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Muslims call for imams in the German military

The Local · 13 Jul 2011, 08:29

Published: 13 Jul 2011 08:29 GMT+02:00

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Two of the main umbrella groups representing Germany's estimated 4.3 million Muslims said in remarks published Wednesday that such a move would be a good step forward for integration.

“That would have a great significance for integration,” the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, told the online news portal, News.de.

While Protestants and Catholics have about 90 priests each providing spiritual support to soldiers, there is no Muslim imam or counsellor, even though there are about 1,200 Muslims serving in the Bundeswehr, according to website.

Mazyek called for the issue to be discussed at the next German Islam Conference, which his own group has previously boycotted. It would be a “win-win situation” to have a Muslim spiritual figure in the Bundeswehr.

The chairman of the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany, Ali Kizilkaya, echoed the call, saying: “If the good will is there, it is uncomplicated.”

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He added that such a move would be “a bid for integration.”

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:07 July 13, 2011 by ame64
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:30 July 13, 2011 by adipk
i am waiting for a long discussion on it. Coz whenever they post something related to foreigners or Islam a huge exchange of blogs is observed. So go a head guys but dont be stnpid like first one other wise your post will be removed.
10:08 July 13, 2011 by Lachner
As much as I hate the Muslim religion for their terrorism and hate, I think that if 1,200 Bundeswehr troop members are Muslim they should be given a priest just as the other Christian soldiers. They are already serving Germany and they deserve the same treatment and respect.
10:18 July 13, 2011 by SmittyBoy
Far from being ¦quot;a bid for integration.¦quot;, this is simply further pressure from a group, which has a record of refusal to integrate, to kowtow to their demands. A far more sensible action would be to refuse to acknowledge any religion within the armed forces.
10:31 July 13, 2011 by Asgarli
Do they have Muslim imams in US Army?


Do you really think that Muslims serving in German army are terrorists and haters? :)) Is this how you thank people protecting you?
11:00 July 13, 2011 by Gilly58
Haven't the 1,200 personnel already intergrated by joining the Bundeswehr in the first intance, and doesn't the Bw therefore have it's own welfare system for all of it's personnel?
11:01 July 13, 2011 by marimay
"As much as I hate the Muslim religion for their terrorism and hate..."

You hate them for their hate? Am I the only one seeing the funny in this?
11:02 July 13, 2011 by simski
I don't see why the spiritual counsel in the army shouldn't be replaced by secular counsel. Psychologists are a lot better at counselling then priests, since they spend years studying the human mind, what can go wrong with it and how to intervene.

I'm not saying priests or imams are useless as counsellors, just less useful then psychologists/psychotherapists.

@ Lachner

"As much as I hate the Muslim religion for their terrorism and hate"

I hope you are aware of the irony.
11:04 July 13, 2011 by marimay
Okay, I am not the only one. Haha
11:22 July 13, 2011 by minga
"Do they have priests in the Islamic countries armed forces?"

So is Germany a democracy or a Christian republic? I am not interested in the right wing view, but what the constitution says.
11:24 July 13, 2011 by marimay
A hypocritical Christian Republic.
11:40 July 13, 2011 by Expat IV

Yes, the US military has Muslim chaplains as well as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and, I believe, Wiccan.
12:06 July 13, 2011 by GolfAlphaYankee
"Do they have priests in the Islamic countries armed forces?"

No they don´ t and neither do they have Imams (at least in most of them).

