Merkel: Multiculturalism failed miserably
German chancellor takes harsh stance against immigrants, says they should be demanded to learn language, assimilate into society, yet stresses 'Islam is part of modern Germany'
(YNet) -- by Assaf Uni --
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Saturday that the multicultural model for integration in Germany has "miserably failed." For the first time, Merkel expressed a clear position in an ongoing debate over the integration of immigrants – especially Muslims – into German society, stressing that the current situation must be changed.
According to Merkel, immigrants should be required to integrate in society, by committing to learn the German language – and not only be allowed to do so voluntarily, as has been the policy up until now.
Despite her criticism, however, Merkel stressed that Islam was an "integral" part of modern Germany.
The chancellor's comment were said during a speech in front of the Christian-Democratic Union party youth congress (CDU-CSU), and came in the midst of a stormy debate ranging across the country's political spectrum, with CSU Chairman Horst Seehofer calling to stop Muslim immigration to Germany on the one hand, and President Christian Wolff declaring that Islam is part of Germany, just like Judaism and Christianity, on the other.
Merkel's remarks reinforced Seehofer's declaration on Friday, saying "multiculturalism is dead," and indicate a swerve to the right in the ruling party's policies – at least on matters pertaining to immigration.
Seehofer, who stirred a storm last week after declaring in a magazine interview that immigration from Turkey and the Arab countries – which he defined "foreign cultures" – must be stopped, added on Friday that Germany draws its values only from "Judeo-Christian tradition and humanistic values."
Although Seehofer's comments were strongly condemned by German officials including his own party members, Chancellor Merkel abstained from issuing a response.
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