Islamic Human Rights Commission
17 May 2006
Press Release: Briefing on the recent naturalisation tests in Germany now available on-line
IHRC’s latest briefing ‘Űber-citizens: A Briefing on the recent naturalisation tests in Germany’ is now available on its website www.ihrc.org.
The briefing looks at the Baden-Württemberg naturalisation test and the Hesse test which are designed in such a way as to mark out differences between Muslims and others, and which in effect, suggest Muslims are unable to profess loyalty to supposed German values.
Whilst the nature of the questions are clearly set out to target Muslims, the briefing’s authors note that many Germans of various faith communities would not be able to pass such criteria, including, it is argued, the current Pope who is also German.
IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said:
“These tests are not only a sign of the rise of Islamophobia, but also an indicator that such sentiments expressed in the public realm mask deeper xenophobic attitudes.
“There has been principled opposition to these tests within Germany, however there must be wider protest at these measures, which ultimately refer back to our recent history in Europe when religious groups were targeted to the point of extermination and genocide, because they were perceived to oppose ‘mainstream’ values.”
The briefing calls on the German government to seek full and proper engagement with Muslim communities, rather than stereotype and alienate them, and with regard to the naturalisation tests exclude them from their most basic right of citizenship.
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Notes to Editors:
1. ‘Űber-citizens: A Briefing on the recent naturalisation tests in Germany’ can be found at:
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