German Interior Minister: Islamic Holidays Should Be Public Holidays
Henry Bolton told the UKIP Conference that people in Britain feel their culture is being “buried” by multiculturalism and Islam. This is undoubtedly true but if this holds true us, spare a thought for Germany and the Germans. Thomas de Maiziere, Angela Merkel’s Interior Minister, has suggested that Islamic holidays should be made into public holidays in areas where there is a “large Islamic population”.
Let’s put this in perspective. There are an estimated 1.5m Muslims living in Germany – just under 2% of the population. This statistic, however, did little to stop de Maiziere who said during a speech in Lower Saxony:
“Why shouldn’t we think about a Muslim public holiday in parts of the country where many Muslims live?”
Mr de Maiziere also seems to be less than perturbed by the fact that his party, the ruling Christian Democrats [something ironic that he represents this party given his comments], lost a quarter of their vote share in the recent German elections. Unsurprisingly, his comments were immediately rounded on by Alternative for Germany (AfD) deputy leader Beatrix von Storch who said, on Twitter: “NO NO NO to that!”.
Also, true to form, the left was very much in favour, Sawsan Chebli, a Berlin politician from the center-left SPD, voiced support for Maziere’s suggestion, she said;
“I find the idea good. In Berlin there are already regulations for Ramadan and Eid.”
One of the pertinent questions that are not being asked is why this 2% should receive preferential treatment over any other 2% of the German population? Although Anne Marie Waters came second in the leadership contest and has since upped sticks and left to form her own Party there is clearly an issue here that still needs addressing and is still of substantial concern to UKIP members as represented by Ms Waters strong showing in the contest.