Via The Local:
Leading members of the opposition Social Democrats and Greens called on Thursday for Islam to be recognised by the state as a religious community, similar to Christianity and Judaism.
“Islam needs a fair chance in Germany,” Dieter Wiefelspütz, interior affairs spokesman for the Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary group, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “It would be an important signal to the four million Muslims in Germany if the state recognised Islam as a religious community.”
At present, Christianity and Judaism are recognised by German law as statutory bodies, meaning they can be taught in state schools and have tithing fees collected by the German Finance Ministry as church tax.
Integration policy spokesman for the Greens, Memet Kilic, told the paper: “The recognition of Islam as an equal religious community before the law would convey to Muslims the feeling of being welcome in Germany. The (conservative Christian Democrats) must end their neurotic navel gazing immediately.”