An Increasing Openness To Muslims In The German Political Scene

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The Green Party’s Focus On Religious Policy

Currently, strategies known as “diversification” strategies occupy the center stage of the overall German political trend. Long ago, the free economy recognized the potential of diversification. German political parties are now increasingly opening up not only to the immigrant community, but also to Muslims and their demands in particular.

Several years ago, the first working groups for Muslims began their work in the Green Party, where the “Green Muslims Working Group” was established in late 2006. Unlike the Muslim Working Group that was recently established to work all over Germany for the Social Democratic Party, the Forum work Green Muslims “is restricted to North Rhine-Westphalia. “The goal was to create a base through which Muslims could communicate within the party and also to promote discussion on the issue of Muslims’ equality with others in Germany,” says Hasret Karaguban, a spokesperson for the Muslim Working Group in the Green Party.

Recognition of Islam as a major goal

The main issues revolve around religious policy rather than the immigration debate. Currently, this group has about 15 active members with “very different political views”.

The “Green Muslims Group” has long established common demands on central issues; On this, Hasret Karaguban says: “Recognizing Islam as a religious community is one of our main goals. We have been working for that for several years.” She adds that debates about anti-Muslim racism have long blossomed within this group. Also, there is no disagreement in the position of this working group on the current ban on female teachers wearing the headscarf in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this regard, Hasret Karaguban says that this ban must be repealed throughout Germany.

The Green Muslims Working Group has controversial discussions about the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. The Green Party is known to support granting same-sex couples this right. Within this context, Hasret Karaguban says: “We in the Green Muslims working group support the party’s position.” But this view is likely rejected by conservative Muslims.

Migration topics rather than religion

And unlike the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party, whose working groups address Muslims as targets, the Christian Democratic Union has a “German-Turkish Forum.” This forum was established in 1997 with the aim of opening the party to people of immigrant background. Currently, there are about 500 members of this forum all over Germany, some of whom are of immigrant backgrounds and others are non-immigrants. “We are not a party committee, but an independent association that is funded by membership fees paid by the members,” said Saadeddin Tuzun, vice president of this forum in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Diversity gives Germany a political voice – the Alliance for Innovation and Justice, according to its Federal President Haluk Yildiz, is the most diverse of all the other parties in Germany, thanks to its 42 members of immigrant background.

This forum also deals with reservation with the issue of recognizing Islam as a religious community: “This is a difficult issue. We are with the ability of everyone to freely practice their religion.” As for the debate over the dual nationality of children of immigrant families, Saad Eddin Touzun said, “The children concerned should be granted passports automatically and without the need to present special evidence.” But this view is not what the bill currently proposed by the coalition consisting of the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party aims at.