Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas De Maizière, has just announced that he is “ready to discuss” recognition of Islamic holidays in regions of the country which already have become Muslim-dominant. Federal recognition is not yet on the agenda, but likely could come at a later time.
TruthRevolt (h/t Marvin W) Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière has kicked up a hornet’s nest by suggesting the introduction of Muslim public holidays in the country. “I am ready to discuss whether we can introduce a Muslim holiday,” De Maizière, a senior member of Merkel’s current cabinet, said at a country’s ruling Christian Democratic Party’s (CDU) event on Tuesday.
Minister Maizière came short of calling for a nationwide Muslim holiday, but supported the idea having Islamic holidays in the regions with strong Muslim presence.
German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reported German Interior Minister’s comments: Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière’s statement about Muslim holidays caused a stir. It is already being heatedly debated on the internet.
“I am ready to discuss whether we can introduce a Muslim holiday. It could very well be done,” said the Christian Democratic politician at a CDU party event.
After all, there are regions in Germany where [the Catholic festival of] All Saints’ Day is celebrated and in other regions where it isn’t, said the Minister. “Why can’t one consider [introducing] a Muslim holiday in places where there are many Muslims?” De Maizière added.
In recent years, Muslim groups have been calling for the recognition of Islamic holidays. Introducing a Muslim holidays in German states or regions with a large Muslim population, as Interior Minister De Maizière is suggesting, will mean closing state government and municipal offices, along with all schools, shops and non-Muslim businesses to mark of Islamic religious festivals.
The German Interior Minister’s statement might have caused an uproar in some quarters within Germany, but he is simply taking Chancellor Merkel’s policy of open doors for migrants — predominantly men from Arab and Muslim countries — to its logical conclusion.
WELT The large Turkish community has been calling for official Muslim holidays in Germany. “That would be an important signal to the Muslim population,” says the National Chairman Kenan Kolat in Berlin. As an example he cites the Festival of Sacrifice (EID, where Muslims slaughter conscious animals in the streets), one of the most important Islamic festivals.
Kolat called for the use of Muslim chaplains in the army, prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. The same was also demanded by the Central Council of Muslims. Kolat said in these facilities it is important to use more to Muslims, such as in the preparation of halal food.
De Maiziere reiterated in a report an interview with the Turkish-language daily newspaper “Hürriyet”, after many discussions with the Islamic Conference that in the future, Muslim organizations should have a bigger say in rules and laws.
Following the statement of the former German President Christian Wulff that “Islam is part of Germany,” de Maiziere said now: “Muslims belong to Germany.
Muslim organizations have praised de Maizière’s change of course. The Secretary General of the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers, Seyfi Ögütlü, said: “It is important that the Minister will open a new chapter.”
DITIB board member Bekir Alboga called de Maizière’s move as “a good sign”. This show an appropriate attitude towards Islamic religious communities. “It’s a different tone and a different approach than its predecessor.”
Native Germans and Christians are already a minority in many inner-city kindergartens and schools. In 2015, more than 33 percent of the children attending schools in Germany had “foreign roots,” the German Federal Statistical Office confirmed. And that was before Chancellor Merkel threw open her country’s borders to illegal migrants.
If Merkel’s policy of open doors stays in place, Germany will soon get plenty of Muslim holidays and much more.