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The members of German Islam Conference’s plenary 2010-2013

The second plenary of the German Islam Conference has met on 17 May 2010 for the first time under the leadership of the former Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière. Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, took over office on March 3rd 2011 and presides the plenary meetings since then.

State representatives and Muslim participants, together with the Minister of the Interior as host, form the discussion committee. The new plenary will, however, take greater account than previously of current developments and the diversity of Muslims.

The current Muslim participants who do not belong to a specific organisation will give up their places to new individuals. But they will continue to contribute to the DIK in an advisory capacity in future.

As in the first phase, when selecting the new Muslim representatives, the German Islam Conference’s key approach was to represent the diversity of Muslims in Germany as well as possible.

Bearing in mind the results of the "Muslimisches Leben in Deutschland" [Muslim Life in Germany] study (MLD BAMF 2009), the participation of umbrella and central associations and individual Muslims is maintained in a ratio of approximately one third to two thirds. The study showed that approximately a quarter of the roughly four million Muslims in Germany feel that they are represented by the Islamic umbrella and central associations that have participated in the German Islamic Conference to date.

New Muslim individuals (9 representatives):

  • Hamed Abdel-Samad, Political Scientist and Author
  • Bernd Ridwan Bauknecht, Teacher of Religion
  • Sineb El Masrar, Publisher and Managing Editor
  • Gönül Halat-Mec, Lawyer
  • Abdelmalik Hibaoui, Imam
  • Hamideh Mohagheghi, Theologian
  • Prof Dr Bülent Ucar, Professor of Islamic Religious Pedagogy
  • Turgut Yüksel, Sociologist
  • Tuba Isik, PhD student (Theology and Religious Studies)

In making these new appointments of individual Muslims, it was decided that the opportunity should be given to other Muslim individuals to contribute their practical experiences and skills to the German Islam Conference. Their experience in the new areas on which the Conference will focus was a key factor in the selection process. Greater consideration was also given, however, to the diversity of Muslims in terms of ethnicity and religious politics. And as a result secular Muslims who are critical of the associations are also represented.

Muslim umbrella and central associations

It is intended that a new association, the Türkische Gemeinde Deutschlands (TGD) [Turkish Community of Germany], will become a member. This is not an Islamic association but will represent secular Muslims, particularly those from a Turkish background, in addition to the individual representatives.

In contrast, the Islamrat für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V. (IRD) [Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany] will no longer be a member of the German Islamic Conference. Because of the well-known on-going preliminary proceedings against leading members of the Islamic Community Milli Görüş (IGMG), the largest member organisation of the IRD, its membership of the German Islamic Conference has been suspended for the time being. The Islamic Council has relinquished the option of maintaining a sleeping membership.

Thus, the following umbrella and central associations for Muslims will take part:

and the Türkische Gemeinde Deutschland (TGD) [the Turkish Community of Germany] as a secular self-help organisation for immigrants

Changes to the government members

Topics such as the introduction of Islamic religious studies lessons and the training of imams at German universities as well as number of issues concerning practical integration are the responsibility of Länder and local authorities. Therefore, benchmark specialist conferences in the Länder and exemplary local authorities are included to a greater extent than previously.

In future, the government will be represented as follows:

Federal government (6 representatives)

  • Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • Federal Chancellery
  • Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration
  • Foreign Ministry
  • Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Länder (6 representatives)

  • Interior ministers’ conference with the chair (Hamburg: 2010) and the so-called A-Land (SPD led, currently Berlin) and the so-called B-Land (Union led, currently Hesse)
  • Culture ministers’ conference with the chair (Bavaria: 2010) and the 2nd Land of the culture ministers’ conference (currently Berlin)
  • Integration ministers’ conference (Chair 2009/2010: North-Rhine Westphalia)

Local authorities (5 representatives)

  • City of Duisburg
  • City of Nuremberg
  • City of Göttingen
  • Administrative district of Konstanz
  • City of Bergkamen

Additional Information

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In October 2008, after a construction period of just four years, the Merkez (Central) Mosque was inaugurated in Marxloh. The laying of the foundation stone for the Central Mosque of Cologne was scheduled for autumn of this year. Whilst the mosque project in Duisburg ran smoothly from the outset, the one in Cologne, on the other hand, was beset by protests.

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