A senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party says the German government should record and spy on the content of speeches in German mosques.
Christian Democratic Union MP Volker Kauder (pictured above, talking to Chancellor Merkel) has said that he wants the government to be more active and aware of what imams are preaching in German mosques.
“We need to talk about that fact that in some mosques sermons are given that don’t chime with our understanding of the role of the state,” he said in an interview with Berliner Zeitung.
In the interview Kauder was questioned about the policies of his government and what role it should have in combating radicalism among Muslims. He told the paper that Germany is a country “in which religion doesn’t take precedence over the state, but vice versa. This may be different in Islamic states. In Germany, the state sets the rules.”
He compared the duty of Muslims to fight against Islamic radicalisation to the German experience with Nazism saying, “just as we as German a responsibility to ensure that Germany never returns to Fascism, we must confront neo-Nazi tendencies. So too Muslims are to stand firm against radicalisation and terrorism.”
Kauder spoke of the need to have a balanced approach when it came to dealing with the topic of integration. He said that Germany must look at certain issues critically saying: “We need to talk about why many Muslim girls are forbidden by their families to participate in swimming lessons. One must also note that many boys just can be missing from the Muslim culture a respect for teachers.”
Many conservative politicians have taken harder line responses to the migration crisis since the rise of anti-migration parties like the Alternative for Germany which won huge gains in local elections and the Freedom Party in Austria whose Presidential candidate Norbert Hofer trounced the establishment in first round voting.
Andreas Scheuer of the CDU has proposed that the best way to counter radical Imams is to cut foreign funding. In order for Muslim worshippers to self fund their mosques he proposed a “Muslim tax” where mosques would be able to tax their worshipers directly.
When asked about Scheuer’s proposal to force Imams to speak German during services Kauder took a softer approach saying: “I do not demand that all imams speak German,” adding, “for Italians the Holy Mass is also offered in Italian. In the synagogues they pray in Hebrew.”
Many Germans worry about the ability for the government to deal with Islamic radicalisation in the wake of revelations that one of the pair of teens who bombed a Sikh Temple had been enrolled in a “Salafist prevention” programme. Though there was criticism of the program, Northwest Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Ralf Jäger said that there was still a need for it. He said they had over 4600 requests by parents and teachers for the program to help prevent radicalisation of Muslim youths.