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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Germany and Turkey agree to coach imams who serve Germany’s Turkish immigrant neighborhood in Germany

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BERLIN — Germany and Turkey agreed Thursday to steadily finish the deployment of Turkish state-employed imams to Germany and to as an alternative have imams educated in Germany to serve the nation’s giant Turkish immigrant neighborhood.

German authorities have sought for a few years to extend the variety of imams educated domestically to lower the affect of international international locations on its Muslim communities.

As a part of the joint German-Turkish coaching initiative, 100 imams are to be educated in Germany yearly beginning subsequent yr, whereas the variety of imams assigned from Turkey is to be steadily decreased by the identical quantity.

German Inside Minister Nancy Faeser known as the settlement “an vital milestone for the mixing and participation of Muslim communities in Germany.”

“We want preachers who converse our language, know our nation and arise for our values,” Faeser mentioned. “We wish imams to become involved within the dialogue between religions and talk about questions of religion in our society.”

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About 5.5 million of Germany’s 83.2 million residents are Muslim, and nearly 3 million individuals within the nation are Turkish or have Turkish roots.

For a lot of many years, the Turkish authorities has exercised affect on the big immigrant neighborhood by way of the Muslim spiritual leaders it despatched to work in Germany.

Relations between Germany’s majority Christian inhabitants and the Muslim minority historically have been sophisticated. Extremist assaults dedicated within the identify of the Islamic State group resulted in raids and bans of Muslim associations deemed radical.

Racism, hatred and typically violence towards Muslims in Germany are widespread and sometimes a part of their on a regular basis expertise, based on a latest report.

The settlement on the brand new imam coaching got here collectively after “prolonged negotiations” with Turkey’s Diyanet, or Presidency of Spiritual Affairs, and the union of Turkish-Islamic cultural organizations in Germany, recognized by its Turkish acronym DITIB, the German Inside Ministry mentioned.

With round 900 mosque communities, DITIB is the most important Islamic affiliation in Germany.

The settlement with Turkey requires DITIB to be answerable for coaching the 100 imams in Germany annually, however the goal is to have the lads complement their spiritual educations with lessons on the Islamic Faculty Germany.

The Islamic Faculty Germany, or Islamkolleg Deutschland, is predicated in Osnabrueck in northern Germany. It was based by Muslim neighborhood associations, theologians and teachers in 2019 to offer sensible and theological coaching for German-speaking spiritual workers and imams for native communities.

The German authorities additionally desires to advertise programs for future imams that embody German language educating and spiritual training, in addition to lessons about historical past, political points and German values, German information company dpa reported.

Turkish immigrants began coming in vital numbers greater than 60 years in the past, when West Germany recruited “visitor staff” from Turkey and elsewhere to assist the nation advance economically.

The principally younger males have been typically employed in coal mining, metal manufacturing and the auto business. Many who initially got here as non permanent staff determined to remain and convey their households, giving Berlin and different cities in western and southwestern Germany giant immigrant communities.

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