Islam conference very constructive : Germany’s Minister
By Tousif Khan - Mon Apr 23, 4:05 pm
Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of this year’s Islam Conference held in the capital city of Berlin on the integration of the four million Muslims living in the European state.
During a break at the meetings the German official told journalists that there was broad agreement among the participants on the key issues, Deutsche Welle reported.
Friedrich further added that the conference reached a consensus that forced marriage and domestic violence “did not come from religion, but from the patriarchal structures and traditions in the countries of origin.”
Muslim representatives participating in the conference also expressed approval of the results of the meeting.
Friedrich’s remarks are seen as a turning point in his stance towards Muslim communities following his controversial comments last year when he said that Islam did not belong to Germany.
He faced some sharp criticism for his remarks from Muslims at last year’s press conference after the meeting.
He was making a reference to former German President Christian Wulff who had urged more tolerance toward Muslims and who said that “Islam belonged to Germany.”
A leading member of the German parliament’s conservative bloc and an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel again reopened the wound on Thursday after he said Islam is not part of the German society.
“Islam is not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and so does not belong in Germany,” Volker Kauder, who heads Merkel’s conservative bloc at the country’s lower house, told the Passauer Neue Presse.
“Volker Kauder is the last crusader for the conservatives. He is putting a bomb in the Islam conference,” said senior opposition Social Democrat MP Thomas Oppermann.
The Islam Conference was initiated in 2006 to facilitate dialogue between Muslim leaders and the German government.