German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said he believes there is an opportunity in Germany for Islam to be found in Germany, Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.
The statement was as a response to remarks from the Interior Minister Horst Seehofer earlier in the week. The head of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) stated in an interview Islam “doesn’t belong in Germany” and revealed plans to tighten Germany’s immigration laws.
“Of course, the Muslims living in Germany are part of Germany,” Seehofer later said. “My message is that Muslims must live alongside us, not with us or in opposition to us.”
The controversial remarks of Seehofer were received with aplomb by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) However, the AfD was slammed by all other major parties.
The German president on Tuesday called for politicians to discuss ways to promote integration instead of disputing headlines. Germany should abide by its former German Presidency Christian Wulff’s claim of “Islam is now a an integral part of Germany,” he said.
German President Angela Merkel has taken a similar stance to the issue she said she would comment on her Friday speech: “There are now 4 million Muslims living in Germany and they adhere to their religion in Germany. Muslims are part of Germany and their religion, Islam.”