Human Rights Commissioner and Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims on religious freedom

11.01.2011 - Press release

During a joint visit to the mosque at Columbiadamm, Berlin, the Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims Aiman Mazyek and the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Markus Löning issued the following statement today (11 January):

“Everyone in Germany has the right to freely practice their religion and express their convictions. We champion this right around the world. The state, religious communities, as well as civil society, must actively support and protect this right.
Violence against those who practice their faith is completely unacceptable. The seven attacks on mosques in Berlin during the last few weeks have shocked us. The same goes for the threats against Coptic Christians in Germany.
Anyone who uses violence in this way is attacking everyone in Germany and is showing contempt for the shared values on which our society is based.
In the light of some very harsh public remarks about Muslims, we call upon everyone to tone down their language. Anyone who makes public remarks must be aware of the impact of their words and of their responsibility. Even controversial debates must be conducted with respect and moderation. No-one should feel called upon to resort to violence or feel they have the right to commit acts of violence.”

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