German state eyes Muslim applicants

December 31, 2005

STUTTGART, Germany (Agence France-Presse)  A German
state said yesterday that Muslims applying to
immigrate would be singled out for tougher questioning
from Jan. 1, in a decision blasted in Berlin as

The Interior Ministry of the southern state of
Baden-Wuerttemberg said that Muslim potential
immigrants would face a lengthy interrogation
including 30 questions on applicants' political and
cultural views. 

Topics would include applicants' opinions on equal
rights for men and women, religions freedom, honor
killings and the attacks in the United States on
September 11, 2001. 

The ministry said that Germany's 16 federal states
must be permitted to learn whether potential citizens
truly accept the country's Basic Law, to which they
are required under federal law to deliver an oath. 

"There have been findings that Muslims can face a
conflict and deliver an oath that does not correspond
with their personal beliefs and thus does not fulfill
the immigration requirements," the ministry said. 

"Eliminating these doubts is the aim of a conversation
that the immigration authorities will conduct with
immigration applicants from January 1, 2006, from the
57 states that belong to the Islamic conference." 

About 60 percent of all immigrants to
Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2004 came from Muslim nations. 

The ministry added that other applicants who are
"known to be" Muslims would face the same line of
questioning, as would any people whose oath did not
appear to be credible. 

The ministry said that while most Muslims accepted the
German system, recent "honor killings" of Muslim women
in Germany by family members were evidence of a
conflict between the rule of law and an interpretation
of Islam. 

Berlin Interior Minister Ehrhart Koerting said that he
understood concerns about integration of Muslims but
slammed the policy for fostering prejudice. 

"That is a serious danger to internal security and
intolerable," he said. 

Germany's states are given a wide berth to determine
their own immigration and security policies under the
federal system. 


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