Do Muslims agree with child marriages

Does Islam belong to Germany? - The opposite of well-intentioned

It has now been ten years since the then Federal President Christian Wulff said a sentence that still flies around the Union's ears today: "Islam belongs to Germany". The argument about it continues to this day, but what did it bring? Seyran Ates on a debate that goes in circles.

Can one be a devout Muslim and still be a member of the majority society? / dpa

Author info

Seyran Ateş works as a lawyer and publicist. She is the founder of the liberal Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin.

How to reach Seyran Ateş:

The sentence: “Islam belongs to Germany” says a lot and nothing at all, even after ten years. As I understand it, it is still a political statement like in the book “Politics for Dummies”. Generic, hasty and provocative. It was and remains quite ambitious that a European statesman has actually tried to establish a decentralized religion that demonstrably did not originate in Europe, with 1.8 billion followers, without theological hierarchies and with a nearly 1,400-year-old holy book as a point of reference to summarize in such a simple way.

I believe our former Federal President Wulff, with whom I was able to speak personally several times, that he wanted to formulate a positive intention with this sentence, which was aimed at promoting the social inclusion of the Muslim population and supporting immigration efforts.

Well-intentioned is far from being good

In addition, I am sure that it was even a well-intentioned attempt to give German Muslims a feeling of belonging and at the same time to show them the appreciation of the Federal Republic. Well-intentioned is by no means good, because Wulff unintentionally hit the stake at the same time for a black-and-white debate that has been going on for ten years now.

The “Islam question” is like a political minefield. Not least before election campaigns, journalists are tempted to ask: “Does Islam belong to Germany or not?” When today's Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, who is definitely not one of my favorite politicians when it comes to Islam, declared that he disagreed with the assumption agreed that “Islam belongs to Germany”, the excitement was great again, and of course no one was interested in the rest of the sentence: “But Muslims do it”. Right at the beginning of his term in office, Seehofer was stamped as an Islamophobe, and according to Green politicians like Jürgen Trittin, Seehofer consciously tried to divide the population. Unfortunately, the problem with this discussion is the discussion itself.

Why does the number 4.8 million matter?

There are said to be 4.8 million Muslim Germans, or Muslims in Germany, whom one wants to do justice to because of their growing number. This is a very noble attitude. But already at this point the discussion gets a bit slanted. The exact number itself and its recording are more than worthy of criticism. The population register was used and all people from Islamic countries were recorded as Muslims. This is followed by the next irritation. Why does it depend on the number of Muslims whether Muslims and their religion are rated as part of a country?

With said statement one simply cannot initiate a discussion about Islam in Germany. You kill it before it starts. The overwhelming majority of Muslims live day in and day out legally, more or less hard-working, absolutely peaceful and completely inconspicuous in the midst of all the other people living here. Some of them go to mosques on Fridays, others don't. What we cannot deny, however, is that Muslim parallel societies have emerged in which problems exist and out of which problems arise. I have been pointing this out for years. Identifying problems does not mean opposing a religion or ethnic group, but rather seriously trying to find solutions. Here is another attempt to explain:

Problem 1: Unfortunately, we don't know the problem enough. Austria has just launched a documentation center for political Islam. This documentation center is available from Prof. Dr. Mouhanad Khorchide presented a scientist working in Germany. It is about creating an awareness of the problem which structures political Islam unfolds in society. A similar facility is urgently needed in this country. It's not about "Islam bashing" as the hardliners accuse it of. The point is to make certain problems and unacceptable behavior visible so that a political reaction can be taken, and that is completely legitimate in a constitutional state.

Problem 2: There is no longer any question that a tyrant from the Bosporus named Erdogan is trying to use every vehicle of power in Europe that is available to him in a targeted manner for his benefit. This primarily helps him when he needs a pledge against the EU or Germany. From this point of view, the cooperation with the Ditib and its associations can only be seen as a bad joke. Of course, these mosques are “politically charged”, not all of them - but too many. Courageous politicians must fight the way out of this situation. Relentless and open. If there are no more Ditib cooperations in the education sector, we have to solve Islamic religious instruction differently. It will be possible.

