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New Islamist Approach to Turks in Germany
by Veli Sirin
Germany's federal election, held on September 22, had two new consequences, one reported widely in global media -- the failure of the centrist Free Democrats [FDP] to retain their presence in the parliament, or Bundestag -- and the other observed almost exclusively by Turks, whether in Turkey or in the large Turkish immigrant community in Western Europe. That was the public emergence of an ambitious Islamist party in Germany.
In the political contest in September, for the first time, state-level candidates appeared with an Islamist ideology that values separation from -- rather than cooperation with -- other German parties. The Islamists are represented by the Alliance for Innovation and Justice, known by its German-language title as BIG, founded in 2010 and currently headed by Haluk Yildiz. A management consultant and leader of the Muslim Council of Bonn, Yildiz was elected in 2009 to the Bonn city council on the ticket of the Alliance for Peace and Fairness [German acronym: BFF], a group that joined in founding BIG.
The appearance of an ardent, nationally-organized German-Turkish Islamist party should elicit a strong and critical response from the German authorities as well as moderate German Muslims.
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