أثار اعتراف الرئيس الألماني كرستين وولف بأن الإسلام أصبح جزءًا من "ألمانيا" شأنه شأن النصرانية واليهودية انتقادات كثير من عناصر اليمين المحافظ.
فبالرغم من اعتراف كثير من عناصر الحزب الديمقراطي النصراني وحلفائهم من "اتحاد بافاريا النصراني الاشتراكي" على مضض أن المسلمين قد أصبح لهم مكانة بـ"ألمانيا"، إلا أنهم أكدوا أنهم يغيرون جوهر النسيج الاجتماعي.
فقد صرح "نوربرت جيز" - عضو الاتحاد النصراني الاشتراكي - أن تصريحات الرئيس فُهمت خطأً مؤكدًا تخطئته لتصريحات "وولف" إذا كان قصده مساواة الإسلام في "ألمانيا" بالنصرانية واليهودية.
وأكد عضو الحزب النصراني الديمقراطي "ولفجانج بوسباتش" - رئيس لجنة الشؤون الداخلية بالبرلمان - أن الإسلام وإن أصبح جزءًا من واقع الحياة اليومية، إلا أن المجتمع الألماني ينتمي للثقافة النصرانية اليهودية.
وعلى جانب آخر لقيت تصريحات الرئيس الألماني ترحيبًا من الأوساط الإسلامية؛ فقد أكد "أيمن مزايك" - رئيس المجلس المركزي للمسلمين في "ألمانيا" - أن هذه التصريحات تؤكد أن المسلمين ليسوا مواطنين درجة ثانية؛ حيث أشار "وولف" إلى ترحيبه بأنماط العيش المختلفة والتعددية، وهو ما قد يحرك المجتمع الإسلامي البالغ أربعة ملايين مسلم.
هذا وقد احتلت قضية اندماج المسلمين العناوين الرئيسة للصحف الألمانية منذ تصريحات "ثليو سارازين" أغسطس الماضي، التي أساءت للمجتمع الإسلامي بوصفه عبئًا وخطرًا يهدد "ألمانيا".
Leading conservative German politicians assailed President Christian Wulff on Tuesday for comments intimating Islam had gained a status comparable to Christianity and Judaism in Germany.
Wulff riled his fellow Christian Democrats by saying Islam had become an important part of German society in a speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of German reunification on Sunday.
While several Christian Democrats and their Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) allies grudgingly admitted Muslims had earned a place in Germany, they bristled at the idea they were changing the core social fabric of the country.
“The speech was easily misunderstood,” CSU politician Norbert Geis told Bild on Tuesday. “If the president wanted to equate Islam in Germany with Christianity and Judaism, then I’d consider that wrong.”
Christian Democrat Wolfgang Bosbach, the head of parliament’s interior affairs committee, also said Islam could not expect to be put on the same level as the faiths based solely on the New and Old Testament.
“Islam has certainly become part of the reality of daily life in Germany, but we belong to a Christian-Judeo tradition,” he said.
In his first major speech on Sunday since taking office in July, Wulff extended the hand of friendship to Muslims, saying the challenge of integrating them into society was comparable to reunifying the country after the Cold War.
"Christianity is of course part of Germany. Judaism is of course part of Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history ... But now Islam is also part of Germany," he said in his speech. "When German Muslims write to me to say 'you are our president', I reply with all my heart 'yes, of course I am your president'."
His comments were welcomed by leading German Muslim groups as an important sign that they were not second-class citizens in Germany.
And the Bavarian Social Affairs Minister Christine Haderthauer made clear in an interview with daily Leipziger Volkszeitung that she also did not agree with Wulff’s assessment.
A senior Muslim representative in Germany praised on Monday comments by President Christian Wulff that Islam was integral part of the country's society, aimed at cooling a heated debate on integration.
The remarks, in a landmark speech marking twenty years since reunification, "was a sign that Muslims are not second-class citizens," Aiman Mazyek, head of the central council of Muslims in Germany, told the popular daily Bild.
"Wulff made clear that different ways of life and diversity are welcome. I think that this speech will send a jolt through the Muslim community, which numbers around four million in Germany," he added.
"Christianity is of course part of Germany. Judaism is of course part of Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history ... But now Islam is also part of Germany," he added. "When German Muslims write to me to say 'you are our president', I reply with all my heart 'yes, of course I am your president'."
The integration of Muslims has rarely been out of the headlines since August when Thilo Sarrazin, a member of Germany's central bank at the time, sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim immigrants.
Sarrazin has since resigned but his book on the subject, "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany abolishes itself) has flown off the shelves.
A recent poll showed that 55 percent of Germans thought Muslims cost considerably more socially and financially than they produce economically.
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