Doc. 10818
25 January 2006

German Citizenship Procedures for Muslims

Written question No 482 to the Committee of Ministers
presented by Mr Mercan

          The Ministry of the Interior of the state of Baden Württemberg in Germany, announced the initiation of a new questionnaire for the foreigners of Muslim faith who would like to acquire German citizenship on 14 December 2005.

          Despite intensive criticism, the Ministry started the implementation as of 1 January 2006;
          According to the newly adopted questionnaire, foreigners of Muslim faith applying for German citizenship face lengthy interrogation, involving answering a catalogue of 30 questions on their political, cultural and social views. Questions range from “Do you think a woman should obey her husband that he can beat her if she is disobedient” and “Would you allow your daughter to participate in sports and swimming classes at school” to “Were the perpetrators of the attacks of September 11 freedom fighters or terrorists”. Moreover, the questionnaire ends by a statement to be signed by the applicant, indicating that intentionally fabricated answers could lead to German citizenship being revoked years later;
          The authorities of the Ministry of the Interior have also announced that this question will only be applied to applicants from 57 Islamic countries and other candidates will only be subject to the same procedure in exceptional cases;
          This type of question not only violates the personal rights of the individuals concerned but also discriminates against all those of Muslim faith. In addition, the questionnaire casts a blanket of suspicion on all Muslims for oppressing female members and sympathising with terrorist acts.

Therefore, these questions, which target the people of Muslim faith selectively and contravene every democratic principle, should be dropped,
          On the basis of these facts and considerations,

Mr Mercan asks the Committee of Ministers,
          What kind of steps will the Committee of Ministers take to make the authorities of Germany drop this discriminatory procedure?
Signed 1:

MERCAN, Murat, Turkey, EPP/CD

1    SOC: Socialist Group
       EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
       ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
       EDG: European Democratic Group
       UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
       NR: not registered in a group