Young Muslims in Germany ”Berlin Needs You!”

While the debate about Muslim integration in Europe sometimes seems dominated by fears and division, Berlin-based writer Julia Hoffmann highlights one German effort to help promote diversity in the public sector

“Islam is not a part of Germany” read a headline in the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung before the start of a high-profile conference on Islam sponsored by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior. Headlines like these show how controversial political discourse on Muslim integration is in Germany.

But these do not represent the whole reality of Muslim integration in the country. There are many examples of initiatives on both local and regional levels that are successfully addressing integration in Germany – especially when it comes to young people.

One of these initiatives is “Berlin needs you!”, a campaign borne out of the need to support immigrant youth, including 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants, in Berlin. The majority of participants come from Muslim backgrounds, and the programme helps them navigate the German vocational training system and find careers in the public sector.

The views of the new German interior minister de Maizière on Islam in Germany

In an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the new German minister for the interior, Thomas de Maizière, speaks about his stance on Islam in Germany. He affirms the continuous education of imams and religious teachers at German universities. A second area of support will be gender equality and women’s rights. Finally, de Maizière will continue the efforts of the Islam Conference, founded by his predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble, to counter extremism. “We welcome Islam, but not Islamism”, says de Maizière.