"Citizenship Test" Seen as Anti-Muslim By Many

April 9, 2006

Source: Los Angeles Times


On April 9, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported, "Brahms, beer and Beethoven are German, but can a Muslim head scarf be German too? Islamic communities throughout this country are beginning to wonder. What it means to be German is an excruciating riddle, not something casually broached in a cafe. But efforts to sharpen national identity through new citizenship tests have caused a furor over accusations that Muslims are being unfairly targeted for exclusion by questions concerning head scarves, arranged marriages, homosexuality and Israel's right to exist. The tests are the latest point of contention in a cultural battle over the integration of millions of Muslims on a continent wary of terrorist attacks, such as the ones in London and Madrid. They are another indication that Europe is struggling with how to temper nationalism and anxiety while defining citizenship for an immigrant Muslim population restless over what it views as generations of discrimination."