President Koehler urges dialogue with Muslims
11 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German President Horst Koehler called Thursday on Germany's large Muslim minority to engage in dialogue on social questions, two days before the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
11 October 2007
Berlin (dpa) - German President Horst Koehler called Thursday on Germany's large Muslim minority to engage in dialogue on social questions, two days before the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
An increasing number of people recognised the need to find a common answer to questions facing a society containing differing cultures, Koehler said ahead of the festival of Eid ul-Fitr which starts Saturday.
"What are our common values? How do we wish to live? What kind of world do we want to leave to our children?" Koehler asked.
"I invite the Muslims in our country and their communities to engage in this dialogue. Many are doing this already, and that is good," Koehler said.
In a possible reference to the uncovering last month of a major Islamist bomb plot in Germany, he added that "setbacks" should not be allowed to discourage dialogue.
The president also noted that all religious communities sought to provide a good future for their children and stressed that the most important prerequisite was good education.
An estimated 3.3 million people of Muslim background live in Germany, 1.8 million of them Turks.
Koehler has not shrunk from addressing contentious issues since coming to office in July 2004, despite the largely ceremonial nature of the German presidency.
Subject: German news