A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party has demanded ‘hate speech’ laws are deployed against Muslims who attack “infidels” in mosques, as well as those who criticise Islam.
Jens Spahn, 37, is a gay Catholic seen as a rising star on the political right of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), who has even been tipped as a possible future chancellor.
“We have to fight hate speech from the Islamistic side,” Mr. Spahn told The Times.
“Talking about infidels is actually close to a kind of hate speech,” he said. “We have this [hate speech] law but we may not always be enforcing it in the way it should be enforced.”
The lawmaker has previously criticised Mrs. Merkel’s open door immigration policies and called for mosques to be registered.
“Migrants, especially from the Arabic countries and north Africa, frequently pose challenges,” he continued. “The question is how to integrate Islam as an institution and what is going on in mosques.
“Are they talking about infidels? I would say that just this word infidel signifies in itself separation, radicalisation, ‘we are different to you and we are better’.
“That is one root of the problems we have in integration, in all western European countries.”
Germany has some of the western world’s harshest hate speech laws that were designed after World War II to prevent the vilification of certain identity groups.
They are frequently used against people who criticise mass immigration and say provocative things about Islam.
In August of this year, a court found a farmer guilty of hate speech after he described migrants as “filthy people” online after some recent arrivals stole his property. Parts of the Quran, routinely read out in mosques, describe non-Muslims as stupid and “cattle”.
The farmer was convicted of a hate crime and sentenced to a 1,350-euro fine. His lawyers have appealed the fine and legal proceedings are on going.