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Overview: recent events in the DIK

Renewed mission during the third legislative period

Realignment of a tried-and-tested format

The new focuses of the Islam Conference, in line with the wish of the Muslim associations' representatives, are the strengthening of geriatric assistance and care, as well as pastoral care. This means that two comprehensive and important issues are being dealt with that involve cooperation between the government and the religious communities, an approach that has borne fruit during the previous work. In this way, models for the introduction of faith-led Islamic religious studies have been developed, for example, while Islamic centres were set up at four institutions of higher education, and the training and networking of Muslim and Alevi clerics have been supported. From now on, the issues will be dealt with chronologically, with the initial focus up until the beginning of 2016 having been placed on Islamic welfare provision, whilst since then the DIK has been adressing Muslim pastoral care in public facilities.

New focuses reflect Muslims' needs

The initial focus of Islamic welfare provision was child and youth welfare as well as geriatric assistance. The working committee discussed the need for action at several sessions, and in conclusion the committee submitted a findings document to the steering committee at its session in January 2016 which also envisions a large number of actions for the years to come.

An overview of the independent welfare system

The steering committee also accepted a study on social services of Muslims. The study, which had been designed by participants in the DIK together with the Centre for Turkish Studies and Integration Research, offers for the first time extensive, authoritative data on the provision of social services in the mosque communities of the Islamic umbrella associations, and demonstrates their commitment. The study focused on child and youth welfare activities, as well as on geriatric assistance. The local authorities and the Federal working group for non-governmental welfare services (BAGFW) also presented their own surveys on examples of best practice in religion-sensitive social services by and for Muslims in the local territorial entities, as well as an overview of religiously-sensitive social services for Muslims in the organisations of the BAGFW. The surveys contain sample collections of best practice examples in six municipalities, as well as an overview of how Muslims are accommodated within the activities and structures of the central associations of the Federal working group for non-governmental welfare services (BAGFW). Analogously to the emphases placed in the DIK’s working programme, the focus is placed on the areas of child and youth welfare, as well as geriatric assistance.

Pastoral care in public facilities

Pastoral care in public facilities is the new priority topic of the German Islam Conference for the rest of the legislative period with Muslim pastoral care at the levels of the Federation, the Länder and the local authorities. There are state facilities at all levels in which pastoral care is provided in cooperation with religious organisations, so that the term used is that of "institutional pastoral care". This applies to the military at federal level, to the prisons in the Länder and to the hospitals at local authority level. In order to discuss how Muslim pastoral care can be established in this context and what successful projects and models already exist, the working committee met in its new composition for the first time on 18 February 2016.

More flexible structures and a practical approach

In addition, the realignment of the German Islam Conference focuses on new structures, working methods and participants: The working committee meets every two to three months, and focuses on a specific topic. At political level, the steering committee meets once or twice per year. It is the senior body of the DIK. The Mminister, the relevant departments, the Länder, the local authorities and representatives from the Islamic associations present the findings from the working committees at these meetings. High-impact conferences are also included in the schedule, with a view to promoting exchange between the expert public and practitioners. The first conference on Muslim welfare was held in Berlin on 13 and 14 January 2015. The next conference on the current topic of Muslim welfare will be held in Berlin on 7 November 2016.

The umbrella associations in the DIK

During the current legislative period, the subject focus will take account of institutional cooperation between the government and Muslims, as well as of the increasingly heterogeneous association landscape at federal level. As during the period from 2009 to 2013, the DITIB, the Association of Islamic Cultural Centres, the Alevi Community in Germany, the Turkish Community in Germany, the Islamic Community of Bosnians in Germany and the Central Council of Moroccans in Germany remain DIK members. As in 2006 to 2009, the Central Council of Muslims and the Islamic Council are members once more, having not taken part in the previous legislative period. Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and the Islamic Association of Shiite Communities are represented on the DIK for the first time in this legislative period.

In alphabetical order:

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (AMJ) [Ahmadiyya Muslim Community]
  • Alevitische Gemeinde Deutschlands (AABF) [Alevi Community of Germany]
  • Islamische Gemeinschaft der Bosniaken in Deutschland - Zentralrat e.V. (IGBD) [Islamic Community of Bosnians in Germany]
  • Islamische Gemeinschaft der Schiitischen Gemeinden in Deutschland (IGS) [Islamic Association of Shiite Communities in Germany]
  • Islamrat für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V. (IRD) [Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany]
  • Türkische Gemeinde in Deutschland (TGD) [Turkish Community in Germany]
  • Türkisch-Islamische Union der Anstalt für Religion e.V. (DITIB) [Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs]
  • Verband der islamischen Kulturzentren e.V. (VIKZ) [Association of Islamic Cultural Centres]
  • Zentralrat der Marokkaner in Deutschland e. V. (ZMaD, also ZRMD) [Central Council of Moroccans in Germany]
  • Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland (ZMD) [Central Council of Muslims in Germany].


Experts in place of individual Muslims

Individual Muslims not affiliated to any association are no longer included in the DIK bodies, in contrast to earlier legislative periods. Rather, experts and practitioners are invited to attend as agreed by all concerned. These experts input their views on the relevant subjects, thereby contributing to practically oriented outcomes. With regard to support for young people and the elderly, Samy Charchira (Aktion Gemeinwesen und Beratung - a children's and young people's organisation) and Erika Theißen (Meeting places and training centres of Muslim women) are advising the DIK.As in previous years, all the levels within the federal structure are involved in the DIK, alongside the relevant specialist departments. The following representatives are addressing the topic of "Pastoral care in public facilities":

Federal Government representatives:

  • the Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • the Federal Chancellery
  • the Commissioner for Integration
  • the Federal Ministry of defence
  • the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection  

The thematic Conferences of Länder Ministers were represented by

  • the Conference of ministers of the Interior, chaired by the Saarland in 2016
  • the Conference of Ministers of Integration, chaired by Thuringia in 2016
  • the Conference of Ministers of Justice, chaired by Brandenburg in 2016 

The local authorities were represented by

  • the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag)
  • the German Association of Rural Districts (Deutscher Landkreistag)
  • the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund)

Date 21 September 2016

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