Thursday, December 30, 2010

German Catholic leader warns against anti-Muslim incitement

The leader of Germany's 26 million Catholics spoke out Tuesday in defence of Muslims and warned Christians to stay on their guard against hatemongers. 

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, told DPA that his church wants more dialogue with Muslims.

Asked if current anti-terrorist alerts might lead to discord between Christians and Muslims, he said 'there has been no sign of it' as far as he can tell.

'Christians as well as non-religious people in our country can differentiate perfectly well between terrorists, whatever ideology they follow, and their Muslim neighbours,' he said.

Zollitsch also noted that Muslims in Germany 'are just as much endangered by the (terrorist) threat as everyone else'.

'They have the same interest in effective and at the same time moderate policies by the state as the rest of the population,' he said.

Zollitsch said that a key to keeping relations between Christians and Muslims in Germany harmonious is 'preventing political troublemakers from exploiting fears and from inciting people to hate one another'.

'To date, our society has demonstrated good resistance against this. We have to keep working on it,' he added.