Dossier: Islam in Germany

Ömer Özsoy (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with theology professor Ömer Özsoy

Academic freedom takes precedence

New centres for Islamic theology have been established at five German universities in recent years. In 2007, Ömer Özsoy became the first Muslim theologian to be appointed as a professor at a German university. He teaches Koranic exegesis at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. In the debate on what direction Islamic theology should take in this country, he stresses above all the importance of academic freedom. Interview by Claudia MendeMore

People in Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque in Mannheim (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The "Muslim Associations as Community Activists" project

Open dialogue on thorny issues

Beyond all the intellectual debates about their religion, most Muslims in Germany face difficulties in their everyday lives that they would dearly like to solve. The Goethe-Institut, in co-operation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, has initiated a project called "Muslim Associations as Community Activists". The project seeks not only to create stronger ties between mosque associations in German cities and the city authorities but also to improve relations between the various Muslim denominations. By Claudia MendeMore

Postcards advertising the Berlin "Heroes" project in front of a cardboard box marked "Arabic" (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

The "Heroes" project in Berlin

Combating repression

Boys are strong and courageous, while girls are chaste and obedient. The Berlin "Heroes" project wants to get young people with a migrant background to think about the traditional sense of honour found in many Muslim families and reflect on their role in it. By Heiner KieselMore

Prof Mathias Rohe (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Islam scholar and legal expert Mathias Rohe

No cultural or religious "rebates" in German courts

On 24 March 2014, a court in Wiesbaden sentenced a 23-year-old German of Afghan origin to life in prison for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. In their ruling, the judges made reference to the cultural background of the accused. Eren Güvercin spoke to legal scholar and expert on Islamic law Prof Mathias Rohe about this controversial caseMore

Members of the Working Group for Muslims in the SPD (photo: Hendrik Rauch)

Muslims in German political parties

The diversity trend

In Germany, both the Greens and the Christian Democrats have had working groups for Muslim members for some time now. In February, the Social Democrats followed suit. Are these new groups really and truly different? Or are Germany's main political parties simply jumping on the diversity trend bandwagon? By Ulrike HummelMore

Young Muslim pupils in Berlin (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Young Muslims in Germany

Forget, but don't forget

If young Muslims are to enjoy equal status within German society, a number of key changes are necessary in terms of language, discourse and policy. These changes can only be effected by the majority society working together with Muslim citizens. By Melahat KisiMore

Protesters at a demonstration in Hamburg walk behind a very large banner that reads "NO to racism in politics, everyday life and institutions. ENOUGH killing, silence, tolerance, cover-ups" (photo: dpa)

Racism in Germany

Time to talk about racism

Until such time as there is an open debate about racism, the debate about integration in Germany will not more forward. After all, as Aladin El-Mafaalani explains, integration and racism are two key elements of a discourse on participation that a country of immigration has to addressMore

Teacher and pupils in a Turkish class (photo: Andrea Groß)

The Turkish language in Germany

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Turkish is booming at schools and universities

An increasing number of young people in Germany are taking Turkish at school. The German–Turkish Year of Science hopes to further boost this trend. At present, only native speakers can take the subject at schools, but this is about to change. By Andrea GroßMore

Esra Küçük (photo: David Ausserhofer)

Young Islam Conference

Interface between politics and society

The Young Islam Conference sees itself as both a forum for dialogue and a mouthpiece for young Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seeks to counter prejudice and negative ideas about Islam in Germany. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Esra Küçük, the managing director of the Young Islam Conference, about the forum's background and aimsMore

Dr Naika Foroutan (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Naika Foroutan on Germany's Islam Conference

Encouraging developments

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has announced that the German Islam Conference will no longer concern itself with security issues. For sociologist Naika Foroutan of Berlin's Humboldt University, this is a positive sign. At last, the conference will be able to concentrate on ensuring religious equality for Muslims in Germany. Claudia Mende spoke to herMore

Design from Belkis Baharcieva's fashion collection (photo: zabbary.eu)

Interview with designer Belkis Baharcieva

Fashion for the modern Muslim woman

Belkis Baharcieva came to Germany as a refugee in 2001. At the age of 30, she began studying fashion design in Trier. Baharcieva recently set up an online fashion shop, selling her own designs to Muslim women who want to wear high-quality, beautiful Islamic clothing. Falah Elias spoke with the designerMore

A newsreader prepares to read the news on a DITIB television programme in the German city of Duisburg (photo: DW/U. Hummel)

Interview with Kerem Öktem

Farewell to the "Islamic Vatican"?

Diyanet, Turkey's state-run Directorate General for Religious Affairs, is often referred to as a kind of Islamic "mini-Vatican". The Ankara-based authority seeks to shape the religious lives of Turkish Muslims living in Western Europe. In Germany, the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), a federation of almost 900 mosque communities, is closely allied with Diyanet. Claudia Mende asked German scholar Kerem Öktem of St Anthony's College Oxford to what extent Ankara influences debates about religious matters in GermanyMore

Two young Muslim women attend a ceremony at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster in October 2012 (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Integration in Germany

Finally growing up

Attitudes and approaches to integration in Germany have changed a lot over the past 20 years. During this period, Germany has gone from a denial that it is a country of immigration to a concerted effort to improve integration. Aladin El-Mafaalani takes a closer look at what has changedMore

The Islam Conference in Berlin on 7 May 2013 (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Changing the orientation of Germany's Islam Conference

New agenda, same old faces

Since the row that erupted at last year's Islam Conference, dialogue between the German state and its Muslim residents has faltered. Now, the new interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, wants to get things moving again by changing the forum's orientation. But what can the German Islam Conference realistically hope to achieve in the future? By Ulrike HummelMore

Detlef Pollack (photo: Brigitte Heeke)

Interview with the sociologist of religion Detlef Pollack

"Germans are much less tolerant"

The Archbishop of Cologne recently drew distinctions between the value of Christian and Muslim families in Germany. For Detlef Pollack, this is not an expression of Islamophobia, but an example of German reservations. Stefan Dege spoke to the sociologist of religionMore

Mouhanad Khorchide (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Dispute about Prof Mouhanad Khorchide

A conflict of many layers

The dispute about Mouhanad Khorchide, director of the Centre for Islamic Theology at the University of Münster, is heating up. Although the conflict is ostensibly about the "correct" interpretation of Islam, it is also an attempt by the Islamic associations in Germany to make a show of strength to politicians. The dispute has dire consequences for the discipline of Islamic theology, which is still in its infancy in Germany. By Canan TopçuMore

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