Atila A. Iftikhar (Sweden), 4 September 2003

Concerning Turkey's EU candidacy and the stance of Germany’s Christian Democrats.

Dear Qantara editorial staff,

I am offended by CDU/CSU political party stigmatization of Muslim citizens in Germany and consequent rejection of Turkey`s EU application. While CDU/CSU talk about responsibilities of the Muslim citizens they also forget that we demand an equality in society and not stigmatization. Unfortunately, too many CDU/CSU politicians have collectively stigmatized their Muslim citizens. Hence, before political parties in Germany teach Turkey about equality, freedom, human rights they should also remember that many Muslim citizens of Germany are daily stigmatized and racially abused for none other reason except being Muslims. This trend is also visible in many other EU states such as Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Austria. If Turkey fulfil the entry criteria I don`t see why contemporary EU member states should discriminate Turkish membership. We need to avoid further stigmatization of Turkey because of the Islamic factor and accept that Turkey can remain a secular nation a long time. Peaceful co-existence require mutual respect and I think Muslims in Europe and Turkey are positive to this provided Europe don´t discriminate against us.

Yours kindly,

Atila A. Iftikhar

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