With the free German economy realizing the potential of human diversity, German political parties are also increasingly opening up to immigrants and Muslims and their demands. This was done through working groups for Muslims such as: “Green Muslims” in the Green Party, “German-Turkish Forum” in the Christian Democratic Party, and “Muslims Working Group” in the Social Democratic Party. Indeed, Muslims initiated the establishment of a party for immigrants who are in charge of it, seeking to represent them Them themselves are “truly represented” in Germany. German journalist Ulrike Hommel highlights the new trend towards “diversification” in the German political scene.
With the establishment of the first “working group for Muslims in the German Social Democratic Party” in mid-February 2014 in Berlin, this party is now seeking to open up to its Muslim comrades explicitly throughout Germany. Regarding this openness, politician Khaleda Ozkurt says: “The basic idea is that the Social Democrats seek to meet in a forum to discuss Muslim issues, in order to enable them to present their own demands.” Khaleda Ozkurt, 33, education diploma holder, participated in the inauguration ceremony held at Willy Brandt House, where members elected five spokespersons for this working group.
German Muslim and socialist democracy
Khaleda Ozkurt is a Muslim companion in the German Social Democratic Party, and she is a veiled working woman and mother of two children. She recently ran for Krefeld City Council in the upcoming municipal elections. “We are primarily seeking, through this new group, to enhance the participation of Muslims in political life,” says Khaleda Ozkurt. Currently this group has around 50 members; It is hoped that they will play an exemplary role and work to double the involvement of Muslims in German political life. This group carries the message: German Muslim and Social Democrat.
Since her nineteenth year, this young woman from the German city of Krefeld began her political activities. In 2008, Khaleda Ozkurt chose to work for the German Social Democratic Party. “Through my previous work in the Aliens Council, experience has proven to me that the CDU ignores the demands of immigrants to a large extent,” she says. This woman of Turkish origin did not feel any attraction to the other parties.
Are religious issues now supposed to play an important role in a party that is far from religion? “We want in the working group to discuss issues of direct relevance to Islam – for example questions related to the issue of halal,” says Khaleda Ozkurt. She adds that these discussions could also address the topic of “birth control pills after sex” or “genetic diagnosis of the fetus to examine the absence of abnormalities.”
Decisive measures against hostility to Islam
Active participation in shaping German politics – “The basic idea is that the Social Democrats seek to meet in a forum to discuss Muslim issues, in order to enable them to present their own demands,” says politician Khaleda Ozkurt on the idea of establishing a Muslim working group in the Social Democratic Party.
This new working group frankly and clearly wishes for the existence of pluralism among the Muslim comrades, as Attila Olger, a spokesperson for this new forum, says: “Whether those interested are liberals or conservatives, or from the Sunni or Shiite community – we welcome everyone.”
In the future, the Muslim Socialist Democrats Working Group will work on developing common positions on key issues. So far, firm measures have been included against all forms of Islamophobia , according to Khaleda Ozkurt: “With regard to the issue of banning the wearing of headscarves for female teachers, I think that the working group will oppose this and will therefore adopt the position of the Social Democratic Party in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.”
Recognition of Islam as a religious community with equal rights for its adherents is one of the main goals pursued by the Muslim members of the Social Democratic Party. On the other hand, however, controversial discussions of same-sex couples’ right to adopt will likely take place. In this regard, a member of the Social Democratic Party, Mrs. Khaleda Ozkurt, only wants to express her personal opinion: “I know through social counseling the concerns and difficulties that homosexuals suffer.