Arab armies are more secular than you think.... but this is also beside the point: does the fact that others practice discrimination give you an excuse to do the same?

we do the Right thing because it´ s Right regardless if others behaves the same or not.
13:34 July 13, 2011 by Persian=Anti-Arabism
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:42 July 13, 2011 by freechoice
have you guys read seen the article on democracy index? most predominent democractic countries top the list are Christians based majority background countries. Guess which religion fails in terms of democracy index? if shrinks can help many people of their problems, we wouldn't need any churches around, wouldn't we? talking about tolerence, where in the world you can find most numbers of mosques outside of Arab countries? can you find the same number of churches in Islamic countries?
14:23 July 13, 2011 by Lachner
@Asgarli - I don't think that all Muslims are terrorists and haters, but there are extremist groups within the Muslim religion that preach terrorism, violence and hate against all non-Muslims and the western civilization. I don't care what they do, but when they kill innocent men, women and children for their stupid cause, that is something that I cannot comprehend and will never support. In my comment I state that I would give Muslims in the Bundeswehr their Imams and that they need to be respected and treated the same way as the other troops. I don't understand why you get so mad at me if I acknowledge that they need to be treated as equals. If you want to neglect the truth about terrorism, violence and hate within the Muslim religion, then you are an ignorant. Also, the Bundeswehr is not protecting me as I am a foreigner studying in Germany and I could care less for them being in Afghanistan.

@Simsky & Marimay - Sorry that came out funny! LOL! English is my second language...so my bad! What I meant is that they preach hate against the western world and against all non-Muslims, since we are considered infidels for not preaching to Allah. Also, I completely despise the way they treat women like cattle.

In general, I don't like the Muslim religion due to their use of terrorism, violence and the way they treat women, but I do think that German troop members that are Muslim should be given the same rights, respect and treatment as the other troops that are Christian. If they are in the Bundeswehr, it is because they care for Germany and are German citizens.
14:27 July 13, 2011 by lunchbreak
Imams in the German military makes perfect sense. Its right in line with the BND's lose of blueprints for their new headquarters. Evidently no one in germany takes security seriously.
15:02 July 13, 2011 by LiberalGuy
The British Royal Navy allowed a Satanist to perform rituals on their vessels, so I don't think Immans in the military is a big deal.

@Feeechoice, considering that most of the worlds Muslims live in the Indian sub continent and South East Asia, I would say those places have the most mosques outside of Arabia. And for the record there are approximately 12- 15 million Christians living in the middle east. Few points. Half live in Egypt, Lebanon is 30% Christian, and Saddam's former foreign minster was christian

People should judge Arabs by Saudi Arabia and Iran alone.(Iranians are Persian anyway)
16:14 July 13, 2011 by moiin
I knew, it become a long discussion!

@Lachner, dude- if someone says by kicking your back/rudely that you should not generalized any particular religion/nation etc. as you believe all are not terrorists and haters but still using "they" then I think you won't like that approach! Do you have any personal contact or know anyone of that particular religion? Did they make your life hell or make any terrorists activities with you? I hope no one will hate your religion/nationality because of your generalization!

A single person or a small group of people do not represent the whole! Actually we are making things difficult, if you or anyone find a problem we should try to solve that in a proper way. Any sort of Hatred is not a proper way!

I appreciate the comments of "GolfAlphaYankee": we do the Right thing because it´ s Right regardless if others behaves the same or not.

16:29 July 13, 2011 by Asgarli

You reside in Germany = You are protected by German army. I see an integration failure here :)

Yes, I do want to neglect hate and violence in Islam, because violence and hate always come from extremist groups, which are bunch of manipulated and uneducated people which take everything to the extremes, no matter whether they call themselves Muslim, Christian or Buddhist. But if you start hating any religion, be it Islam or Christianity, for what extremist do, you will only show your own ignorance.

And just to remind you that there are a lot of counties with Islam being a major religion (you can call them Muslim counties), each with its own traditions and laws, levels of secularization, etc., so you cannot have an opinion to "Muslim way of treating women, violence, etc.". It just does not exist. Like don't tell me that things are same in Germany, US, Colombia and Russia because they are all Christians. I can myself write a book about differences of Russia and the western world.
16:50 July 13, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
Although I see no reason whatsoever for Germany to have an army ( supposedly it is surrounded by friendly nations), there does seem to be a religious problem with having Moslems in the services.

