December 30th, 2009

Central Council: Minaret ban undermines freedom and tolerance

Frankfurt/Main – The Central Council of Jews in Germany has, once again, harshly criticised the ban on minarets in Switzerland. The Central Council's Vice-President, Dieter Graumann, said the decision was a "loud and ugly signal against tolerance and freedom that should alert us all. And it is a reminder that people's concerns should be treated seriously." Graumann said that there were similar concerns in Germany and that the country's Muslim organisations would greatly improve their standing in Germany society if they demonstrated a much stronger and much more credible commitment to combating violence, fanaticism, and extremist agitation in their own ranks. According to Graumann, various studies show that anti-Semitism is widespread among Germany's Muslim youth. "This subject is quite unpleasant but it should not become a taboo". Graumann called on the Muslim organisations to take a firm stance against anti-Semitism. "By doing so, they would really gain in credibility," he said. (30.12.2009)