Problem 3: Financing from abroad. The book “Qatar Papers”, which was translated into German by French journalists, was recently translated into German in Germany. It is no surprise that the Gulf state supports numerous associations in addition to prestige projects such as the “House of One” in this country. But all of them, with a few exceptions, have a pronounced closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood and their vision of a political Islam. I say it very clearly - these associations should be dissolved and their educational institutions closed. It is frustrating to watch how one mosque after the other is being pounded out of the ground by well-known Muslim Brotherhoods and how the political elite tosses the potato of authority or gives up.

Problem 4: The breakpoints in integration are of course education and language acquisition. I won't go into depth here, but in every study on integration there is an undisputed statement that language acquisition is the key to integration. It is also the key to social discourse and participation.

Political Leadership in France - A Warning Or A Providence?

The hitherto moderate President Emmanuel Macron has finally decided to launch a tough offensive against political Islam and the creation of parallel societies. It seems as if he suddenly recognized the impending danger that has arisen from a security situation that has been tense for decades and an almost uncontrollable situation in many suburbs. In an address on October 2, the French President presented his plan to combat "Islamic separatism" and announced his intention to "free Islam in France from foreign influence."

He said the country would end a system that allows imams to be trained overseas like Morocco, Turkey or Algeria in order to work in France afterwards and promised to take control of foreign religious funding from Islamic institutions in France .

The German Islam debate is turning in circles

"The goal in France," said Macron, is to train and promote a generation of imams and intellectuals who defend an Islam that is fully compatible with the values ​​of the republic. "Also the illegitimate" schools "that The president wants to turn the tap off.From January 2021, home education will be strictly limited and schooling will be compulsory from the age of three to prevent any influence on the youth.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether these ambitious announcements will be implemented politically. One thing has to be left to Macron, however - he has shown that he understands the problem and he is suggesting concrete action. Whether this turnaround will come in time for France is, of course, another question. In any case, it should be noted for Germany that we are simply not getting anywhere with the Islamic debate as we have been leading it up to now.

More leadership, less populism

We must learn to differentiate appropriately, sensibly, and seriously. While this may be difficult in a daily media frenzy driven by showmanship, it is necessary. If we have learned anything from Covid-19, it is that politics can in principle also solve difficult and complex problems. The subject of political Islam is just as much, so for the “anniversary” of the question, “Does Islam belong to Germany, yes or no?”, I would like to have only one thing - courageous politics with more “leadership” and less populism.

Walter Bühler | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 12:51 pm

... would think just as clearly and sensibly in Germany as Ms. Ates, then we could really all be happy. But why is it so difficult for the majority of our politicians to think for themselves before they submit to one of the cheap mainstream opinions that are circulating in the media?
Ms. Ates, you are right: we need more leadership and less populism.

Christa Wallau | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 11:31 am

In reply to When Islamic and non-Islamic politicians ... by Walter Bühler

... but we will neither get more "leadership" nor less "populism". From who???
Does anyone seriously believe that the expected Red-Black government will soon approach the great problem of Islamism in the spirit of Mrs. Ates?
The Greens will know how to prevent this, and in the CDU there is no one in sight who is realism and courage in this area.

When it comes to dealing with Islam, German society is divided. If even the Christian churches advocate the "cuddling course" here, where is a majority supposed to come from, which calls for a more decisive, clearer and harder handling of any orthodox-Islamic influence on our country?
I expect things will only get as bad in Germany as they have been in France for a long time before something happens in this matter. But then it will be far too late for any balanced, just action!
Only brutal measures are then still possible ...

Dirk Jackel | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 12:52 pm

Well, we Germans tend to have a neurotic obsession with cleanliness (Freud's anal character). It must not be that we agree to things that are even remotely seen by political opponents - fear of contamination. As a regressive leftist (as a Merkel Union anyway) one prefers to betray all possible ideals of the Enlightenment. So, dear Ms. Ates: I am very pessimistic about the German willingness to defend our values ​​against clerical-fascist tendencies. Incidentally, I do not agree with you on one point: I do not see why there should be denominational religious instruction in a secular school (I am with French laicism - and for once with the SED / PDS / Left Party). Here I am for a GG change.

