Merkel: Extremism was Already in Germany before the Migrant Influx
Refugees did not bring terrorism to Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said stressing that extremism was already there before the migrant influx worsened.
"The phenomenon of terrorism, of Daesh, is not a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees, we rather have and had it," Merkel said as she spoke at an election campaign event ahead of the regional vote due to take place in the eastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on September 4, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Terrorism is something Germany already had suffered in the past, she noted.
Merkel further added that Islam had a full right to exist in the country along with any other religion and could be practiced as long as it did not breach the constitution.
"We have said clearly that an Islam that works and lives on the basis of the constitution ... belongs to Germany," Merkel said, maintaining that terrorism and refugee influx are totally separate matters.
She went on to comment on mosques in which so-called "radical Islam" is allegedly being spread, saying "they are under surveillance, under strict surveillance, which is justified. I think that we have to be constantly up-to-date with this matter. We already said that we are going to do Imam courses at German universities for the sake of transparency."
Merkel vowed to increase the state's capacities in order to safeguard Germany's internal security.
Her statements came a month after she admitted that militant groups used the refugee influx to smuggle terrorists into Europe. "In part, the refugee flow was even used to smuggle terrorists," she said.
Fleeing war-zones and poverty, more than a million refugees arrived to Germany last year.
An anti-refugee sentiment has been especially high among German citizens since the country saw a spate of attacks last month.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team