Germany: Merkel Says Islam Belongs To Germany, Just Like Other Faiths

From Anadolu Agency:
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday rebuffed comments by her interior minister claiming Islam did not belong to Germany, saying the religion of four million of its citizens was part of the country just like Christianity and Judaism.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Swedish Premier Stefan Lofven in Berlin, Merkel underlined the significance of Christianity and Judaism in the country’s history, and highlighted that Islam too was part of the country’s culture.

“Our country is largely shaped by Christianity, and it continues to be so,” Merkel said, adding that Judaism had also been significant in the country’s history and culture.

“But now four million Muslims are living in Germany, and they are practicing their religion here.

“These Muslims belong to Germany, and also their religion of Islam belongs to Germany,” she said.

Her remarks contradicted remarks of Horst Seehofer, the country’s new interior minister, who has chaired Merkel’s sister party, the CSU, for 10 years.

“Islam does not belong to Germany. Germany is characterized by Christianity,” Seehofer told German daily Bild on Friday.

“Muslims who are living here of course belong to Germany. But of course that doesn’t mean because of that we would make false considerations and give up our country-specific traditions and customs,” he said….

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