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What is the DIK?

Muslims in Germany – German Muslims

The coalition agreement for the 17th legislative period has agreed to continue the German Islam Conference (DIK). It is considered to be the most important forum between the German state and Muslims living in Germany. The German Minister for Internal Affairs, Dr Thomas de Maizière, announced the continuation and extension of the German Islam Conference, as it promotes harmonisation between the German state and Muslims.

In recent decades, Germany has become more religiously and culturally diverse, above all as a result of immigration by people from predominantly Muslim countries. Approximately four million Muslims now live in Germany. Almost half of these already hold German citizenship.

Strengthening social cohesion

Strengthening common ground, overcoming differences, promoting participation – on the principle of the basic free democratic order at the heart of the German constitution – these seem to be the answers to the question as to how social cohesion can be preserved in a country that is as religiously and culturally diverse as Germany is today.

The aim of the German Islam Conference is to make a contribution in this area. The conference which was founded in 2006 was the first national reaction, involving federal, regional and local authorities, to the relatively recent presence in historical terms of Muslims as a significant population group in Germany.

"Muslims in Germany – German Muslims" – this slogan encapsulates the central aim of the German Islam Conference: Muslims in Germany should see themselves and be seen by others as part of German society.

Improving integration of Muslims

One specific aim of the German Islam Conference in its first phase was to improve dialogue between the state and Muslims, thereby making a contribution to the social integration of Muslims and their religious law and to social cohesion in Germany and so counteract social polarisation and segregation. The German Islam Conference does not represent and never has represented Muslims in the sense of a religious community. The Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs has primary responsibility for the Conference because this Ministry has traditionally been responsible at government level for relationships with religious communities in Germany.

From religious constitutional law, via German values, to preventing extremism

The German Islam Conference has met at two levels to date. The plenary meeting, that convened annually, approved suggestions and recommendations from the working groups and provided impetus for the process of dialogue. At the level below the plenary meeting, three working groups and a discussion group each met every two months. Over 100 specialists worked in these groups and pursued the following issues:

  • German social system and German values: Working group 1
  • Religious issues in the German understanding of the constitution: Working group 2
  • The economy and the media as bridge-builders: Working group 3
  • Security and Islamism: Discussion group

Numerous recommendations for action

At the 3rd and 4th plenary meetings in 2008 and 2009, interim reports with the results from the working groups and the discussion group were adopted on the following issues:

 

  • Social cohesion and integration of Muslims living in Germany
  • Consensus of values in day-to-day life
  • Introduction of Islamic religious studies in German in state schools
  • Building and managing mosques
  • Religiously based practical issues in daily school life
  • Training of imams
  • Establishing Islamic theological university institutions in Germany
  • Reporting in the media
  • Joint action against Islamist activities

DIK-editorial team, 17.05.2010

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