Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Excerpt from Der Spiegel interview: Wolfgang Schaeuble

Schäuble: During the cartoon controversy, some very credible and smart people debated whether it was a good idea to publish the images, because as they claimed, even freedom of the press should have its limits. That was a mixture of do-good idealism and fear. My view on this issue is quite clear: There are tasteful and less tasteful cartoons, but we must tolerate them, and we cannot start qualifying them. Those who constantly qualify everything and have no opinions of their own are ultimately just as incapable of tolerance.

SPIEGEL: You had no objections to the publishing of the cartoons?

Schäuble: I didn't like the cartoons, but the fact that they were printed, also in the German media, is legitimate. I will always defend the right to do this.

SPIEGEL: Do you agree with your predecessor, Otto Schily, who wanted to see Islam subjected to a period of enlightenment?

Schäuble: I don't want to change Islam, but if there is to be a European Islam, it must incorporate European values. During the centuries-long process of Reformation and Enlightenment, Christian churches had to accept some things they didn't like. Islam will have to do the same; otherwise it isn't part of Europe.

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