German Muslim Youth and Puzzling Identities

The profile of the German Muslim youth has been changed visibly. Their expectations towards their local communities, their parents and also towards their society have been changed likewise. But dangers increase on the other hand. If you neglected those young people, there might be a possibility of ending up in drugs, violence and crime. We are not able to address all the masses, but we rather have to deal with the youth personally, individually and locally, Mesut G_lbahar, chairman of Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli G_r_s (IGMG)’s youth section, commented on the situation of Muslim youth in Germany. “My parents wanted to educate me in a certain direction, but I don’t think they succeeded in their attempt because they missed something important: They could not give me a Muslim identity that is compatible with Germany,” Hischam Abul Ola, a German Muslim youth, summarized his point of view. Torn between different identities and affected by real problems (such as unemployment, poverty, educational deficiencies, and assumedly crime), young Muslims in Germany are trying to find their way, not only in their daily lives but also in their religious practice. Seen with a sober eye, Germany seems to be missing a lot when it comes to the traditional role model of the “Futuwwa” that shaped, for more than thousand of years, the attributes of Muslim youth. The young Muslims are not to be blamed for this statue, but rather the current circumstances and the failing of the previous generations to create the proper condition for the appearance of this life transaction are to be blamed. There are currently around 1.5 million Muslim children and youth living in Germany. Mostly, their parents and mosque societies are caring for their religious education. So far, there is no Islamic teaching in state-run schools, an issue discussed for years. Sulaiman Wilms reports.

Remodeling Organised Islam in Germany

Organized Islam in Germany faces a major reconstruction and reorganization period in order to provide adequate representation of Muslims in the public sphere and to react quicker in situations of crises and public debates (such as debates on extremism, cartoon crises or Mosque controversies), Mounir Azzaoui, speaker of the Central Consistory of the Muslims in Germany, says. According to Azzaoui, Germany’s Muslim community had to face an increasing interest by the German public. Therefore it needs to speak clearly and with one voice. Sulaiman Wilms reports.