The candidate for president of the European Commission and current Minister of Defence of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen, presents her nomination to the position of European leader this Tuesday. Muslims make up approximately 5% of the population she wants to represent. A defender of “diversity” in society, this Christian Democrat has promoted the next incorporation of rabbis and imams to the German Army, but she did not always have an inclusive policy.
The acting Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, will become the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy next Novembre. In his new job as head of European diplomacy, Borrell will also deal with issues including the common European defense and migration from outside the EU.
Zainab Khan defines herself as “a human being” who happens to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a mentor, a Muslim… Someone for whom her heritage is “very important, because that’s the story I’m able to preserve”. Her father was from Afghanistan, her mother was Indo-Pakistani and she was born and raised in the US, so she feels like a “third spacer”.
Kristin Bohner is Christian and admits certain envy every time she sees Muslims prostrate themselves on a rug to pray, without using a bank. Cagatay Caliskan is Muslim and admires the wealth of traditions Jews have. Esther Hirsch is Jewish and recognizes that she did not know all the things that Jews and Muslims had in common. All three of them live in Berlin. They are part of a team that is working to build the first great sacred place that will host three religions and all the others which want to take part, welcoming atheists or agnostics as well. The doors of ‘House of One‘ will be wide open to everyone.
Islamophobia is the new normal, also among politicians of any ideology, co-editor of the European Islamophobia Report, Enes Bayrakli, says. He warns this -which he considers “anti-Muslim racism” threatens the very foundations of democracy in Europe, with possible new terror attacks but also from within the institutions.
Following a vote in the European People’s Party (EPP) assembly this Wednesday, the membership of Hungarian party Fidesz has been suspended “with immediate effect” and “until further notice”. Fidesz has signed a “joint proposal” together with the EPP presidency with the conditions to get back to the European conservative family.