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“Will your 20 million euro training programme for Islamic instructors be similarly 'Nazirein'?, serving as a recipe for Jihadism and ISIS recruitment?”

Paris, 1 June 2015

In a letter to German Federal Education Minister, Dr. Johanna Wanka, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed shock “at the intent of her Bavarian coalition partner, CSU MP Klaus Steiner, who in the regional Parliament unabashedly called 'to exempt Muslim students and other immigrant pupils from mandatory visits to concentration camps, which are normally part of the Holocaust educational programme'. According to his speech in the Bavarian Parliament, CSU MP Kurt Steiner, argues that 'there are a lot of children from Muslim families who do not have a connection to our past... We have to approach this topic carefully with these children'.”

Samuels lamented, “to hear such language from a mainstream German politician reeks, at best, as Holocaust denial and, far worse, a German endorsement for such radical Islamist and Iranian intents, summed up as, 'the Holocaust is a lie, let's make it a reality'.”

The letter noted that “as Minister, we are aware that you will be present at the opening, on 7 June, of the G-7 Summit under German Presidency at the Schloss Ehmau in Bavaria,” continuing, “you will there announce Germany's 20 million euro investment five year plan to create Centers of Islamic theology at four major Universities: Tubingen, Frankfurt/Giessen, Munster/Osnabruck and Nurenberg/Erlengen – the latter two in Bavaria, both with a reportedly, checkered Nazi history.”

Samuels pointed to the Ministry's website explanation that, “four million Muslims in Germany are the third religious group after Catholics and Protestants.... it is part of modern integration policy.... to train religious educators and specialized religious scholars... who will go on to work in mosques... Islamic religious education is to train 2,000 instructors for German schools... to offer students the chance to approach the Koran...”

The Centre argued that, “at a time of increasingly rampant antisemitism and even antisemitic terrorism across Europe, the Steiner Bavarian plan, together with your generous Federal Islamic education programme seems a recipe for Jihadism, Isis recruitment and incitement to Jew-hatred, to be inevitably followed by attacks on other traditional Nazi victims: Roma, gays, women and disabled.”