A German lawmaker and member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet has sparked uproar by proposing the observance of Muslim public holidays.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a rally in Lower Saxony he was open to the idea of discussing the addition of Muslim religious holidays to the German calendar. His call comes less than two years after Chancellor Merkel said: “Islam belongs to Germany.”
“Where there are many Muslims why shouldn’t we consider a Muslim holiday,” the interior minister said. He also questioned whether or not the Christian basis of German society was sustainable in the modern context.
“I do not know whether you can tell your children fluently what is the religious content of penance and prayer. Or Pentecost, if you know very well what was going on with the Holy Spirit?