An ally of German Chancellor Angela Merker, one of her party’s senior members earlier suggested that their country should introduce Muslim public holidays to celebrate the Islamic religion, but quickly his own senior party mates rebuked him and rejected the idea.
Thomas de Maiziere, an Interior Minister, said this week that he was willing to discuss Islamic holidays in areas with huge Muslim populations. De Maiziere told that at a rally in Northern Germany.
But his own party mate is not open to such an idea, and quickly rejected de Maiziere’s suggestion and posturing. Alexander Dobrindt, who also belongs to Merkel’s conservative Union bloc told the local daily Bild on Saturday that he was against the idea of having Islamic holidays. He argued: “Our Christian heritage is not up for negotiation.”
There are around 4.7 million Muslims in Germany, a majority of whom were immigrants from Turkey.
Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats and their Bavaria-only sister party have been losing votes to the nationalist Alternatives for Germany. One of the strengths of Alternatives for Germany that’s finding a chord in segments of Germany is its passionate campaign against Islam and large-scale Muslim immigration.
The issue of Islam and the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in German society became one of the strongest themes during months of the campaign period leading to the elections in Germany last month. Such issues became more relevant in light of the refugee crisis situation in Germany and across Europe and the number of terrorist attacks in Europe recently. Among the topics constantly discussed include Muslim concerns as hijab bans, Islamic ideology, and how millions of Muslims staying in Germany can best be integrated into the German society.
1.5 million of Germany’s 61.5 million-strong eligible voters also happened to be Muslims. Some Germans expressed beliefs that “Islam is not a problem to be solved.”