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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

MUSLIM CONFLICT COMING IN GERMANY

All eyes are on the conflict in the Netherlands involving the Muslim community there. But the conflict may be emerging more threateningly in Germany, where there is also a large Muslim population.

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports on statements made by Annette Schavan, cultural affairs minister in the government of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in her campaign to be elected premier of the state:

Schavan, who is running to become the state's premier, suggested that imams in
Germany should speak only German when they preach in mosques. “We no longer can allow mosques to use languages that are not understood outside the Islamic
community,“ she told the dpa wire service.She said the idea could be introduced
as legislation in the Bundesrat, the chamber that represents Germany's 16 states
on national issues. “In an open society, everyone must be willing to communicate
in the language of the country,“ she said.


Her views encompass anti-foreign, anti-immigration, and anti-Muslim sentiments that are popular in Germany. They amount to a warning to Muslims. And they are a clear sign of the emerging conflict.

Will Jews be allowed to use Hebrew in synagogues and Catholics to use Latin in church? Ms. Schavan does not address those questions.

The Middle East is not the exclusive area for cultural conflict. The cultural conflict will spread strongly to Europe.


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