Holger Juerges | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 2:43 pm

... of development, was the saying "Islam belongs to Germany" for the covertly operating Islamic institutions (DITIB etc.) in the country. - And so these words were just as devastating as Merkel's "We can do this", which profoundly shook reason-based thinkers in their profound effect.
By itself, Mr Wulff's sentence insists a naive belief in the thought: "Everything is - everything will be - good".

The apodictic behavior of political Islam has it easy in democratic systems afflicted with volantile weaknesses. - And the paradox of tolerance, which is far from the zeitgeist and paradoxically inherent, has long since infiltrated the cities.

It takes sensible people like Ms. Seyran Ateş who clearly explain what has been going wrong in the country for a long time and also what that said, rather annoying, media vortex is unable to: create a plan for the future that will do justice to everyone - including those who have lived here for a long time .

Gerhard Lenz | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 6:22 pm

In reply to Grist to the mill, by Holger Jürges

as AfD voters. And most of these Muslims live here quite inconspicuously, without arguing for any global triumph of Islam.
What has long been everyday life cannot be nagged away in forums, no matter how hard blood and soil fanatics are. Mr. Wulff only said what has long since become reality.

However, it is a tradition in Germany to condemn people because of their religious affiliation. In the past you simply invented some alleged character traits, today you look for a few completely real examples and apply them to an entire religious group.

And then all Muslims are fundamentalist religious warriors who have nothing else in mind than to enslave Christian or atheist Germans.

If you lump all those of different faiths together, you shouldn't be surprised if those who are so vilified become radicalized.

Greetings from Pegida.

Reinhold Schramm | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 11:47 am

In reply to There are more Muslims in our country, by Gerhard Lenz

Even with a turnout of around 50 percent, more than 60 percent opted for AKP Islamism.

The majority of the so-called non-voters with their abstention are behind the AKP and its fascist partner in Turkey, the gray wolves.

The vast majority of the population with a Turkish migration background, without Kurdish migrants, even in possession of German citizenship, stands on the side of the Islamic regime of Turkey.

As a result, there is also no Muslim-migrant majority for the bourgeois-democratic social order in Germany.

Civil education is rejected, as is equality for women.

PS: Tribal and family clans prefer traditional jurisdiction and reject civil justice and jurisdiction in Germany.

Winfried Müller | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 12:55 pm

In reply to There are more Muslims in our country, by Gerhard Lenz

again a wonderful example of how the discussion is conducted here. Instead of exchanging views on the topic (here: Political Islam, political influence in Germany, e.g. by the Muslim Brotherhood), allegations and replies to these allegations are made.
A meaningful discussion is not possible at all. Maybe that's the intention too.

Maik Harms | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 2:53 p.m.

If you criticize Islam you immediately get to hear that "Islam" does not exist and that Muslims themselves are not responsible for, for example, IslamIST terrorism.
Former Federal President Wulff is being celebrated by the same people for portraying "Islam" as being anchored in Germany.

So you always interpret the talk of "Islam" as you like it. On the one hand, this prevents undesirable developments in Memplex Islam from being addressed as such at all. On the other hand, the "world religion" Islam is idealized, its fundamental (!) Differences to the other doctrines and also their diversification are ignored.

This gives you the chance to be able to speak objectively and comprehensively about Islam - in teaching and practice. There are only slogans and accusations.

Bernhard K. Kopp | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

In reply to the contradiction by Maik Harms

Just in these days Mr. Wulff was allowed to repeat his "Islam belongs to Germany" and justify it as it was then. The program is broadcast several times at different times of the day. For a differentiated insight that back then, 10 years ago, this was and is perhaps well meant, but not thought through to the end, there is no trace. There is no trace that "Islam", the Umma, is not a church, but a political-cultural ideology with a global claim to power, and is not just a religion like some others.

Heidrun Schuppan | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 5:19 pm

In reply to Wulff at the Phoenix interview by Bernhard K. Kopp

that back then, 10 years ago, this was perhaps well meant, but not completely thought through, no trace. "- Something like an intellectual leadership is needed for a differentiated insight, and no politician here has that. because it is easier than to be against an established opinion. To deal critically with the topic would mean work. Would mean to meet resistance (see A. Mayzek, who immediately took the "racism club out of his pocket." would fetch) - and the "intellectual leadership" would quickly be very quiet again with us.Do you fear a riot? No, just a contradiction - and none of our elites like that.

