Angela Merkel has said Islam has become a part of Germany and is urging her fellow citizens to show tolerance for Muslims.
The Chancellor told members of her conservative Christian Democratic party that the great majority of Muslims in Germany had distanced themselves from the recent violence during protests against an anti-Islam video that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad.
Ms Merkel said Germans "should be open about it (Islam) and say, 'Yes, it's part of us'." She added that Christians should perhaps start thinking and talking more about their own religion again, "rather than having fear of Islam".
Germany is home to an estimated four million Muslims.
Ms Merkel's comment follow former president Christian Wulff's remarks who surprised many in 2010 by saying that "Islam now also belongs to Germany".