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German interior minister floats idea of Muslim holidays

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Germans are debating whether to allow the celebration of Islamic holidays at the state level in areas where large numbers of Muslims live.

The discussions come after the interior minister endorsed the idea on October 10.

“Thomas De Maiziere”, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which won federal elections last month, made his comments during a campaign rally for state elections in Lower Saxony in the country’s northwest.

“I’m willing to talk about the possibility of introducing Islamic holidays,” de Maiziere said.

According to the German constitution, all 16 states can decide on their own which religious public holidays are celebrated.

The only holiday under federal law – meaning all states must mark the occasion – is Germany Unity Day, during which the reunification of Germany is celebrated.

On the other hand, Alexander Dubrendt, one of the most prominent figures of the Christian Social Union, rejected the proposal. “Our Christian heritage is not subject to debate,” he said. “There is no possibility of adding an Islamic holiday in Germany.”

Another member of the Christian Democratic Party refused, saying he saw no convincing reason to add such a holiday, given that the religious tradition in Germany was Christian and Jewish and not Muslim.

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