22:34 GMT +318 January 2019
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    Germany on Storm Over Minister's Idea to Officially Introduce Muslim Holidays

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    While the heavy influx of migrants has gradually turned the predominantly Christian Germany into a multi-religious country with a high number of Muslims, some politicians are promoting the idea that Islamic holidays should be made official. The initiative has shocked many Germans and lit social media on fire.

    Over 70% of Germans opposed Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere's idea to officially introduce Muslim holidays in a number of the country's regions, Tagesspiegel reported, citing a recent survey. Only 7.8% percent of the respondents spoke in favor of the move.

    The Voice of People

    The criticism of the population has been especially evident in social media.

    Many criticized the proposal, saying that Germany should stick to its culture and calling the move provocative…

    ​How stupid must be the interior minister actually to come up with such a provocative proposal?

    Are there Christian holidays in Muslim countries?

    ​The German @BMI_Bund # Maizière wants to introduce Islamic holidays at the legislative level. What comes next: stoning on Friday, driving bans for women?

    It will come. Then we replace Easter or Christmas. We will see it with this Muslim immigration. Yuck.

    ​Why not a Buddhist or Hindu or Jewish or…… holiday????? Why exactly a Muslim Holiday?

    …others said that the plan is just "crazy."

    ​A Muslim holiday? We propose February 30th.

    Totally crazy.

    ​Why is there no regular mental check-up for chancellors/ministers? Because they fear no one is left?

    Debates Among Politicians

    Maiziere's proposal has caused vivid debates among German politicians as well. The opinions among the country's political elite have been divided.

    For instance, the head of the Central Committee of German Catholics, Thomas Sternberg, supported the initiative, saying that Muslim holidays "can be introduced without changing the Christian tradition of the country."

    The plan was also backed up by Green Party MP Christian Ströbele. "Welcome to the club", the politician tweeted and recalled that he has been proposing the introduction of an Islamic holiday in Germany since 2004. "Maiziere does it now, too, well it's nice," he continued.

    However, some members of Maiziere's CDU party have sharply criticized his move.

    "I am deeply shocked that the head of the Catholics' Central Committee spoke in favor of introducing an Islamic holiday," the party's Secretary General Andreas Scheuer said. "I am a Catholic, and I am sure that this is not the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Christians in Germany," he added.

    His opinion was supported by CSU vice-chairman Manfred Weber, who said that "holidays above all represent the religious nature of a whole country and not that of individual population groups."

    Last week, Germany's Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere suggested that the legislature should discuss the possibility of officially celebrating Muslim holidays in some regions of the country where the proportion of Muslim residents is high.

    As result of the migration crisis that started in 2015, over 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany nowadays, or 5.5 percent of the total population of the country.


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