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Sme - Slovakia | Friday, October 8, 2010

Germany's Islam debate warning for Slovakia

Slovakians are currently discussing plans to build a mosque in Bratislava. The liberal daily Sme compares the Slovakian discussion about Islam as an integral part of Western society with the debate in Germany: "The statement by German President Wulff that Islam was part of German society sounded like an innocent invitation to dialogue, nevertheless it sparked a stormy debate. Chancellor Merkel was quick to comment that the Basic Law is in force in Germany, and not the Sharia. But the genie was already out of the bottle. ... The majority of Germans don't believe in multiculturalism and fears of Muslims are rife. Not a great environment for dialogue. ... In Slovakia debate is getting started on the mosque in Bratislava, but at the same time there is not enough room for a discussion of whether our country is modern and tolerant enough. You can't call for tolerance on the one hand and at the same time slander people who have their doubts about such tolerance. Once the mosque has gone up in Bratislava no one should have to be afraid of it. The Germans have been unable to perform this balancing act."

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