Germany has no plans to introduce an 'Islam law' codifying the rights and obligations of Muslims, a government spokesman said on Monday, dismissing an idea floated by allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of federal elections in September. Merkel, who will seek a fourth term in what is expected to be a close-fought ballot, has come under fire for opening Germany's doors to refugees, more than one million of whom - mostly Muslims - have entered the country over the past two years.
Seeking to boost support for the chancellor's conservatives, senior Merkel ally Julia Kloeckner stoked the integration debate at the weekend by calling for stricter rules for Islamic preachers and a ban on foreign funding of mosques. Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert dismissed the idea, which Kloeckner - who is deputy leader of the chancellor's Christian Democrats (CDU) - and other senior party members want to enshrine in an Islam law.
While stopping short of calling for an Islam law, Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday that refugees in Germany must respect tolerance, openness and freedom of religion. The message backed up a less compromising tone on integrating migrants that Merkel set at a CDU party conference in December, when she called for a ban on full-face Muslim veils "wherever legally possible"…