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Europe

Islam in Germany

Beginning with a few thousand Turks who came over as "guest workers " in the 1960s, Germany's Muslim community has grown to more than 2 million encompassing a host of different nationalities today. There is not one major German city where the spires of a mosque can't be seen reaching out among the housetops. Headscarves on the street have become as familiar as the sausage stand on the corner.

As their numbers grow, so does their desire to assert their presence. For the most part, Germany's politicians have treated Islam's growing influence with gloved hands. But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and their roots in a small mosque in Hamburg threw the community into sharper focus. Muslims responded by becoming more vocal and demonstrative in asserting their religious rights, sparking already simmering debates on the place the headscarf holds in German society and whether Muslim parents have the right to bend school rules.

DW-WORLD looks at some of the issues confronting German society as Muslim influence grows.

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