DIK - Deutsche Islam Konferenz - Social welfare for Muslims– meetings of the Steering Committee

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Meetings of the Steering Committee on social welfare

1. First Steering Committee meeting on 13 January 2015

The first meeting of the heads of the authorities and organizations represented in the German Islam Conference (DIK) took place on 13 January 2015. They discussed how social services provided by and for Muslims in Germany can be improved. Prior to the meeting, experts and practitioners from public administration and Muslim organizations had identified fields of action. They called for proposals for specific actions on this basis by the next Steering Committee meeting.

"It’s good to talk about this issue"

Federal Minister de Maizière stressed that providing or receiving social services was an expression of social participation. Improving these services for Muslims is the fundamental aim of the DIK. Therefore, it helped initiate a dialogue between Muslim umbrella organizations, associations of non-statutory social welfare and relevant government bodies on social welfare provided by and for Muslims. In this respect, Islamic institutions have an important integrating role.

Fields of action to strengthen Islamic social welfare

The fields of action include: honouring the mostly voluntary welfare work of Muslims; overcoming reservations against Muslim services; improving information and advice for Muslims on social welfare services and structures as well as administrative procedures; improving participation by integrating existing Muslim services into social welfare structures; and making Islamic institutions more professional.

Solidarity with France

In response to the terrorist attack in Paris on 7 January 2015, after the meeting the spokesperson of the Muslim Coordination Council at the time, Erol Pürlü, and Federal Minister de Maizière took the opportunity to send a joint signal of solidarity with France. They emphasized that misusing Islam for terrorist purposes was unacceptable and that terrorists must not be allowed to divide the German and European society.

2. Second Steering Committee meeting on 10 November 2015

The Steering Committee, the supreme body of the DIK, met on 10 November 2015 for the second time. The meeting focused on the outcome of the DIK on the subject of social welfare.

Results and conclusions on the topic of social welfare

For the second time in this legislative term, the Steering Committee addressed the issue of social welfare provided by and for Muslims. With the adoption of a summary of results with numerous concrete measures and projects, the DIK has concluded the discussion about this subject for the time being. The practical implementation of the measures will require the commitment of many actors over the coming years.

Study on faith-sensitive social services provided by and for Muslims

At the meeting, Federal Minister de Maizière presented an academic study commissioned by the DIK on social services provided by mosque congregations and their associations. With this study, the DIK has once again enhanced the empirical knowledge about Muslim life in Germany in an important field. In addition, the DIK presented a publication on faith-sensitive social services provided by and for Muslims, which was drafted by municipalities and the Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare (BAGFW).

Moreover, a coordinating and counselling service “Welfare and Islam” with federal funding is planned. This service is intended to help improve networking among Islamic associations, welfare organizations and other private non-statutory welfare organizations.

Several Muslim social welfare projects and their results were presented at the third Steering Committee meeting on 14 March 2017. Dr Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, presented a progress report.

Assistance for refugees by Islamic associations and congregations

The subject of social welfare is closely linked with the issue of aid and assistance for refugees. At their meeting, participants examined what assistance for refugees is already being offered by mosque congregations and how their commitment could be better targeted with government support.

The subject of refugee assistance will continue to be on the DIK’s agenda. In the remaining time of the legislative term, the DIK will deal with the second major topic set out in the common programme adopted in early 2014: Chaplaincy in public institutions (e.g. prisons, hospitals and the armed forces).

Date 11 August 2017

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