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Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Jewish students of the Jewish Oberschule in Berlin don’t dare to show their religious beliefs, for fear of violence from the side of Turks, Arabs, Nazi’s and antisocials.
That’s what they told the Turkish journalist Ferda Ataman of the newspaper Tagesspiegel. They are regularly attacked, cursed, intimidated and offended with comments as: “Hey, aren’t you a Jew?” and “Your nose is not so big!”
In 2008 the Berlin police registered 197 antisemitic crimes.

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A majority of the municipality of Mannheim gave a license to a controversial islamic kindergarten. The kindergarten receives fundings as well.

The kindergarten is supposed to ‘improve inter-religious dialogue’ and the children need to get ‘better chances of education and integration’.

The CDU doesn’t agree with the license and the fundings. “It’s questionable if the children will really speak German and if they will learn about the values of our Christian country.”

Representants of the church are afraid the gap between muslims and others will only increase because of the islamic kindergarten. The city of Baden-Würrtemberg is positive though: “The kindergarten delivers an important contribution to the cultural education and connection.”

In Karlsruhe there’s an islamic kindergarten since 1999.

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The typical serial offender is male, of Arab origin, and remains a criminal as an adult, this according to an interim report on the status of the implementation of the Berlin serial offenders concept, as reported by the Senator for Justice Gisela von der Aue (SPD) in parliament on Wednesday.

The serial offender policy, with which Berlin set up a separate department in the prosecution, ends this month, and the senator decided to renew it April 1st.

A key point is that the same offender always meets the same police officer and prosecutor, all authorities are networked so they can quickly identify disastrous trends and take countermeasures. In addition to the police and prosecution, this includes the youth social-service and juvenile courts.

According to von der Aue, at the beginning of the year, there were 548 serial offenders registered, none of them children. These included 83 were juveniles, 211 adolescents and 254 adults, ten of which were female. The former juveniles have reached adulthood and continued being criminals. They’re expecting a continued low-level increase. 79% of the serial offenders are of immigrant background, 47% are of Arab origin. More than 2300 court cases have been started since the creation of the department, with more than 2,700 court decisions (there were multiple defendants in some cases). According to von der Aue the number of probation failures – cases of re-offending during the probation period – was also high at 60%. In 2007, Berlin applied its concept to the beginner-criminal policy, where the offender would be intercepted before he begins his serial offender career. 172 people were registered in that.

Legal issues spokesperson for the Greens, Dirk Behrendt, complained that the punishment process was taking too long. The senator did not contradict him, and said they would work to speed up the process.

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The vice chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, warns of increasing antisemitism among Muslim immigrants.

Especially among youth of Arab origins it’s ‘frightfully high’, says Graumann in the latest edition of the German magazine ‘Focus’. There’s no point in denying it or in sidestepping the issue.

It’s particularly the Muslim communities who would be served by curbing the anti-Jewish sentiments among Muslims, according to Graumann. Although their representatives make official statements against antisemitism, they don’t do enough among their own people.

“If they’ll make more of an effort, the Muslim communities would win much more credibility,” according to the vice chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

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Imam Sabahattin Türkyilmaz of the Shiite Hazrat Fatima Zehra mosque in Frankfurt resigned all his positions in the mosque this week, saying he did so in order to protect the community, the blessed mosque, to protect all the families involved, the Muslims of the city and to protect – although now damaged – dialog.

The Christian Democrats in the city said they thought it was the logical step, since the Islamic community was not in a position to refute the allegations against their imam.

The resignation followed a TV report about the imam’s participation in an anti-Israel demonstration in Berlin on al-Quds Day several years ago, where he marched with demonstrators who cried “Death, death to Israel”. In a speech he gave at a different demonstration he called in Arabic that “we belong tot he community of Hezbollah”, and he expressed anti-Israel sentiments in a Friday sermon, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini’s speech against Israel.

The imam had accused the news program of conducting a smear campaign against him.

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A German hospital removed twelve crosses, supposedly due to objections from Muslim patients, Christian German news agency Idea reported Tuesday.

Workers in the Bad Soden hospital near Frankfurt took off the crosses from the wall in front of the patients and put them in trash bags, which led to criticism by patients.

Director Helmuth Hahn-Klimroth had his employees do the job with the required prudence.  Crosses aren’t considered common furnishings in a  general hospital, according to the director.

The crosses come from the surgical department of a hospital which was Roman Catholic till 1974.  At the request of the employees the|C crosses stayed on the walls after the hospital turned into a general hospital.  In September the department moved to Bad Soden.  After complaints by two patients, the nursing staff decided to remove the crosses, says the director.

Deken Eberhard Kühn of the Evangelical Church in Bad Soden says it would have been better if the crosses had stayed on the walls.  “A crucifix in a hospital room doesn’t mean for a Muslim that his recovery is in danger.”  The cross is more of a sign that attention is given to the soul of the patient as well, says Kühn.

At the request of the employees, a cross was kept in the employee area.  The question of what to do with the removed crosses will be discussed with the hospital chaplains.

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Foot-washing basins for Muslims have been installed in the high-security wing of the Düsseldorf court. This would enable the followers of the Koran to follow their religious rituals during the trial.

Court spokesperson Ulrich Eggert confirmed the report in the Rheinischen Post. He justified it saying that in the past toilets have been stopped up with toilet paper and used for feet washing.

Eggert says that in order to remedy the situation, the new court building has special foot washing basins in the bathrooms. The Düsseldorf court was in the news over the past week, when Christian crosses were taken down due to the neutrality requirement.

The German Islamic Council has spoken out against the removal of crosses from German courts. Chairman Ali Kizilkaya said that the Western traditions which have developed over millennium all deserve the respect that people give their symbols. He said he was convinced that a cross on the wall does not prevent any judge from judging according to German law.

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