Monday, February 01, 2010

GERMAN UNIVERSITIES TO DEVELOP ISLAMIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS TO BE USED IN SCHOOLS

GERMAN UNIVERSITIES TO DEVELOP ISLAMIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS TO BE USED IN SCHOOLS

By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Wiesbaden



In 2008 the University of Munster opened up the country’s first Islamic Theology program at the tertiary level in German public universities. Last year, in Hessen the newly elected CDU government stated that there would be Islamic education provided in most all schools in the future where there was need and demand. Finally, this past weekend, German politicians and representatives of Muslims, including imams, from across Germany announced even greater commitment to providing proper training for Islamic theology, youth training, and moral & social education throughout the country.

Germany’s federal education minister, Annette Schaven (CDU) says she is extremely convinced that Islamic education offerings in schools is part-and-parcel of the process of integration in the now multicultural Germany. She is pushing for Islamic departments to be created at universities in all German states in the near future. [This will be essential for integration in a country which has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe.]

http://www.amo.cz/publikace/german-interior-minister-islam-is-part-of-germany.html


In the last year, several tertiary educational institutions across Germany have indicated they will open up Islamic theology or Islamic education departments. These include the University in Frankfurt and two universities in the neighboring states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.

http://www.rferl.org/content/German_University_Takes_Step_Toward_Integrating_Islamic_Education/1786580.html

Germany already offers catholic, protestant, and ethical educational courses in all its various secondary schools. So, this expansion into Islamic education is seen as a logical step towards integrating a more marginalized group.

The focus of the new Islamic programs, however, are certainly going to be focused less on Islamic orthodoxy and more on public roles, family roles, and social responsibility of the Muslim in modern German society. There will also be a partial focus on promoting self-awareness of the Muslim-self in a multicultural Europe.

In short, with ¾ of all Muslims in Germany not currently considering themselves very conservative, the Islamic leadership and the German government do not want a program of Muslim education and training that will become a tool of conservative theologians from the Middle East or elsewhere—as has happened too often in neighboring countries in European—as well as in Asia and Africa over the past 3 decades.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/306968,broad-support-in-germany-for-islamic-theology-at-universities.html

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