The Islam is, we have heard so often said by Moslems, a religion of peace. It certainly does not allow the killing of other Moslems. Whose side will they then take, if posted into countries where they are expected to shoot to kill?

Of course they would never be placed in this predicament if the Bundeswehr was not being used as a foreign legion for other nations, but as it is, the current German Minister responsible for the armed forces seems to be a bit of a warmonger.
18:41 July 13, 2011 by Asgarli
@Kennneth Ingle

So Germany should rely on those friendly nations to protect its borders? And what about an air strike? :)

Does Germany have the objective of deliberately killing Muslim civilian population? In such case you have a point, but if German army fights terrorist or any other groups that cause risk to our security, be sure that Muslim soldiers will shoot to kill, and they will shoot precisely. And why would they join army anyway, if they don't want follow orders? Besides is it allowed in Christianity to kill another Christian? Or in Buddhism to kill another Buddhist?
19:28 July 13, 2011 by Lachner
@Asgarli - I live and study in Germany temporarily (2 years), so I don't have to integrate beyond learning the language, respecting the culture and abiding the laws of this beautiful country. I already do all those things gladly! Integration is for immigrants that come to Germany to live and work permanently. I'm more of a temporary visitor. With regards to the Bundeswehr protecting Germany, don't make me laugh. This country is protected by the US Army that has a bunch of bases and thousands of troops stationed here.

With regards to having a negative experience with regards to Muslims, I do. I lost friends and family in Tower 1 of the WTC on September 11th, 2001. Is that enough reason for me to hate the Muslim religion? You can say whatever you want with regards to the Muslim religion, but the bottom line is that innocent people die every day for their idiotic cause and I don't comprehend or accept that. I have already mentioned twice that not all Muslims are terrorists, so I don't get it why you are getting so angry. I respect other religions and cultures, but whenever other cultures or religions affect my way of life or kill my friends and family, then I absolutely will have something against them. Also, I do have many friends here in Germany that are from Tunisia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkey that are Muslims and I have no problems with them whatsoever or hate them just for their religion. I just hate what the religion preaches and its byproduct (terrorism). I just pray to God that Germany does not have to experience the tragedy that Americans suffered with 9/11 in NYC and Washington or the Spaniards with 11-M in Madrid.
21:12 July 13, 2011 by moiin
@Lachner, sorry to hear the loss in 9/11. Actually no one is angry on you! Only the point is, you do not see the other side of the coin! Are you sure that all innocent people who die every day because of a specific religion? If not, why are you not blaming others? If people think the same as you do then no one can stop the violence. Just an example, consider Iraq or Afganistan or even Germans- shouldn't they hate all Americans if they think as similar as you? And I doubt whether you really know what any religion preaches (don't be confused to see only the news paper headline). Hatred feeling is not a proper treatment!
01:16 July 14, 2011 by lunchbreak
>> Actually no one is angry with you.
08:58 July 14, 2011 by Lachner
@Molin - Thanks for your words! I understand what you are saying, but it is hard to comprehend a religion that has killed your family and friends for the sake of a cause that is moronic. I don't blame the Muslim culture in general, just the fact that their religion causes such a terrible byproduct that affects innocent people. For you it is easy to say that we must comprehend Muslims and look for peace and so on, but when you lose family and friends, that all goes down the drain. Ask the other families and friends of the 2,753 people that lost their lives on 9/11 what they think about the Muslim religion and you will get a similar answer.

With regards to the Muslims in Iraq or Afghanistan hating the US, Germany or NATO, it is different. They hate the countries and their governments for sending troops there, but our religion does not preach us to go to war or kill innocents for the sake of our God and to kill all infidels. As a matter of fact we are there to free those countries from oppression. Sure, there are other ulterior motives that the governments might have, but in the end we are seeking the common good and that is what is important.
12:23 July 14, 2011 by Asgarli
@Lachner, I am very sorry to hear your loss :(. However I believe that this still does not give you the right to hate any religion based on byproducts, especially the byproducts that are brainwashed so much to do suicide bombings (suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam). And moiin said everything right.

