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German Islamisation or not? The German Curches will decide.

Reader comment on item: Two Opposing Views of the Islamist Threat

Submitted by Frederik (Germany), Aug 29, 2016 at 06:23

Dear Mr. Pipes,

I know this may sound a bit illogical. But as a German and a well-read observer of the situation in Germany, my Judgement is this: The institutions which will ultimately decide whether or not political Islam will gain more influence in Germany in the future are the two main churches, the protestant and catholic church in Germany. Unlike France, Germany does not have a clear separation of church/religion and state. The protestant and catholic churches are heavily subsidized by the state and they enjoy vast privileges. Right now, about one third of the German population are protestant, one third catholic and one third non-religious, with hundreds of thousands leaving the churches every year.

Among other things, German churches are allowed to educate teachers at universities which then hold "Religionsunterricht" at state schools. Many federal state constitutions in Germany still require students to be "fearful of God". Every German bishop gets his monthly salary of over 9,000 € paid by the state, hence the tax payer. Caritas and Diakonie are the largest non-state employers in Germany with over 1.2 million employees. They run kindergartens, hospitals, foster homes, etc which are all paid by the state. The wealth only of the Catholic Church in Germany is estimated to amount to 200 Billion Euros. Yes, you read right, 200 Billion. Over the past years, these vast privileges have come under increased pressure by the public. The "Reichskonkordat" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichskonkordat) which Hitler settled with the Vatican in 1933 and which guaranteed many of the churches privileges in Germany, is still in power today. Many people in Germany do not even know anything about these privileges. The church however, understandably, has absolutely no interest in giving up these unjustified privileges (de facto, every tax payer is subsidizing the church, whether he himself is member or not).

German Muslim organizations (Especially the Erdogan-loyal DITIB representing the Turkish Muslims) are very keen on obtaining these privileges. Not only state-financed religious education allures but also own Islamic hospitals, kindergartens, foster homes, etc. The crucial point: The two big German churches are strong supports of this process since this would strengthen their own position. I call this the "interfaith collaboration" when it comes to getting money from the secular state. We are talking about billions of Euros. The sad thing: The churches could put an end to the creeping Islamization by giving up these privileges and ending the debate about who gets how much, once and for all.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Interesting argument.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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