A German lawmaker and member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet has sparked uproar by proposing the observance of Muslim public holidays.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a rally in Lower Saxony he was open to the idea of discussing the addition of Muslim religious holidays to the German calendar. His call comes less than two years after Chancellor Merkel said: “Islam belongs to Germany.”
“Where there are many Muslims why shouldn’t we consider a Muslim holiday,” the interior minister said. He also questioned whether or not the Christian basis of German society was sustainable in the modern context.
“I do not know whether you can tell your children fluently what is the religious content of penance and prayer. Or Pentecost, if you know very well what was going on with the Holy Spirit?
“And yet our whole life rhythm was shaped by the Sundays and holidays.”
The proposal, contained in a speech posted in an audio clip on local news website regionalwolfsburg.de, prompted a backlash from fellow conservatives, who are due to start tricky three-way coalition talks with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens next week.
Senior CDU member Wolfgang Bosbach told the newspaper Bild that everyone in Germany could celebrate whatever religious festivals they wanted but added: “Whether the state should also protect non-Christian holidays with legal regulation in future is a different issue entirely.”
Alexander Dobrindt, a senior figure in the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s CDU – told the same newspaper that Germany’s Christian heritage was non-negotiable, adding: “We won’t consider introducing Muslim public holidays in Germany.”
As Breitbart London has reported, the increasing number of Muslims flooding Germany as a result of Chancellor Merkel’s open door immigration policies is driving a wedge through both politics and society.
A University of Leipzig study has shown Germans are increasingly rejecting Islam. Half of respondents said the huge influx of Muslims has left them feeling like strangers in their own country. Two years ago such sentiments were felt by 43 per cent, and in 2009 less than one in three agreed.
In January 2015, Angela Merkel declared that “Islam belongs to Germany” but increasing numbers of German people disagree. Only 13 per cent agreed with this statement while the vast majority opposed it. More than 40 per cent felt Muslims should be prohibited from migrating to Germany.
Some 4.4 million Muslims, many from the nation’s ethnic Turkish community, live in Germany, which has a total population of about 80.6 million.
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