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German President Joachim Gauck Sparks Debate with Islam Comments

German President Joachim Gauck

If Muslims are a part of German society then wouldn’t Islam also be a part of it?

At least that is what the previous German president, Christian Wulff said when he remarked that decades of immigration has meant that “Islam belongs to Germany.”

The current German president, Joachim Gauck makes a differentiation, saying Muslims belong to Germany but perhaps not Islam.

This is part of a larger public discourse that has been happening over the past few years in Germany in regards to Islam and Muslims’ place in German society.

(Via. Islamophobia-Watch)

German president sparks debate with Islam comments

President Joachim Gauck has said in a newspaper interview that Muslims living in Germany are more definitively a part of the country than the religion of Islam, a slight change from the stance of his predecessor.

When asked about a quote from the previous president, Christian Wulff – who had said that “Islam is now also a part of Germany” – Gauck told the newspaper Die Zeit that he would not have used this particular sentence, adding “but I do welcome the intent behind it.”

“I would have simply said that the Muslims who are living here are a part of Germany,” Gauck said in an interview published in the current edition of the weekly paper. He elaborated further, defining what he considers the most important factor for people with immigrant roots to be part of Germany.

“Anybody who has come here and doesn’t just pay their taxes, but also likes to be here, partly because there’s a level of justice and freedom not available in their country of origin, they are all one of us; so long as they adhere to our basic rules,” Gauck said.

But more generally, the president said he thought “one-sentence formulations on belonging” were problematic, “and especially when they concern something as delicate as religion.”

The co-leader of the Green Party, Cem Ă–zdemir, said in the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper on Friday that he “can not understand this differentiation between Islam and practicing Muslims,” adding that if Gauck considers Muslims a part of Germany, “then of course Islam is part of Germany too.”

Deutsche Welle, 1 June 2012

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  • Sam Seed

    @AwesomeAthiest, can you explain why Germany should ban Salafism and what is the extreme nature of the threat they pose?

  • AwesomeAtheist

    Most Muslims in Germany are moderate, and that is a good thing.

    However, extremist groups such as Salafists are growing fast, and their radical brand of Islam does pose a clear and major threat to Germany, on all levels.

    Germany should take effective steps to ban Salafism and its respective propaganda. I would also advocate shutting down all radical schools which teach extremist ideology and adding an amendment to Germany’s constitution calling for a separation of church and state.

    Moderate Islam is welcome in Germany, but extremist Islam certainly is not welcome, though I do enjoy the hilarity of Salafism and the drama so often displayed by its adherents.

  • AwesomeAtheist

    Germany should consider the cultural values of such precious pearls from the Turkish culture of many of its immigrants from Turkey or related.

    It would be nice to see many Germans start to learn beautiful elements of Turkish culture, such as learning how to weave carpets, make and eat kebabs, and speak Turkish. Likewise, many Turks and Turkey itself can open up to perhaps German culture a bit, too.

    Carpet weaving could become a major aspect of German culture and industry. So could kebabs. And maybe even Turkish could have official recognition as one of Germany’s languages, alongside German…

  • Tyrone Biggums

    i want to apologize for my english in front

    the whole thing here in Germany is that the Islam debate is going for a while now and if you want your rating to pushed up then make a critical comment on Islam thats it, Christian Wulf comment on Islam was just a respond to a kind of anti Islamic book which was written by Thilo Sarazin, that book inflamed a great debate on Islam and whether its compatible with European values or not, in order to show solidarity with Muslim community Chritian Wulf made a very unpopular statement that Islam belongs to Germany after that when ever politicians wanted their rating to go up they make a opposite statement, thats it.

  • Nur Alia

    I think that is what he is saying. I wouldnt take offence to it, simply because by recognising Muslims as part of society, he is simply saying that the ideology, in his opinion doenst reflect his views of the society.

    In a way, I agree with the phrasing. I would like to ‘reject’ some elements of my society personally too, however recognise that people have the right to practice it, if they do so peacefully, and without imposting themselves or thier views on others.

  • Steve

    He hasn’t said islam isn’t welcome in Germany. Muslims are muslims because they believe in what islam says. However, that isn’t all they are.

    There really is nothing in what the German president has said to be upset about.

  • mjasghar

    is this surprising?
    this idiot has a history of this stuff, indeed this is a moderation of his past stuff.
    also he is the voice of the CHRISTIAN democrat party – with it’s support from that south german austrian Catholic culture, the same one that gave us the current Pope who also is pushing the europe = chrisitian(catholic) line
    it wasn’t that long ago we had the whole only german if you have german blood law

  • GĂ©ji

    BTW Stevy.. Say! Islam is *a religion!

  • GĂ©ji

    Steve Says.. “Muslims are people, islam is an ideology.”

    This old cliche again? Come-on Islamophobes its getting way old! Muslims are Muslims precisely *because of that “ideology”. And if the “ideology” is not welcomed? then most certainly automatically Muslims are not welcome.

  • Steve

    “how can Muslims be part of Germany if Islam is not?”

    Muslims are people, islam is an ideology.

    It’s just semantics really and not a problem. I sometimes get the impression on here that unless he had said “islam is the rock on which germany is built” some would complain.

  • Garibaldi

    @Crow, you aren’t censored. Some of your comments have been snipped for being inflammatory in the past I believe.

    There’s only so much we can do with trolls, but they are moderated far more than regular, commenters who have been here a while.

    If you want to continue this convo, email us:


  • Stephen G. Parker

    @ Steve – The point seems to be that according to the newspaper article, the German President Joachim Gauck specifically said that he would NOT say what the former President said: that Islam is a part of Germany. He WOULD say, though, that Muslims are part of Germany. The legitimate question, then, is how can Muslims be part of Germany if Islam is not? How can the people who practice Islam be a part of Germany while the Islam they practice is not?

  • Crow

    How come Im censored when I say something wrong but a white trash supremist pos who spends all day here making inflamatory statements isnt banned or censored? And dont tell me he’ll be made to look stupid, people know hes stupid, hes just here to be a trouble making asshole

  • Columnist

    There are many fine German Muslims. The German woman is most excellent as Muslima. The German Muslim woman is superior in Islam to the Turkish Muslim woman. Islam is part of the fitra of the blond, blue eyed German woman.

  • Steve

    “Is it so hard to be of another faith and be German”

    He said

    “I would have simply said that the Muslims who are living here are a part of Germany”

  • Garibaldi

    The discussion in Germany over Islam and its relation to being German is the point here.

    I don’t see any value in what Gauck said, or that he brought any clarity to the discussion. Is it so hard to be of another faith and be German? Or does one have to be a Christian or of Christian heritage to be German?

  • Steve

    “Islam isn’t part of Europe”

    Where did he say that?

    Does anybody have the actual quote?

  • Khalid


    He might mean historically and that might be true; Islam hadn’t reached that far into Europe but it doesn’t give you the right to say “Islam isn’t part of Europe” with a bunch Catholic priests behind anymore than it give me the right to say Hinduism is not part of Qatar with a bunch of Sheiks behind me.

  • Steve

    What’s the problem?

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