Regarding the integration, there is a difference between study permits given in US and Germany. US explicitly labels students (F1 visa) as non-immigrant, gives you almost no working rights, and expects them to leave immediately after you complete studies, and the years spend in US studying count towards nothing. In Germany however you are given a residence permit, which also allows you to partially work, and moreover the years spent studying count full towards naturalization (at least in Hessen, I am not sure about other lands), and half towards getting a permanent residence. Additionally finishing a German university gives you a right to naturalize in 6 years of residence in Germany, instead of normal 8.
15:01 July 14, 2011 by Englishted
Hate may be to stronger word .

I would say I am fundamentally opposed to Islam ,it is against everything I believe from freedom of expression (Danish Cartoons) to Woman's rights ,in fact every freedom I hold with .

Therefore I do not wish to have it imposed on myself ,my family, my country ,my Continent.

I don't tell people what they can eat and drink and only wish that respect back .

When Islam gives me these requests then I may revise my opinion till then I stand by my opposition.
18:42 July 14, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I am pretty sure that if you're next to me in a fox hole, and we're taking a pounding from a 2S19 battery, with shrapnel flying all over the place, the wounded screaming, blood flowing out of our ears, and every third man down, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with you having received whatever religious guidance that you need in order to be at peace enough to stand up, get on the radio, and relay coordinates for a strike package to blow that thing to Kingdom Come.

Just because we're not fighting a war, that doesn't mean we don't need to recognize the potential needs of the people that we would be asking to fight it. Especially now that we have an all-volunteer army.
20:59 July 14, 2011 by moiin
Lachner, The other side of the coin says, ask the families and friends of the million people who lost their lives in the so called "peace war" in Iraq, Afganistan, Lebanon.... (a side note, there are plenty of videos which explain 9/11 from different angle- made by native Americans)! Probably they also think as similar as you do! If all say, "it is different" from their point of view then how can we expect a solution!

And "freedom of expression" does not mean to hurt someone unnecessarily! We should respect each other.

Anyway, people can debate as long as they want concerning which came first "egg or hen". I believe its time to stop this "hatred" trend and make this world a better place!
01:11 July 15, 2011 by funshy
guys out here becareful what to say when it comes to religion,peharps you have failed to realise that half the problem of the world today is basically a religion thing.
17:40 July 15, 2011 by Englishted

What do you mean only half?
20:28 July 15, 2011 by rick86
I think putting muslims in any military in any capacity is dangerous and the Americans expierience would seem to support that. Thier aim is an Islamic world and don't be foolish enough to think they owe any loyalty to the country they live in.
21:02 July 15, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
@ Englishted

Agreed. I am also fundamentally opposed to Islam for their stance on those issues of repriving rights to certain group who don't think the same way they do. It seems that restrictions are placed on Islamic women almost on a whim. Religious interpretation can be a dangerous thing.
21:50 July 15, 2011 by Englishted
@Jack Kerouac

Yes, Jack a very dangerous thing.
23:22 July 15, 2011 by MarshaLynn
Oh yeah, put them in the military, just like we had that Muslim in our military at Ft. Hood, Texas -- he killed a bunch of people while yelling allah akbar.
00:02 July 16, 2011 by rick86
14:22 July 20, 2011 by Amini
@Lachner and all other "generalizers":

so for me being Jewish I guess I should start blaming the Christian world and Germany for killing my grandparents. yeah? (oh silly me, the Germans actually voted Hitler to power! and supported the killing of the jews)

It's funny how people can get trapped in and instant flow of emotions and/or change their view wherever the majority goes. I guess that's called the tyranny of he majority.
19:19 April 15, 2012 by bambolero
are they ready to blow them self up? in front of the enemy?
19:21 April 15, 2012 by bambolero
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