Baden-Württemnerg’s Integration Minister Bilkay Öney (SPD) has called on church-run care institutions to hire more Muslim staff. She is hoping to remove barriers for Muslim caregivers who are not invited to interviews, as their names give away their background. This initiative is one of Öney’s central objectives for 2012.
Baden-Württemberg’s Integration Minister Bilkay Öney held the first “Round Table Islam” last week, which was initiated to improve the dialogue with Muslims (as reported). Öney invited more than 30 Muslim representatives of organisations, associations, and ministries to discuss topics such as the public perception of Islam, Islam and education, Islam and basic liberties, and Islam and gender roles. The participants of the round table did not only discuss these topics, but also searched for concrete measures to improve the integration of Muslims and Islam in Baden-Württemberg. Following the meeting, Öney stressed the need to train more teachers for Islamic education to meet the needs of more than 70,000 Muslim students. Furthermore, she expressed empathy for veiled Muslim women who feel discriminated against due to their headscarf. While Öney herself has been against the headscarf for women in civil service positions, she said she was willing to reconsider her opinion and re-open the debate about the headscarf. The next Round Table Islam is planned for May 2012.