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‘Should Muslims be treated on an equal footing?’

German President Christian Wulff with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.

The recent statement by German President Christian Wulff that “Islam belongs in Germany” has provoked something of a conservative backlash. The German press is divided on whether the presence of Muslims in Germany is self-evident or cause for concern.

When German President Christian Wulff said that “Islam also belongs in Germany” during his speech to mark the 20th anniversary of German reunification on Sunday, he was initially showered with praise for recognizing the reality that around 4 million Muslims now live in Germany. Yet just a few days later, it is clear than many on the conservative side of German politics and society are still deeply uncomfortable with such a statement.

The ongoing unease in some quarters about the country’s Muslim population was revealed by a poll published by the influential mass circulation newspaper Bild on Tuesday which showed that 66 percent of those polled disagreed with Wulff’s assertion and only 24 percent agreed with it. 

Spiegel, 9 October 2010

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