make the change. IF they are such a small minority of the population, why must the majority have to change fro the minority? I know, noe throw words like racist at me. tell me that the minority of blacks in the 60's made a change in the US and we are better for it. I will tell you you are right. They were forced here, they had no choice, and then they had no link with Africa, and so America owed them. Them integrated, they worshipped like AMericans did, they grew into a very important part of our nation and are truly AMerican. they are not walking around like they would be in their native country.

Be careful when you change the status quo, and be sure that what you change will have long term positive effects. Do not just do it because it feels right, as feelings are often wrong. ISLAM is a religion, and as such should be practiced in private. We should not be forced to look at you and see your religion before we see the man or woman. Youhave pride and I am glad, but why shold I change my laws, my expectations of how my society will be based on your immigrant view of what my country will become because you came here voluntarily. No one has a right to change what has made Germany great, and no one has a right to force that change on a majority in the name of Morality and what is right and just. Right and just for who? Make politics by supporting and joining the huddled minorities into on group, but it can never be cohesive, as each group of ethnic minorities often has its own agenda, and your political standing is contingent upon how much they will sacrifice to get what they want
20:30 March 9, 2011 by So36
Somebody needs to lay off the cough syrup. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. So just relax, OK?
21:31 March 9, 2011 by fryintl
So36: This is somethin gthat is so big and important, that I resent your patronizing attitude. Teh fact is, we are all being forced, in most civilized countries around the world, to make accomodations and changes for foreigners. In the US, it is accepting the poor Mexican Illegal (sorry, for you they would be undocumented) aliens and making them legal, making them equal in status to any legal alien, and finding a way to give them free American benefits, and then allowing them to bring in immediate Family as new citizens when they get their citizenship and can petition.

In germany, france and a few other places, people are being asked to accept and pay more tax money for these immigrants- at least many or most are legal-with official status, and then make accomodations for their foreign customs. I know I sound like a racist or xenophobe but really I am not. They come to a country they need to abide by the local customs and laws, not change them for their own comfort-they should have stayed home and built a better place instead of running and makeing another society build their homeland in the new country.

The ignorance of your statement is so petty, and inexcuseable. It is people lik eyou, who make it seem like a triffling inconvenience that takes us to the slippery slope of "once you gave up a right or custom, you never get it back" land.

People have to see these minor attacks on each structured and stable, productive society as an attack on the entire modern functional economy. The food the poor undeveloped countries receives as gifts, the grants and economic aid, come from us, the countries that don't have a huge migration problem. You can't bring us all down to accomodate the poor under provoleged, as they are that way by choice.

You say by choice? Yes, wehn the people in Lybia take over their government, they will take a step to making what they want, unless they give in to the powerful religious zealots, then they will enslave themselves in yet another type of hell.

Wake up before it is too late. Start caring about how you and your future generaltional relatives will survive in the PC world of today/tomorrow. DOn't let the last vestiges of civilization be taken down and back 1000's of years due to soem foreigner's opinion and will of how your country should work.
22:23 March 9, 2011 by beyjee

How can you be taken seriously when you can't even spell? I mean Lybia, really? practice your English first please. Are you even really from the States, with your weird writing "accent"? From where in the States are you from?

Man, do not start throwing words around that you don't even have the slightest clue about. You're touching into too many socio-economic and geo-political layers you can't even begin too elucidate.

Say what, did you just give as a quick history on Black History and the cultural struggle of beleaguered minorities in the United States the land built by immigrants, the land of the First Amendment, the land of Freedom of Religion? Oh no you didn't. Did you just reduce the ancient Mexican population to a bunch of illegals without even mentioning the important social and economic conditions which promoted these types of societal diaspora in the first place.

We all know you have your biases, just don't go masquerading them like they're the truth.
23:11 March 9, 2011 by millg018
beyjee, Do you reside in one of the southern border states and what is your nationality if I may ask?
23:19 March 9, 2011 by beyjee
german, from the northern city-states.
00:06 March 10, 2011 by So36
@ryintl - It must be terrifying to live with all that fear you carry around. The problem is when people let irrational fear turn to hate. Please try to avoid that in your future endeavors.
00:30 March 10, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Welcome to the age of moral equivalence.

Where nobody takes responsibility for their nations misfortunes, it is all just the responsibility and fault of the USA. I guess there is just one solution, in that case ... Immigrate there.
08:24 March 10, 2011 by beyjee
why immigrate when all i have to do is go to the nearest local US AIr force base down the corner to see Americanos out and about.
09:56 March 10, 2011 by idiot
Well, in germany, the bavarians are the foreigners, they also speak barely german.

