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.