Federal government: MP objects to report on anti-Muslim sentiment

Federal government: MP objects to report on anti-Muslim sentiment

The report of a panel of experts on anti-Muslim sentiment published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior has already been successfully legally challenged. Now there is further criticism.

The Union MP Christoph de Vries has appealed to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) not to put the withdrawn report on anti-Muslim hostility in Germany online again, even in a modified form. “I would like to ask you to show backbone in this matter and to ensure that this toxic report is no longer published in any way,” the CDU politician wrote to the minister.

The letter, which is available to the German Press Agency, continues: “We at least expect that my person and the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in connection with anti-Muslim sentiment will not be mentioned at all.”

A ministry spokesman announced last week “that the report will be published again shortly in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Administrative Court.” The Interior Ministry removed the text following a decision by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court. In the report, the journalist Henryk M. Broder was accused of having “demonized” Muslims in one of his articles. The author defended himself against this, whereupon the court decided that the ministry must remove the objectionable passages from its homepage.

The group of experts was set up by then Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) after the racist attack in Hanau and published its final report in June last year. The authors came to the conclusion that hostility towards Muslims and Islam is widespread in Germany.

The original version of the report said that statements by CDU/CSU MPs like de Vries showed an “unclear demarcation from the AfD”. The justification was that although the possible dangers of Islamic extremism were emphasized, with some justification, “at the same time, regular structures of Islam and strict religious behavior of an orthodox-conservative part” of Muslims were also included in the argument.

De Vries ended his letter with the words: “Especially in these times, it should also be in your interest not to bring the CDU, with which you are in coalition in Hesse, close to extremists. If this is not done, my group will remain and I personally plan to take legal action.”

In its report, the group of experts identified the AfD as “the only party in the German Bundestag with a manifestly anti-Muslim program.” He also noted that in the CDU/CSU and occasionally in other parties, “latent forms of reduced recognition and a conflict image of Islam can be recognized.”

Source: Stern

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