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Muslims are part of German society - Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 12 (KUNA) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday reaffirmed commitment to her immigration policy and condemned the violent acts of the far-right against asylum seekers.
Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists all belong to the German society, she said, adding that human dignity was paramount.
The German leader was addressing a heated debate at the Bundestag (the lower house of parliament) in the aftermath of far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz where a German man was stabbed to death and two migrants, from Iraq and Syria, were arrested.
Merkel's decision in August 2015 to let more than a million refugees into the country, as well as her immigration policies and the national budget were in the spotlight.
She assured the lawmakers that her government would take the concerns of the public seriously.
"We are troubled by the serious crimes in which the alleged perpetrators were asylum-seekers," Merkel said.
However, she said, "it is unjustifiable to attack police officers. We will not allow whole groups in our society to be excluded." "It is totally inexcusable and unreasonable to hunt down people or use violence and Nazi slogans or show hostility to people who just look different," Merkel argued. She condemned as "xenophobic" an earlier statement by head of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alexander Gauland that the domestic peace of Germany was at risk.
"As disgusting as Hitler salutes are, I would like to remind you that the really serious event in Chemnitz was the bloody deed (committed) by two asylum seekers," said Alexander Gauland.
Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic Party's (SPD) candidate for chancellor last year, also reacted strongly to Gauland's comments.
He accused the AfD of adopting the means of fascism by reducing complex political problems to a single topic related to a minority in the country.
"Migrants are to blame for everything - there were similar words in this house before." Schulz said, referring to the Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945.
He affirmed, "It's time for democracy to defend itself against these people." (end) anj.sd.gb