Imam explains how the Institute of Muslim Education intends to influence society | Sunday paper

Also believe that it is your task to destroy prejudices against Muslims

Our tasks certainly include educational work. However, we want to contribute to the understanding of different faiths. So it’s about dialogue. And this dialogue should touch on the common values ​​of education, democracy, human dignity and creative integrity.

“What does Islam have to say about the environment? It’s a topic we all care about right now.”

Do you have a specific example of this?

For example: What does Islam have to say about the environment? This is a topic that concerns all of us right now. Or about gender equality? The subject of human rights? These are issues that Muslims can contribute to and society as a whole can benefit from as well.

Do you feel that society as a whole is open to this?

We have not really started the work yet, at least in Munich, but we have already encountered a great desire to cooperate from other educational institutions, such as the Evangelical Academy, the Munich Adult Education Center, the Domberg Academy or the Munich Foundation. And all this shows that the public willingly accepts such a project with open arms. We feel a positive response from the city society. And this gives us joy and motivation to continue our work.

Self-styled Islamic preachers often spread crude views on social media. What do you object to?

In fact, life on the Internet is a new phenomenon that requires new approaches. The Internet scene is dominated by Salafist currents. And this is where imams, mosque communities and educational institutions face a big challenge. The reality is that more and more young people are looking for answers online, so we have a responsibility to get more involved in this area and provide the right offers.

“Muslims need more visibility in this society.”

Given the many overlapping crises in Germany, do you think young people are sensitive to such Salafist content?

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This shows how important it is to have representative mosque communities in urban society. I am not aware of anyone being radicalized in a representative mosque. Therefore, the work of the Bildungswerk or the Munich Forum for Islam, where I work as an imam, and other representative, visible mosque communities are very important. Muslims need more visibility in this society. There must be a willingness to be open to the public. But at the same time, there should be some approval from the whole society.

What is your biggest hope for 2023? with Muslimisches Bildungswerk Munich?

We are still in the development phase. Next year we will try to find our feet, so to speak. And if in the end we managed to contribute to social cohesion, if we encouraged each other to participate in society, then I think this project will have fulfilled its purpose. We should continue to receive attention. And finally, people should come to us: we are open to cooperation partners.

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