Interview with Islamic Studies Scholar Kaddor


In light of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Deutsch Türkische Nachrichten interviewed Lamya Kaddor, a scholar of Islamic studies of Syrian origins and actively involved in introducing Islamic education in German public schools, about her recent visit to New York and Ground Zero and the scaremongering by Interior Minister Friedrich. Kaddor thinks the 9/11 attacks have sensitized people to Islam – both in a negative as well as positive way. On a recent trip to New York, Kaddor was surprised by the relatively relaxed atmosphere in the US. She describes Ground Zero as a busy, yet peaceful place, where the presence of Muslims is not considered to be problematic.


Asked about Interior Minister Friedrich’s recent announcement that Germany is home to an estimated 1,000 Islamic terrorists, Kaddor criticises this form of scaremongering for political benefits. While such comments do not support the actual debate about Islamism and terror in Germany, they may be used (or rather, abused) to justify the implementation of certain policies.


As a teacher, Kaddor works with children that were born shortly before or after 9/11 and, therefore, do not have any direct (and first-hand) associations with the attacks. When talking about the attacks in class, Kaddor observes that some students cannot construct the links between what they hear and see and reality; for many of them, the events seem more like abstracts from an action-movie.