Dispute about Islamic theology

March 6, 2014

 

The public dispute about Islamic theology at German Universities and the Islamic theologist Professor Mouhanad Khorchide at the University of Münster has attracted the attention of the wider public. Since 2010, Islamic theology has been established at different German Universities in Münster/Osnabrück in Frankfurt/Gießen und Erlangen/Nürnberg.

Two conflicts have been arousing the issue of Islamic theology. First, the dispute between the Center for Islamic theology at the University of Münster and Islamic associations began in 2011, when the Center proposed different Islam experts for its science council and advisory board. Many of these candidates were dismissed by the Islamic associations. While some candidates of the Islamic associations were rejected, as the Federal Ministry of Interior assessed them inappropriate. In practice, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution assessed one of the candidates proposed by the Islamic Community – Milli Görüs as extremist.

The second conflict aroused about the person Mouhanad Khorchide. Having approved his engagement, Islamic associations rejected Khorchide´s employment at the Center, criticizing him for his remarks in favor of a liberal Islam. According to Engin Karahan, a representative of the Islam council, there is no trust left between Professor Khorchide and the Islamic associations. Thus, it would not be legitimate to continue his engagement at the University. It would be senseless for the University of Münster to offer Islamic theology without the cooperation with Islamic associations.

The coordination council of Muslims assessed the work of Khorchide as “not scientific enough”. Other theologists such as Professor Bernhard Uhde from the University of Freiburg called criticized the assessment of the coordination council of Muslims as dilettantish and an evidence for the power clash between Turkish associations and other Muslims.

Serda Günes, an Islam scientist from the University of Frankfurt believes the schools of Islamic theology processing a period of maturing. Islamic associations would not be able to respond to normative questions as solid and confident as churches would do. Therefore, they would try to compensate this lack with theological views, reacting irritated when being challenged by antagonizing positions.

 

Spiegel Online: http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/studium/islamische-theologie-streit-in-muenster-um-mouhanad-khorchide-a-956587.html#

 

Dispute about Islamic theology

March 6, 2014

 

The public dispute about Islamic theology at German Universities and the Islamic theologist Professor Mouhanad Khorchide at the University of Münster has attracted the attention of the wider public. Since 2010, Islamic theology has been established at different German Universities in Münster/Osnabrück in Frankfurt/Gießen und Erlangen/Nürnberg.

Two conflicts have been arousing the issue of Islamic theology. First, the dispute between the Center for Islamic theology at the University of Münster and Islamic associations began in 2011, when the Center proposed different Islam experts for its science council and advisory board. Many of these candidates were dismissed by the Islamic associations. While some candidates of the Islamic associations were rejected, as the Federal Ministry of Interior assessed them inappropriate. In practice, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution assessed one of the candidates proposed by the Islamic Community – Milli Görüs as extremist.

The second conflict aroused about the person Mouhanad Khorchide. Having approved his engagement, Islamic associations rejected Khorchide´s employment at the Center, criticizing him for his remarks in favor of a liberal Islam. According to Engin Karahan, a representative of the Islam council, there is no trust left between Professor Khorchide and the Islamic associations. Thus, it would not be legitimate to continue his engagement at the University. It would be senseless for the University of Münster to offer Islamic theology without the cooperation with Islamic associations.

The coordination council of Muslims assessed the work of Khorchide as “not scientific enough”. Other theologists such as Professor Bernhard Uhde from the University of Freiburg called criticized the assessment of the coordination council of Muslims as dilettantish and an evidence for the power clash between Turkish associations and other Muslims.

Serda Günes, an Islam scientist from the University of Frankfurt believes the schools of Islamic theology processing a period of maturing. Islamic associations would not be able to respond to normative questions as solid and confident as churches would do. Therefore, they would try to compensate this lack with theological views, reacting irritated when being challenged by antagonizing positions.

 

Spiegel Online: http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/studium/islamische-theologie-streit-in-muenster-um-mouhanad-khorchide-a-956587.html#

 

Hesse plans to establish an early warning system for detection of radicalization

December 3, 2013

 

The State of Hesse aims to establish an early warning system to detect the radicalization of young Muslim men living in Germany. Minister of Interior Boris Rhein expressed his concern about the number of young Muslim men leaving Germany to join the civil war in Syria. German security authorities have registered 230 individuals flying out to join the “Jihad journey”.

According to security authorities, most men belong to the Salafi scene or have been addressed by Salafist activists. Most of the volunteers are said to be below the age of 25.

