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Ata, Mehmet

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung - Germany | 02/02/2015

Mehmet Ata's approach to a German Islam

As part of the discussion about Angela Merkel's statement in early January that Islam belongs to Germany, Mehmet Ata lists theses for a German Islam in the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: "A German Islam must speak German. ... Young Muslims can't talk about their religion with their non-Muslim friends: they simply lack the German vocabulary. ... A German Islam must include the ideas of freedom and tolerance. ... That means finding a new definition for what a Muslim is. Many people define it in terms of rites and less in terms of faith. But just because you don't pray five times a day doesn't mean you're not a true Muslim. ... A German Islam must take account of Germany's specific history. ... Their fathers and grandfathers didn't cheer for Hitler or exterminate Jews. ... Nevertheless, even German Muslims cannot avoid facing this country's history. In fact they have a twofold reason to deal with anti-Semitism: as Germans and as immigrants from Muslim countries."

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