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article imageNew education policy in Germany: Islamic Studies in the school

By Riccardo Valsecchi     Jan 30, 2010 in World
The Wissenschaftsrat (WR), the German Council of Science and Humanities, recommends the establishment of new institutions with Islamic Studies in Germany.
The announcement, in counter-trend compared to the rest of Europe, is documented on a 150-pages book, which will be presented in Berlin on Monday Feb. 1. It describes the necessity of creating new institutions for Islamic religious education, where new teachers and specialists for social and community work could be trained.
"Germany needs many Islamic religious teachers for the future," reports the Council statement. "According to the statistic, there are currently more than 700,000 Muslim pupils in German schools. In the case of a nationwide introduction of Islamic religious subjects in the schools and universities, at least 2000 skilled workers are required."
The Council suggests that also the Imams should be trained in these courses: "Now most of the Imams are from Turkey, but we should consider the fact that it is more convenient for a better integration when such an important moment as the Jumu'ah, the Friday prayer, is delivered by someone who has been living and has studied Islamic subjects here in Germany."
Annette Schavan (CDU), Federal Minister of Education and Research, agrees with the recommendations of the Science Council: "We will support the universities interested in this implementation," said the Minister to the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "The number of children and adolescents in Germany with the Islamic faith is high and is growing up. Therefore, the training of the Islamic teachers and scholars is important. This is a compelling policy of integration in the modern societies."
Volker Beck, member of the German Parliament for the Green party, welcomed the proposal: "It is not good for the integration, if the Imams come only from abroad," said Beck to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). "They don't know enough about the problems of Muslims in Germany and they cannot give a sufficient guidance to their own community."
More about Islam, Germany, Imam, Muslim, Integration
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