Jens Böhme | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 3:52 pm

4.8 million Muslims in Germany are exaggerated. Because I'm white and don't wear a headscarf, I'm still a long way from being a Christian. It is assumed that there are around 1.8 million practicing Muslims in Germany. The others are more or less close to cultural Islam in its manners in public and in the family. Just as I, as a believer without a denomination, or the baptized or confirmed Christians who no longer want to see a church from the inside according to this rite, are cultural Christians who support the manners of togetherness in public and family of the Christian western world. If you approach the matter like that, you will see, get to know and accept many more cultural Muslims as neighbors.

Fritz Elvers | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 4:16 pm

Islam has long been part of Germany or German society.

However, it does not belong to the constitutional state, any more than Christianity or any other religion.
It is interesting how Wulff should be dealt with malicious allegations for this handout.

Hubert Sieweke | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 10:38 pm

In reply to Obviously by Fritz Elvers

miles past the topic. Your ideas change when situations like those in France are reached here. Unfortunately, we don't have a Macron or a Le Penn, but almost nothing in the government, especially when toughness and realism are required.
Although Mr. Wulff is a lawyer, he has portrayed himself as an ignorant apologist and naive spokesman. I cannot say whether he is spending more holidays in Turkey.

Karl Müller | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 10:24 am

In reply to Obviously by Fritz Elvers

Definitely a diagnosis that requires an appointment to the medical officer. The fact that politicians do not want to give up "religion" as an instrument of manipulation is shown in their cross-party adherence to the fascist concordat.

Heidemarie Heim | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 4:42 pm

As I see it, dear Ms. Ates, we are currently moving further away from the point of being able to initiate a discourse with the necessary "will to differentiate"! In every company one would say: "We lack the staff for this" or "No further training measures have been taken".
As with many other "hot potatoes" one deals with problems of political correctness, correct attitude, etc. with verve and active assistance from one's own media.
Although I have largely given up, I would like to put a copy of each of your articles published here on the table of every politician and our MPs with a request for a reply! All the best and please stay tuned! Kind regards

Klaus Peitzmeier | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 6:13 pm

Islam reveals itself all over the world as a backward, intolerant, politically and religiously extremist system.
It is a mystery to me why one can even consider that this religion, which wants to enforce the claim to sole representation, can be in conformity with the Basic Law through harmful religion. Politicians who belittle this striving and tolerate that foreign, dictatorial powers are allowed to romp around with us, are for me enemies of the Basic Law and a free German state.
I don't see the anti-democratic difference between a neo-Nazi and a fanatical Islamist. Both want to undermine the Basic Law and democracy and establish a dictatorship.
It's always the same knitting pattern. For decades people are belittled and played down. In the end, all that remains is self-abandonment or a brutal argument. You don't have to have a lot of fanatics to see that.

Manfred Sunday | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 6:31 pm

I see it in a similar way to Ms. Seyran Ateş. From the quote "We can do it" there is nothing left but a hollow phrase. As long as we in Germany do not put the following conclusion from Hamed Abdel-Samad in the book "Aus Liebe zu Deutschland" into practice, we will not come to a conclusion: "Never again bondage, never again paternalism, never again censorship and muzzles, no matter from Whether a right-wing activist, an antifa activist or an Islamic official: the same rules should apply to everyone. Just as a white German should not be privileged from the outset because of his skin color, neither is a Muslim, a leftist or a right wing are neither privileged nor discriminated because of their religious or ideological ideas. "! As a negative example, I would just like to mention the miserable educational opportunities for migrant children in major German cities, regardless of whether they are caused by their parents, the authorities or both.

Alfred Zielinski | Sun, October 11, 2020 - 10:48 p.m.

For me as "who has lived here for a long time", Islam does not belong to D, it will never belong, how should it honestly. At the time and in the context of the Islamist terrorist attacks in the world at the time, I consider the allegations of the then BP Wulff and BK Merkel to be quasi pure "protection money offers", the consequences of which played no role.

