Berlin Submits

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Berlin to appoint imams to teach Islam in schools

BERLIN – The German Minister of Education Annette Schavan wants imams teach courses in Islamic religions in schools, in an interview with the weekly Die Zeit to be published Thursday.

  • In Germany, where church and state are not separate, the schools provide religious instruction, Catholic or Protestant to students.

    They could be “used in schools” at halftime, as “priests,” said Schavan to Die Zeit. She nevertheless conditioned their hiring that they are trained at university in Germany.

    Four new institutes devoted to Islamic theology are being created in the universities of Tübingen (southwest), Erlangen (south), Osnabrück / Münster (west) and Frankfurt (center), with support from the Department of research.

    Between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims (45% have German nationality) currently living in Germany with 82 million inhabitants. The Turks form the largest community with 2.5 million people.

    Like most European countries, Germany, with one third of Catholics, Protestants and all the rest being of another religion or no religion, is confronted with the thorny issue of integration of this population.

    According to a study published by Die Zeit in December, two out of five Germans feel threatened by Islam, more than the French, Dutch, Danish or Portuguese.