On behalf of all

Islam conference: search for an opponent with authority

One goes together to the opera stucco (cf. Cheap search for a boy toy) – at least the intention has been to. But it is not yet clear whether the opera visit will take place. Nothing substantial or concrete was to be expected from the two-hour kick-off of the multi-year islam conference, but nice gestures showing good will and sending clear counterpoint signals to the public: that an unhysterical, constructive culture of dispute is possible in a dialogue with muslim representatives. In the sum remains a "good feeling" after yesterday’s event at charlottenburg palace. And that is already a.

It has been demanded constantly and for a long time, the public dialogue with "the muslims". In concrete terms, this was only known from talk shows on television, and there the dialog usually followed predefined patterns, which the "general suspicion" here and there provided. The discussion, even if it had the question of faith as its content, usually narrowed down very soon to the question of the responsibility of violence in the name of islam, from which the muslim representative had to distance himself clearly. The representative of the muslims then usually quoted a passage from the koran, which should clearly show that islam is a peaceful religion. One of the four other discussants came up with a passage from the koran, which should clearly show that islam is a warlike religion. What was important in the public sunday evening dialogues was the correct "correct" positioning, the content mostly phrase.

The fact that schauble has cleared the table of the islam conference of the gross general suspicion that obscures the view of many more important things is accordingly a hopeful prelude to a round of talks that has to contend with a great many problems. It already starts with the question of who talks to whom here. And that goes on to the question of how binding is what is to be spoken and worked out here over the next two years. And ends among other things.A. With the question of what consequences this will have for those involved, especially for the organized representatives of muslims in germany.

And exactly there it has already "crunched": on the question of the future representation of the more than three million muslims in germany, schauble said after yesterday’s kick-off of the talks, which he described as an "open, tolerant debate" but which "did not always go harmoniously". The federal government and the states, as was discussed in the run-up to the islam conference, are looking for a "opposing with authority". On the part of the government, one hopes for partners with whom it is possible to establish reliable cooperation in concrete problem situations, e.G., with the help of the government.B. As far as islamic religious instruction or the training of imams is concerned.

The rough, fundamental problem of who the right dialogue partners are, with what claim to representation and what competencies, will continue to accompany the islam conference. Critical voices from the muslim side complain that there was no transparency in the selection of the non-organized "critical muslims", such as the lawyer seyran ates, the author necla kelek, the islam expert and author navid kermani or the writer feridun zaimoglu.

Corresponding questions that one hears in the "scene" are: for which "islam" do the "non-organized" stand, who write excellent books and address highly interesting and explosive aspects, but go beyond islam? Can they speak for the majority in the minority, for the believing muslims? Who do they represent?

Five representatives of the major muslim associations plus ten individual voices at the round table: no wonder the associations complained. But this also brings to light the fact that the associations have not yet managed to establish themselves as spokespersons for german muslims in a debate that must consist of more than just declarations. While in france, which has a different tradition and history, one does not have to search long to find an eloquent, competent representative of muslim group interests for a public television debate, german television rounds obviously suffer from a deficiency here – only an indication, of course, but it still demonstrates a deficit .

In addition to the reticence in the public discussion, the various organizations of german muslims are not transparent. This fragmentation could, insiders fear, be driven even further by the conference. A long-term effect of the established dialogue could be that the associations ("politicized national clubs" is what one german mosque-goer calls them) "grind" each other into conflicts of interest. But this is speculation; closer to the present reality is what a converted german muslim told telepolis: the younger german muslims feel largely untouched by the coarse organizations. It refreshes them coldly, just like the conference.

The concrete areas that were addressed yesterday, the teaching of schoolchildren and the training of imams, point to the main problem of the conference: can legally binding agreements be reached there, or is it a mere show with a few workshops that only help the dialogue of "cultures", moderated by representatives of the german government and the countries, to get off the ground?? The legal status of islam in germany is repeatedly addressed in this context, and not only by associations. As long as islam in germany is not recognized as a religious community under public law, as is the case with christian communities, the ground on which agreements are made will remain fragile.

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