Germany’s most prominent and, for some, controversial Islam professor has declared that he is no longer a Muslim. Muhammad Kalisch, who converted to Islam when he was a teenager, is the first chair of Islamic education and teacher training in Germany at the University of Münster. Controversy started when he declared that according to scientific sources, there is no proof that Prophet Muhammad ever existed. Islamic associations demanded his stepping down and discouraged Muslim students to study at this department.
Kalisch secession will not have any legal consequences for his teaching, as it is not a requirement to be a Muslim in order to be a professor of Islamic studies. He might, however, move on to a different department. Only recently, a new colleague has taken up a position in the department of Islamic education, Muhammad Khorchide from Vienna. Khorchide, who is very liberal and calls himself an “Islamic humanist”, without questioning the foundations of Islam such as the Quran or the historic figure of Prophet Muhammad, will take over the professional training for Islam teachers.