"We all agree that this is the way that should now be followed," Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble, who hosted the conference, told journalists.
It was an unexpectedly long and heated debate. But after four hours of discussion, the 30 participants of DIK, a round- table launched by Schauble in 2006, announced their support for introducing classes on Islam at public schools in Germany. Participants also agreed to support the construction of more mosques in Germany and fight against Islamic radicalism.
"In the not too far future, we - where there is a wish and a need for it - will have Islam religion classes at German schools," Schauble said. Classes are to be held in German.
There are approximately 800,000 Muslim children in Germany, but only 12 percent are taught about their religion at school. So far it has been difficult to organize Islam lessons at German schools because Germany's Muslims do not have a central institution to represent them. Education regulations in Germany are decided according to each state. Muslim associations are expected to provide the content of the classes while the state is responsible for organizing and financing the teaching.
In the past, most federal governments have had no contact points among the Muslim community. "There is little unity among Muslims," said Manfred Schreiner from the Nuremberg education department. Schauble appealed to Muslims in Germany to form major associations in each federal state which can represent the many scattered Islamic groups.
"It is a huge step toward integration," said Remzi Guneysu, a Turkish-German engineer and founder and chairman of the Islamic Religious Community Erlangen (IRE). The Bavaria-based IRE is one of very few examples where Muslims in Germany set up an association to cooperate with the state. Six years ago, the IRE was thus able to introduce Islam classes at a German school. "Our teachers have build bridges of integration between the religions," said Guneysu in an interview with the Turkish Daily News. "The classes help to abolish prejudices." Guneysu added that the behavior of children changed after religion classes were introduced. "They treat each other with more respect. And they are able to discuss Islam and other religious issues with their school friends in German."
A model project at a school in Lower Saxony showed that there were less fights between students of Turkish and Arabic origins in school yards after Islam lessons in German were introduced. Also, parents felt more encouraged to participate at meetings or events held at their children's schools.
"After only a few years of experience in Erlangen we can already say that Islam lessons do not block the integration of Muslims into our society but instead foster tolerance and an understanding of each other," said Guneysu. "The overall positive effects cannot be overlooked."
Let us now have a look at such a lesson.
Europe will die because of clueless IDIOTS like Schauble.