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German Chancellor tells people to openly support Christian values
In the wake of Muslim immigration issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said recently that Germany’s problem is not “too much Islam,” but “too little Christianity,” and said people should give more importance to their Christian values and heritage.
In her address to the Christian Democratic Union party, which she heads, she said that amid the failure of opposition leftist-approved multiculturalism, there is a window of opportunity for the ruling party to stand up for its convictions, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters Merkel said, “We don’t have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity. We have too few discussions about the Christian view of mankind.”
She also cited the need for public dialogue “about the values that guide us (and) about our Judeo-Christian tradition. We have to stress this again with confidence, then we will also be able to bring about cohesion in our society,” Reuters reported.
The issue of Muslim integration came to a fore through a bestseller by Thilo Sarrazin, formerly with the board of Bundesbank. In his controversial book, Deutschland Shafft Sich ab, (Germany does away with itself), Sarrazin said Germany is dumbing down culturally, biologically and professionally, The Economist reported.
Sarrazin blamed this on the shrinking population of the country, the fact that the lower class and immigrants are having too many children, and because there are too few native, well educated Germans, The Economist said.
Although Germany’s economy is performing very well right now, for Sarrazin, these factors do not bode well for the country’s future. His book sparked a strong anti-immigrant line against some 16 million immigrants, including four million Muslims, The Economist reported.
Sarrazin noted that many immigrants drop out of school and live on welfare, with some forming “parallel societies,” and a few who “actively plot harm against their German neighbors,” according to The Economist.
Amid this scenario, Merkel appears to be seeking a middle road compared to more conservative allies who would like to stop the inflow of immigrants from Muslim countries and would like to place more emphasis on integrating immigrants who are already in the country into German society, Reuters said.
German President Christian Wulff, who is a Christian Democrat, worsened the controversy when he said Islam “belongs to Germany,” Reuters said. However, when he visited Turkey recently he also reminded them that Christianity has a place in Turkey, The Economist said.
According to The Economist, German business is eager for more immigration and is not concerned where it comes from so long as the people have useful skills. Currently, the government is fashioning a law to facilitate recognition of the professional qualifications of hundreds of thousands of immigrants so that they won’t just be “cleaning houses.”
Merkel has been strident in her commentary on immigration of late, but has carefully avoided the harder line of the Christian Social Union which is the CDU’s Bavarian party ally, according to Reuters.
Merkel seeks to pass a resolution to stress the Judeo-Christian roots of German identity, and the ancient Enlightenment philosophy that is part of the country’s history, according to Reuters.
Opponents say this could marginalize Islam, Reuters said. Merkel disagreed, however. The cultural identity of Germany would not limit religious freedom. At the same time, the principle of religious freedom must apply equally for Christians who are minorities in Muslim countries, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, Merkel said, “Of course, we’re for freedom to practice one’s faith. But that also means religious freedom cannot stop at our borders. That applies also for Christians in other countries around the world.”