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Leading politicians call for a 'European Islam'

May 23, 2019

Everyday measures are key to preserving the European way life, say Germany's health minister and the premier of Schleswig-Holstein state. Jens Spahn and Daniel Günther want a faith that shares the continent's values.

Jens Spahn and Daniel Guenther
Image: Imago Images/S. Boness

Two senior German politicians have called for a more progressive form of Islam in order to align the religion with the European way of life.

Health Minister Jens Spahn and Schleswig-Holstein State Premier Daniel Günther published the appeal Thursday in a guest contribution for the Rheinische Post regional daily.

Read more: Islam on beer mats angers Muslims in Germany

'Preserve our free European way of life'

"Instead of tolerating symbols of a reactionary, misogynistic form of Islam, we must promote the development of a European Islam, which shares our values, in order to preserve our free European way of life," penned the two Christian Democrats.

The topic of burkas is one of particular concern for both Spahn and Günther. "When women and girls appear fully-veiled at universities and schools, then we do not just have the option to resist, we must resist," they wrote.

The pair also spoke about "burdens on the local population" when "deportations fail" before emphasizing that integration was essential for a successful society.

Read more: A culture war in Austrian classrooms

Both men are members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party. Spahn, who failed in a bid to become Merkel's successor, is seen as a conservative, while Günther is on the liberal wing of the party.

The joint declaration also called for the European idea to become tangible in everyday lives of EU citizens. 

jsi/rt (EPD, KNA, dpa)

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