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A Muslim group recommends that Muslim girls should start wearing a headscarf from the onset of puberty, an idea that has been criticized by politicians / Photo: IFFI

Accept European values or go elsewhere, German minister tells Muslims

Muslim migrants who refuse to embrace European values must realize there are better places for them to reside than in the EU, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Finance Minister has said.

Muslims who don’t want to change their ways after arriving in Europe must be told, “you’ve made the wrong decision,” Schaeuble said during a round table discussion in Berlin on Wednesday.

“There are better places in the world to live under Islamic law than Europe,” he said.

Last year, Schaeuble, who is a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party CDU, stated that the influx of refugees was “a challenge for the open-mindedness of mainstream society.”

In a guest article in Welt am Sonntag  weekly newspaper, the 74-year-old politician urged Muslim newcomers to adopt what he called, “German Islam,” based on liberalism and tolerance.

Almost 1 million migrants from the Middle East and Africa arrived in Germany in 2015, according to the country’s estimates. The numbers spurred social tension and led to numerous anti-government protests against Merkel’s so-called ‘open door’ immigration policy.

The situation also saw the rise of the right-wing and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which gained foothold in almost all of the country’s 16 state parliaments since the eruption of the refugee crisis in 2015.

In February, Austrian authorities slammed the country’s Islamic Religious Community (IGGO) for its recommendation that Muslim girls should start wearing a headscarf from the onset of puberty.

“I have to say clearly: we reject an obligation to [wear] the headscarf,” Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration, said.

Secretary of State, Muna Duzdar, echoed Kurz’s comments by saying “such a position is an attack on the freedom and self-determination of women. I reject headscarves deeply. It is unacceptable that women and girls are restricted in their freedom and men want to dictate to them how to live and how to dress.”

Felix Dappah with Reuters

LEBARA

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