German Minister asked for "German Islam"
Muslims in Germany should develop a "German Islam" based on liberalism and tolerance, as the influx of people seeking refuge, many of them Muslims, is a challenge for mainstream society, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Sunday.
Minister urged tolerance, saying the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants required a better understanding among Germans of what is important to them and how they want to live.
During the last year almost 1 million migrants from the Middle East and Africa came to Germany last year, stoking social tensions and boosting support for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has said Islam is not compatible with the constitution.
Schaeuble, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), said: "Without a doubt, the growing number of Muslims in our country today is a challenge for the open-mindedness of mainstream society.""The origin of the majority of refugees means that we will be increasingly dealing with people from quite different cultural circles than previously,"
he said."We should not, in this more tense situation, allow an atmosphere to emerge in which well-integrated people in Germany feel alien,"
the Minister stated.
Despite the rising number of xenophobic attacks in Germany, Schaeuble said he believed the majority of Germans would say: "Yes, we want you to belong to us."
Schaeuble emphasized at an annual conference on Islam last Tuesday that people of all faiths are part of Germany, repeating a view that Merkel voiced in 2015 at the height of the popularity of the anti-Islam PEGIDA grassroots movement.