That said, the Minister of Hesse proposes a new helpline to advise friends and relatives of young radicalized men. The “Jihad early warning system” has been applied in several prevention projects related to radical right-wing extremism.

 

Spiegel Online: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/hessen-plant-fruehwarnsystem-gegen-dschihad-trips-nach-syrien-a-936868.html

Muslim kids’ stone attack on Jews sparks outrage in Germany

Germany’s Jewish community has reacted with shock to a stone-throwing attack by Muslim children as young as 10 on a Jewish dance troupe performing at a Hanover festival, media reported Thursday.

About 30 children and youths, largely of Lebanese, Palestinian and Iranian descent, threw stones at the dancers on Sunday, shouting “Jews out!” daily Berliner Morgenpost reported. The youths were aged from 10 to 15, the paper reported. The dance troupe, named Chaverim – Hebrew for “friends” – broke off their performance after one of their members was hit in the leg by a stone and lightly injured.
Lower Saxony Integration Minister Aygül Özkan said through a spokesman she was “deeply shocked” by the incident. Charlotte Knoblauch, president of the German Jewish Council, said the incident showed “a new social provocation, which already in the past weeks is clearly visible as it hasn’t been before.” Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic feelings were evidently simmering among Muslim youths living in Germany, she said, adding that this case “saddens me especially because these anti-Semitic attitudes are encountered already in children and youths with this vehemence.”

Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, condemned the incident in the strongest terms in an interview with Spiegel Online. He called for Islamic solidarity with anyone – whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Atheist – who has suffered from injustice. Mazyek also pointed out that hatred and anti-Semitism had no place in Islam.

Chinese Muslim inmates at Guantanamo appeal to Germany

Several Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay prison have appealed to the German government for asylum. A remote Pacific island has agreed to accept them but only on a temporary basis. Seema Saifee, a lawyer for the Uighur detainees, told Spiegel Online that their case had been put to the German government. “Our clients implore the federal government to open the door of Germany for them and to persuade other European nations to give protection to many other stateless Guantanamo prisoners,” Saifee said. Germany’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made it clear last week that a decision could not be made because Germany regarded the information provided by the US State Department on the Uighurs as insufficient. The interior ministry has refused other applications from former Guantanamo inmates on national security grounds. Saifee said the men had been “upset and disappointed” by the critical attitude of Germany’s interior minister. “The Uighurs see Germany with the largest Uighur community in Europe as the best way to end their imprisonment for nearly a decade at Guantanmo Bay,” she said.

Risky Satire: Berlin Exhibition Closes after Muslim Threats

A Berlin gallery has closed an exhibition of satirical art by the controversial Danish group Surrend after receiving threats from a group of Muslims. The men were objecting to a picture of the Kaaba at Mecca under the title “Dumb Stone.” Eighteen months ago, the severed head of Muhammad was enough to get an opera temporarily cancelled (more…) in Berlin. This time around, it’s an irreverent image of the Kaaba in Mecca that has caused an exhibition in the German capital to shut its doors. But there is one major difference between the two incidents: Whereas the mere spectre of possible attacks was enough to get the Deutsche Oper to put the kibosh on a Mozart opera in 2006, Berlin’s Galerie Nord closed its doors this week after a group of Muslims walked into the gallery and threatened staff with violence. “It was a very explosive situation,” Jan Egesborg, whose satirical art group Surrend created the Galerie Nord exhibition, told Spiegel Online. “We don’t want to be part of the current Islamophobic tendency in Europe. We weren’t trying to provoke Muslims.” The exhibition, called “ZOG — Surrend,” opened last Friday and was scheduled to run until the end of March. Conceived by the controversial Danish satirical art group, it included a picture of the black, cube-shaped Kaaba in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Above the image, a headline read “Dumb Stone.” Gallery manager Ralf Hartmann decided on Tuesday to shut down the show after six men believed to have been Muslims turned up demanding that the image be removed. The men reportedly threatened the staff with violence should they not comply. David Gordon Smith reports.

Islam Debate in Germany: “Girls are made unable for integration

The German writer G_nter Wallraff proposed reading Salman Rushdi’s ‘Satanic Verses’ in a controversial new mosque in Cologne. The religious foundation building the mosque discussed the project but eventually refused the proposal. G_nter Wallraff doesn’t think of himself as a provocateur, he just wants to get a dialogue going and to put the integration of Muslims in German society to the test. Now he is participating in a critical Islam conference. The critical Islam conference will take place in spring/summer 2008. A pubic announcement event, a penal discussion of Islam critics, including Wallraff, took place at the University of Cologne on 1 December. Spiegel Online has interviewed him about Islam in Germany.