Vice-chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel has changed his mind on muslim refugees, now wanting to ban Salafist mosques and expel their preachers.
“We must strengthen the cohesion of society,” Gabriel recently declared. He had previously claimed that Germany would accept 500,000 migrants a year “for several years, maybe more.”
Just weeks after a Tunisian migrant drove a truck into a packed Christmas market in Berlin, the vice-chancellor has changed his tune and admitted that the country is now deep in a kulturkampf, or “cultural war.”
“Salafist mosques must be banned, the communities dissolved, and the preachers should be expelled as soon as possible,” Gabriels now says.
Gabriel has begun distancing himself from Merkel’s unpopular, open-door policy. He said that she “underestimated” the large challenges of integration and that Germany must continue to fight terrorism.
Salafism is a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam which, increasingly powerful in the Arab world, seeks to return the religion to its 7th-century roots. There is a strong emphasis on emulating the first three generations of Muslim believers, known as the salaf, who rode with Mohammed and conquered Jerusalem, Persia, and Spain.
There has been massive growth of Islamism in Germany, which has been blamed on Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, where the Wahhabism version of Salafi Islam exists. Wahhabism has been deemed the “main source of global terrorism” within the religion.
Given the risks that accepting migrants from other countries has displayed, Saudi Arabia, while offering to pay for two hundred new mosques for Syrians in Germany, has refused to take in refugees themselves.
The Saudis have claimed that there are security concerns of taking in migrants.
Kuwaiti officials have also claimed that Syrian migrants are “too different” to be accepted and integrated.
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