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Turkish-German Mosque Association Wins Court Victory for Religious Education Alongside State

August 24th, 2021 13:11

Ger­man media is report­ing that the Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB)  has won a court vic­to­ry to con­tin­ue to teach reli­gious edu­ca­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a Ger­man state. Accord­ing to the Süd­deutsche Zeitung report:

July 2, 2021, Wies­baden (dpa/lhe) — In the dis­pute over Islam­ic reli­gious instruc­tion in Hesse, the Turk­ish mosque asso­ci­a­tion DITIB has achieved a suc­cess before the Wies­baden Admin­is­tra­tive Court. Accord­ing to the deci­sion pub­lished on Fri­day, the sus­pen­sion of the so-called con­fes­sion-ori­ent­ed Islam­ic reli­gious edu­ca­tion in coop­er­a­tion with DITIB by the state of Hesse was not in con­for­mi­ty with the law (case ref­er­ence: 6K 1234/20.wi). Accord­ing to a court spokesman, the state now has one month to appeal the deci­sion to the Hes­s­ian Admin­is­tra­tive Court. A spokesman for the Min­istry of Cul­ture said that the state has a high inter­est in clar­i­fy­ing the con­flict in the last instance. The rea­sons giv­en by the admin­is­tra­tive court are now being exam­ined. How­ev­er, there is much to sug­gest that appeals will then be lodged with the Admin­is­tra­tive Court. In Hesse, this con­fes­sion-ori­ent­ed Islam­ic reli­gious edu­ca­tion has been offered in coop­er­a­tion with DITIB since the 2013/14 school year. In April 2020, the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion sus­pend­ed these class­es from the new school year, cit­ing doubts about the asso­ci­a­tion’s suit­abil­i­ty as a coop­er­a­tion part­ner. It was ques­tion­able whether the nec­es­sary inde­pen­dence from the Turk­ish state exist­ed. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB) man­ages over 900 mosques in Ger­many. At the same time, the Turk­ish  Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs  (Diyanet)  deter­mines the the­o­log­i­cal guide­lines for imams’ ser­mons, and the Turk­ish con­sulate pays their salaries. DITIB, how­ev­er, main­tains that it is inde­pen­dent of the Turk­ish state.  Ger­man politi­cians have sought to have imams trained in Ger­many instead of sent over from Turkey in part to reduce Turkey’s influ­ence in the coun­try. Oth­er GIOR report­ing on DITIB has included:

  • In July, we report­ed that DITIB chose not to par­tic­i­pate in cre­at­ing an imam train­ing cen­ter financed by the Ger­man state.
  • In July, we report­ed that the chair­man of a local DITIB branch has said that the group only can­celed an event fea­tur­ing a Turk­ish his­to­ri­an known for homo­pho­bic and anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries because of out­side pressure.
  • In May, we report­ed that DTIB would remain part of an Islam­ic edu­ca­tion advi­so­ry board in the Ger­man state of North-Rhine Westphalia