Islamic Education in Public Schools and Mosques in Germany
Tuba Isik [+]
Paderborn University, Germany
Islamic Education in Germany, which is more about understanding Islamic Instruction (Islamischer Religionsunterricht) as a regular subject in Primary and Secondary Schools, has become a very important public issue (Berglund 2015). That might be because 4 million of the 80 million German inhabitants are Muslims, i.e. 4-5 per cent of the population and they are claiming their rights according to the constitution: they want the possibility to exercise their entitlement to religious education. Also, German politicians are afraid that German Muslims could establish a more rigorous understanding of their religion and want to prevent this by offering religious education at schools, which are to some extent subject to the control of the federal states. But another important reason for the current discussion is that in general the young people in Germany are losing their ability, sense, and comprehension of religious language. It has also to be mentioned that Germany is becoming more and more culturally and religiously diverse. Therefore, the question of ensuring mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence requires knowledge about the “other”. Hence the question raised among educationalists is whether it would probably make more sense to have a school subject that teaches about religions (Religionskunde) instead of having religious education which is linked to a confession. I will structure my paper along these questions and thoughts.