BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 06: Members of the Bundestag debate legislation that will afford liberties to people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid 19 and those who have recovered from the illness during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic on May 06, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The liberties include not having to have a recent Covid test in order to go shopping or visit a hair salon and not to be confined by current curfews. Infection rates in Germany are falling and approximately 30% of the population has received a first vaccine dose. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
by Soeren Kern
- The policy paper, “Preserving Free Society, Promoting Social Cohesion, Fighting Political Islamism,” which whole-heartedly commends law-abiding Muslims who respect Germany’s democratic order, argues that the debate about Islamism in Germany is often reduced to violence and terror, but that it is necessary to focus more on ideology. The proposals include improving research and analysis of political Islam in Europe and the methods by which it spreads; banning the foreign funding of mosques; and reducing the number of foreign imams active in Germany.
- “Focusing only on the violent part of Islamism, Islamist terrorism, does not do justice to the overall problem…. This political Islamism, which ostensibly acts non-violently, but stirs up hatred, agitation and violence and strives for an Islamic order in which there is no equality, no freedom of opinion and religion and also no separation of religion and state, has spread far and wide in parts of our society.” — CDU/CSU policy paper.
- “We owe the fight against political Islamism not only to our free-democratic ideals and values, but also to most of the Muslims in Germany who share these ideals with us and want to live with us on their basis. Because it is precisely liberal, secular Muslims who are victims of this illiberal, anti-democratic ideology. Those who publicly oppose political Islamism and its strategies are particularly at risk.” — CDU/CSU policy paper.
- “These politically extremist, non-violent groups aim to establish an order according to their Islamist ideas by actively preventing integration, dividing Western societies into ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers,’ rejecting equality and religious freedom…. They use democratic structures to undermine and ultimately abolish democracy.” — CDU/CSU policy paper.
- “The present focus on groups prepared to use violence has led to disregarding the ideological justification of violence. These politically extremist, non-violent groups aim to establish an order based on their Islamist ideas by actively preventing integration, dividing Western societies into ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers,’ rejecting equality and religious freedom, and alienating Muslim youth from Western societies. They use democratic structures to undermine and ultimately abolish democracy.” — CDU/CSU policy paper.
- “Religious extremism doesn’t come out of nowhere. On the contrary, it thrives in isolated parallel worlds that have nothing in common with our values. We urgently need to shed light on this and not only wake up when violence erupts.” — Bundestag Member Nina Warken, Integration Commissioner, CDU/CSU parliamentary group.
- The German-Moroccan author Sineb El Masrar, in an interview with the public radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur, said that the policy paper is clearly directed against “reactionary, Islamist organizations” and “that it is not aimed at all Muslims, but at those with a radical agenda.”
- “Islamists are not interested in democracy. On the contrary. They reject democracy because they only consider politics to be legitimate if it follows regulations that adhere to the politics of Mohammed in the 7th century. — Susanne Schröter, Islam scholar, Die Tagespost.
- “The decisive question is to what extent imams are willing and able to explain that these warlike verses and suras are only to be considered in their historical context and that they no longer have any meaning today, i.e. in principle could be deleted…. It should be added that the implementation of the strategy is only possible if, for example, mosque communities or Muslims as a whole are willing to actively contribute, because they understandably know the segregation efforts of many association representatives much better and more closely than most German observers.” — Bundestag Member Hans-Jürgen Irmer, member of the Interior Committee, CDU/CSU parliamentary group.