Merkel Urges More Tolerance Towards Muslims
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on her fellow citizens to exercise more tolerance toward the country's 4 million Muslims, stating that Islam is part of Germany. People, she said, need to be careful to differentiate between extremists and the religion itself.
Germany should be more tolerant of its Muslims, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday night, calling the religion part of the country's makeup.
"We should be very open about this and say: Yes, this is part of us," Merkel said during a teleconference with some 7,000 members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union party.
In view of the violent protests that have taken place in recent weeks across the Muslim world against a controversial anti-Islam film and offensive Muhammad caricatures, Merkel said Germans should be careful to differentiate between Islamists and the religion itself. "We must be incredibly careful that we don't lump everyone together," the chancellor said. "The Islamists are not the Islam of Germany."
Indeed, the majority of the around 4 million Muslims living in Germany have distanced themselves from the violence abroad, Merkel said, adding that those who refuse to recognize the country's laws can naturally expect to face legal consequences. (continue reading...)