The Interior Minister’s proposition raises many serious questions. While the article notes that it has arisen in the context of mandatory religious education in German schools, where students presently have a choice between studying Catholicism, Judaism, and Protestantism, one key difference in this case is the need to address Islam’s nature as a political movement that makes no distinction between religion and state.
Then, there is the matter of content. Who will design the curriculum? Who will ensure other material is not substituted for the approved curriculum? Who will oversee teacher training? Will those classes teach that it is okay for a man to beat his wife (or multiple wives, for that matter)? Will they instill in students the goal of overthrowing the secular government in order to impose Islamic law?
“German minister says schools should teach Islam,” from the International Herald Tribune (with content from Reuters and the Associated Press):
BERLIN: Schools in Germany should offer Islam – along with Christianity and Judaism – as a required religion class in the future, the interior minister said Thursday, but he insisted that the courses be taught in German.
How will they handle verses from the Qur’an?
Interior Minister Wolfgang SchÃ¤uble said that it would take a while before Muslim community leaders worked out a legally binding agreement with the state, but that an agreement on the issue had been reached.
“It will take some time, but we are moving ahead,” SchÃ¤uble said after a third conference with representatives of Germany’s estimated three million Muslims. Other participants said it would take several years before the classes became available.
Both sides have wrangled for years over the teaching Islam in state-run schools, where religion classes are required by law. Pupils now only have the choice of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism or Judaism. Many schools also offer ethics classes as an alternative.
Offering Islam in schools will be “a very, very considerable contribution to integration and peaceful coexistence,” said Bekir Alboga, a spokesman for the Muslim participants. […]
The Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches in Germany, as well as the Jewish community, already have established legal partnerships with the state.
Participants in the conference, set up in 2006 in an attempt to improve often strained relations between Germans and the nation’s Muslim community – dominated by roughly 2.2 million Turks – also agreed to support construction of more mosques in Germany and fight against Islamic radicalism.
For the latter point, did they provide any specifics on how they intend to go about it?