German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere prompted a backlash from his own party and political allies by suggesting that Germany introduce Muslim public holidays. He was, however, backed by the leader of the Social Democrats, Martin Schulz. “I am ready to discuss the issue of whether we should also introduce a Muslim public holiday,” de Maiziere said early this week, adding that the German authorities “could probably easily do that.” He went on to explain that, in some German states where

many Catholics live, there are already some religiously defined Christian public holidays, while in other parts of the country, they are not officially introduced. “In places where there are many Muslims, why cannot one discuss also [the introduction] of a Muslim public holiday?” the minister said at an election event staged by his party, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), ahead of regional elections in Lower Saxony. His proposal, however, quickly provoked a wave of indignation within the ranks of his own party as well as among their Bavarian allies, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU). READ MORE