Germany vows to uphold religious freedom amid calls for 'Islam law'


The German government has no intention to yield to calls within Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) for a so-called "Islam law" that would regulate the practices of the country's Muslim population, a spokesman said on Monday.

Religious freedom is "one of the central freedoms promised by our constitution" and the government will uphold it, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said during a press conference.

The comments come after Julia Kloeckner, deputy head of the CDU, called for an "Islam law" that would include a ban on the foreign funding of mosques, stricter rules for Islamic preachers and access to Muslim counsellors in prisons and hospitals.

Merkel, who is running for a fourth term in office this year, has come under fire for allowing hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim migrants into the country in 2015. The CDU has lost support as a result.

Some members of her conservative base have been attempting to address unease among traditional conservative voters by putting forward stricter immigration policies. Ruprecht Polenz, the former secretary-general of the CDU, referred to the proposal as a "populist crackpot idea."    (dpa)

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