Gert Bartmann | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 00:00

Mrs Ates, I agree with you on all points. Mr Wulf - like Mrs Merkel - did not really get into this question. Islam was defined in 1990 at an Islamic Conference in Cairo as a religion based on "Sharia". The UN human rights are recognized as long as they fit the Sharia. In case of doubt, this has priority. That is why I consider these statements by Wulf and Merkel, which have also been repeated, as politically irresponsible, naive statements. Unfortunately, they have no idea of ​​the real problems with political Islam.

Ernst-Günther Konrad | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 7:11 am

I agree with what you said about Mrs Ates, but I have a problem in two places that really needs to be discussed.
1. What is meant by a debate is not taking place at the moment. There are pros and cons and those who reject politically active Islam are considered right-wing or Islamophobic. A deep, neutral and honest debate is not taking place at the moment. German politicians exploit the issue in a politically ideological way just as shamefully as political Islam is accused of.
2. May there have been a time when the Christian faith spread here for centuries and it was therefore also part of school education to attend Catholic or Protestant classes, times have changed for me. Ethics, which neutrally brings all leading religions closer, is right for me. Those who want to follow a certain faith can do so after school. I think religious instruction for only one faith is wrong.

helmut armbruster | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 7:30 am

claims the author under problem 4.
If you look at France, whose Muslim immigrants were already bilingual when they immigrated to F (French is the second language in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), it becomes obvious that this claim cannot be true.
Because many Muslim immigrants have not integrated into F, although the language has never been an obstacle for them. Despite their knowledge of French, they have remained what they were, namely North African Muslims.
I am amazed how one can simply overlook such an openly present fact and claim that language acquisition is the key to integration.

Charlotte Basler | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 2:45 p.m.

In reply to language acquisition is the key to integration by helmut armbruster

how is it supposed to go without them? Misunderstandings are inevitable - and our quality of blaming ourselves and constantly apologizing will not help. With these immigrants in particular, pride plays a major role and people without pride are despised. I don't know how this is supposed to work.

Gabriele Bondzio | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 8:22 am

... of course Wulf`s saying is imprecise. If I were to vote, it would be Stoiber's: “The Muslims belong to Germany, not Islam. Islam is not a core component of German culture, nor does it shape our intellectual history and tradition. " For the Muslims who, according to their outdated, partiarist ideas (child marriage, devaluation of women, thirst for revenge, etc.) want to live here. I don't see any place in DE. They are also the loudest demanding. In large part to blame that many Germans do not like Islam at all. I also see the cooperation with Ditib and its associations as a bad joke, Ms. Ates!
Because it is precisely this group that is courted here (see "Ethnologist warns of political Islam".
Their goal is the Sharia. Even if they speak differently. First of all, Aiman ​​Mazek's forked tongue. "Remarkably, hardline Islamists use scriptures and ideas in their core texts in a similar way to Salafi jihadists."

ursula keuck | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 10:02 am

Anyone who intensifies the unlimited mass immigration from Islamic countries to Germany must not complain if he is also importing the religious and ethnic controversies there. Anyone who refuses to call the danger by its name is also to blame if it spreads more and more.
Because Islam belongs to Germany.
Responsible for this are politicians and intellectuals who negligently or willfully allowed this development and silenced critics. This immigration policy, which got out of hand, made it possible for city districts to overturn and for parallel societies to emerge in which fanaticism and disintegration find a breeding ground.

Wolfgang Beck | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 10:25 am

“Does Islam belong to Germany?” In more general terms, the question is to what extent different religions can / must be tolerated in one state. Because of the freedom of religion, this statement must first of all be affirmed. - Big but. “Islam belongs to Germany.” Such a statement presupposes the answer to the question of what constitutes a state, especially a democratic constitutional state, in terms of its essence. 1. The story: In this regard, it cannot be seen that Islam belongs to Germany; for a long time it was even perceived as a threat; even in the post-war period, at least as strange, as if it were not part of it. 2. Democracy and the rule of law: This is primarily not about Islam, but about the fact that massive immigration has taken place; the question would then be, what is the democratic legitimation of this process? Is there something in the GG?

Erich H. Ulrich | Mon, October 12, 2020 - 2:12 pm

If one deals even a little more intensively with what is sold as a "religion", one learns quite quickly that Islam is not a religion but simply a patriarchal structure of rule. And therefore just as little belongs to "us" as the goiter to Tyrol.