Following the recent attacks against France, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, gave a statement that set her against marginalization of Muslims; she also urged influential people of Islam, such as clergymen, to be drastic in drawing the line between terrorism and the religion of Islam, making sure people understood they are not the same thing.
Merkel’s speech followed the tribute paid by the German Parliament to the victims of the attacks. The Paris attacks overlapped with Germany’s struggle to respond to the mass meetings against the “Islamization of the West”, which are happening in Dresden. The leading group of the rallies is PEGIDA, and Merkel strongly opposed to their ideology, agreeing that Islam is now a contributing part of Germany.
The newspaper “Der Spiegel” indicated that Dresden could be in the center of attention for neo-Nazis and right-wing nationalists, getting together in February for the anniversary of the 1945 Allied firebombing, and pondered over their role in the PEGIDA moment. The answer, likely, is that they’re not going to help. On the contrary.
The Chancellor spoke against the division that this organization might cause, placing all Muslims that live in Germany under the same distrust as the ones spreading terror. She explicitly stood by Muslims, defending their right not to be banished because of the sins of the few.
However, she was not afraid to acknowledge the fact that Islam is controversial. Even though most German people do not consider themselves enemies of the religion, they want to know why do terrorists claim religion as the motive for their attacks and constant disregard for human life. Merkel strongly recommended that the Islamic clergy clears up the confusion caused by constantly repeating that terrorists who quote Islam have nothing to do with the religion. How can that be?
Angela Merkel vowed to take drastic security measures to make sure that attacks like the ones in Paris will not happen again. She emphasized the need for stricter electronic surveillance and, not of lesser importance, the exchange of vital intelligence between foreign agencies. This might prove quite difficult, following the evidence of the Big-Brother activities conducted by the NSA.
Even though the “balance between freedom and security” is rather difficult to achieve and maintain, Merkel could not stress enough that, for the national security, cooperation with foreign intelligence services is a critical necessity.
Image Source: KTLA