German interior minister questions Islam's place in country

Plenković Congratulates Angela Merkel for Reelection as German Chancellor

Plenković Congratulates Angela Merkel for Reelection as German Chancellor

The chancellor was quick to distance herself from the remarks.

"Islam does not belong in Germany", Mr Seehofer told Bild newspaper.

"No. Islam does not belong to Germany". "Germany is shaped by Christianity".

"Of course the Muslims living here do belong to Germany", Seehofer said before going on to say Germany should not give up its own traditions or customs, which had Christianity at their heart. "My message is: Muslims need to live with us, not next to us or against us".

Mr Seehofer, who heads Mrs Merkel's Bavarian sister party the CSU, also vowed to increase deportations of rejected asylum-seekers.

Merkel, who has faced strong criticism from some Germans as well as elsewhere in Europe for agreeing to take in so many migrants, a lot of them Muslims, reaffirmed on Friday her vision of an inclusive, multi-ethnic Germany.

On Friday she emphasised the need for coexistence between religions.

Her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, speaking at the same joint press conference on Friday, said he agreed Russian Federation needed to provide clarity regarding the attack.

'Worried' Montella expecting Manchester United to attack Sevilla
FC's Craig Burley explains how Romelu Lukaku's presence and strength keyed Man United's victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford. Sevilla did not sell out the home game and they also had to refund a portion from Tuesday's ticket prices to their home fans.

Horst Seehofer has fashioned himself for a unique role in German politics - that of thorn in Angela Merkel's side.

This is, in part, about chasing the far-right Afd.

Seehofer is keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria's October regional election, when the AfD is expected to enter that state assembly.

The government estimates between 4.4 and 4.7 million Muslims are living in Germany. The right-wing party which is now the third-largest bloc in the Bundestag and the country's largest opposition party is known for its tough stance on migration. Many of them have a Turkish background and numerous more than a million migrants who have arrived in the country from the Middle East and elsewhere after Merkel adopted an open-door policy in mid-2015 are also Muslims.

The increase of the number of Muslims in Germany triggered Islamophobia and the rise of anti-migration populist party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the immediate priority of European Union leaders discussing the nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy in Britain would not be to discuss a potential boycott of the soccer World Cup in Russia.

His Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, which has always taken a harder line on migration than Mrs Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, faces a state election later this year.

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