Gear wheels network for young well-educated Muslims

August 8


In March 2010, young engaged Muslims met to initiate a networks called Zahnräder “gear wheels”.

The network´s aim is to provide a professional networking platform for young well-educated Muslims, who either engage in politics, economy, media or the social sector.


Since 2012, the network´s capabilities were boosted when being supported by organizations such as the British Council, the aid organization Islamic Relief, and the education network of North Rhine-Westphalia. Ali Aslan Gümüsay is one of the founders of “gear wheels” and the current board of directors. Gümüsay, is a doctoral candidate at the Said Business School of Oxford University. He underlined the necessity for Muslims to network and participate in German society.  Zahnräder does not require participants to subscribe a membership. So far, there are around 90 active people and a German wide circle of contributors participating at Zahnräder’s online forums and annual national conferences in Germany.

DEBATE: “European Muslims: Model Citizens or Forever Foreign?” on Wednesday, November 10th at the British Council and European Policy Centre, Brussels

A debate organised by the British Council in collaboration with the European Policy Centre and the European Muslim Network.

10 November 2010, European Parliament, Brussels, Room A5E2, 10:00 to 12:30 (Registration and Coffee from 09:15)

Are western societies becoming too individualistic? Are we more concerned with ourselves than our communities? If good citizenship is defined by giving something back to society, are we all becoming bad citizens?

We hear no end of criticism against European Muslims for having divided loyalties; for failing to integrate and for living in closed communities with traditional values, out of tune with ‘our’ Western values.

But perhaps Muslims in Europe are actually the model of good citizenship, with stronger family ties, increasing political participation, more respect for their community and more engagement in voluntary organisations..…

In this open and frank debate, we discuss what it takes to be a good ‘European citizen’. We ask whether strong communities are a hindrance to proper integration; whether citizenship is more than just nationality; and whether hyphenated citizenship should be embraced or challenged.

Participants include

Sajjad Karim, Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Host of the Debate
Belinda Pyke, Director for Equality between Men/Women, Action against discrimination, European Commission
Saad Amrani, Police Commissioner in charge of foreign community and international issues, Brussels city
Tareq Oubrou, Imam, Mosque of Bordeaux
Sophie Heine, Research Fellow, Université Libre de Bruxelles

This debate will be moderated by Shada Islam, from the European Policy Centre.

If you would like to register, please contact us at

If you require a pass for the European Parliament, please RSVP before 29th October, including your full name, date of birth and place of residence.

Muslims in Europe and islamophobia; a workshop of research in progress and symposium

Muslims in Europe and Islamophobia
A Workshop of Research in Progress and Symposium

Presented by MEL-net and ICS in cooperation with
British Council, “Our Shared Europe”

Friday, 28th of May 2010 at ICS-UL

MEL-conference & European Muslim Network Meeting
29-30 November 2007, Lisbon, ICS-UL & Forum Lisboa

Day I: Muslims in Portugal
Day II: Expanding Horizons

Government to link London schools with madrassahs

The British government will link schools at home with madrassahs (Islamic schools) in restive Muslim countries in an effort to combat extremist ideologies. “These projects have a tremendous effect on how young people see the modern world,” said Martin Davidson, the chief executive of the British Council, a Foreign Office-funded educational body, which has been assigned with the twinship programme._ “They are a direct way of revealing what people and cultures in other countries are really like. While they discover plenty of differences they also come to understand that young people share many characteristics.” The British Council has already allocated _6 million to the project, whose first phase will kick off in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq and Pakistan, including the troubled North West Frontier Province regarded as a stronghold for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Schools in London, Bradford, Nottingham and Birmingham, where there are large Muslim populations, are expected to be the first to take part. (link temporary; some news sites may require registration)