So before Seehofer declare the christ idiots as german "Leitkultur", he should learn to speak german.

More a kind of spoken language.

"Yam mai, iwust ga net obs scha gwus, a i bin a baya"

10:56 March 10, 2011 by tallady
Comparisons between Christian Nationalities that immigrate to a Christian country is very different that comparing Islamic immigrants to a Christian nation.Islam is not just a religion it is a way of life. The xenophobic point of view that Islam wants to convert the host nation to Islam has not been substantiated as truth here in Germany..There are radicals out there but they do not represent the millions of Muslim followers.The biggest issues are the fears that they do.There is nothing unusual about an immigrant population living in their own enclaves.Most people that tell me the Turks have not integrated are the people that expect them to completely adopt their ways. That in my "opinion" is an unreasonable request. They surely need to accept the ways of the host nation and follow the rules and laws of that nation but they do not need to throw their culture in the trash either.
13:10 March 10, 2011 by idiot
> follow the laws of that nation


And this laws are ok, no need for a change.

> Most people that tell me the Turks have not integrated are the people that expect them to completely adopt their ways

Cmon, not even germans want to integrate between the states and regions. Best example bavaria, they wont speak germa and the rest of the republic dont even want to integrate into this farmer cults in letherpants.

This "conflict" of islamists is spreaded and inventedby the CSU. Do we really need to say anything anymore?

The house partie of a state which are the germans say they arent german.

"Iaaa, äahhh weisswurrrscht" lmao
13:33 March 10, 2011 by Krim
Do we need this kind of discussions. What is the purpose of this new minister by stating that Islam does not belog to German?

Why is he sharing with us his thinking?

Is it beneficial to Bavarians or to muslims living in German.

It is a fact that 3 or 4 millions muslims live in Germany. Some of them would like to practice their religions. As long as they are rspecting the law. That´s it.

Being a muslim is against the German constitution? no

If Germas convert to Islam, it is their right. Some bavarians did convert mister minister. It is their choice.

As an interior minister, the germans are expecting from you to solve real problemes. Not to divert by cultivating hate against muslims.

This does not speak for a visionary politician in a globalized world. You better stay confined in your Bavarian world. Weiß Wurst fressen und bier trinken
14:07 March 10, 2011 by tallady
idiot,,is this your birth name or your statement against denial.
14:13 March 10, 2011 by michaelhol
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:15 March 10, 2011 by idiot
> your statement against denial.

Could you specify it sweetheart? :-*

Where is a lie?


14:34 March 10, 2011 by tallady
you can tell a fool,but you can't tell them much.
14:51 March 10, 2011 by idiot
quote idiot:

> Could you specify it sweetheart? :-*

quote tallady:

> you can tell a fool,but you can't tell them much.

im overwhelmed by these arguments !
14:54 March 10, 2011 by tallady
of course you are any idiot would be.
15:46 March 10, 2011 by idiot
> of course you are any idiot would be.


13:39 March 11, 2011 by mike_1983
this is such a rubbish article!
16:03 March 11, 2011 by scout1067
Has anyone even considered that as a matter of historical fact the Interior Minister is correct in his assertion that there is no historical foundation for Islam in Germany, or indeed in the entirety of Western Europe. There is a history going back to 732 and the Battle of Tours of Europeans trying to keep Islam out though.
00:24 March 12, 2011 by theloudbloke
Wow, I thought the USofA was a secular state, how wrong could I be.

Mind you the first immigrants to North America were a group of extremist christians who could not stand to live with more reasonable people in their own country and so went to 'The New World' to get away from it all. Only to find that the native inhabitants didn't practice their way of life either. Mind you the natives were not so narrow minded, they actually help the immigrants survive the first winter or so. Look where that got us.
03:21 March 23, 2011 by Chicago1996
@fryintl: I get what you are saying. I am German, but I have also lived in Spain, Saudi Arabia, Canada and now the US. Every time I move to another country, I have to conform myself to that country's customs. That is how it should be. You make more friends that way too... This doesn't mean that you have to totally disregard your own culture, but you do have to show some respect for your host nation. When I'm in the US, I act more "American"; and when I'm in Germany, I too have to remember to take my tone of voice down a couple of notches at a restaurant dinner table, so that people don't start looking at me. It is what it is. It is easier to go with the flow than against it. No big deal.
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