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Convert Alert: German Muslims and Turkish Christians as Threats to Security in the New Europe

  • Esra Özyürek (a1)

At the turn of the twenty-first century two countries—one at the center of Europe and the other at its periphery—officially declared converts to minority religions to be threats to national security. The first is Germany, where since early 2006 Minister of Interior Affairs Wolfgang Schäuble has repeatedly warned against the danger posed by German converts to Islam (e.g., Schmid 2007). Recently, after two German Muslims were caught collecting chemicals used to make explosives, the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) faction's leader Wolfgang Bosbach and its Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein suggested the government register and follow all who have converted to Islam (Küchen 2007). Bosbach said, “A convert registry only makes sense given that we know some of them may be radicalized after converting” (Ringel 2007).

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