DIK - Deutsche Islam Konferenz - Muslim Chaplaincy – Meeting of the Steering Committee

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Third meeting of the Steering Committee of the German Islam Conference

The Steering Committee, the supreme body of the German Islam Conference (DIK), met on 14 March 2017 for the third time this legislative term. The first agenda item was "Chaplaincy in public institutions", followed by a report on the implementation of Muslim welfare projects. Since this was probably the last meeting of the Steering Committee, participants also discussed how the dialogue between the government and Muslims can be continued in the next legislative term.

After the meeting, Dr Thomas de Maizière, the Federal Minister of the Interior, and other members of the Steering Committee answered questions at a press conference.

Third meeting of the Steering Committee of the German Islam Conference held on 14 March 2017Source: © Henning Schacht

Outcome: Conclusion of the topic of chaplaincy

The working committee had addressed this issue in six meetings since early 2016. In addition, the DIK organized a public expert conference on this topic at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in November 2016.

The Steering Committee adopted the final document “Chaplaincy in public institutions as a topic of the DIK”. The document covers the three areas of hospital chaplaincy, prison chaplaincy and armed forces chaplaincy. Moreover, it provides structural recommendations on how to follow up on this issue. For hospital chaplaincy, the Muslim organizations represented in the DIK are to establish a working group on Islamic hospital chaplaincy. For the other two areas, mixed working groups of the government levels concerned and Muslim organizations are planned, which will invite additional stakeholders, if needed.

Recap: Social welfare as a topic of the DIK

The report on the implementation of Muslim welfare projects shows that the DIK has successfully created momentum. Dr Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, presented the report.

The DIK addressed this issue in early 2014 and adopted a paper on outcomes and actions in November 2015. The report describes the implementation of projects suggested in the summary of results. A remarkable development is that in autumn 2016 several Muslim organizations joined forces to promote Islamic social welfare by forming the Islamic Competence Centre for Social Welfare.

Since autumn 2015 the DIK has also addressed refugee assistance and carried out projects in which Muslims help refugees. The report also describes these projects.

Third meeting of the Steering Committee of the German Islam Conference held on 14 March 2017Source: © Henning Schacht

Outlook: The future of the dialogue

Finally, the participants of the meeting discussed ideas on how to continue the German Islam Conference in the next legislative term. The newly elected Federal Government will make an official decision on this issue and a possible new structure for the DIK after the elections in September 2017.

Date 15 March 2017

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