June 18, 2024

Stefan Düll, the president of the German Teachers’ Association said Germany needs to start treating Muslims and their Islamic teachings as a “normal part of society.”

The president of one of Germany’s largest teachers’ organizations has called for the comprehensive teaching of Islam in public schools across the country.

Stefan Düll, the president of the German Teachers’ Association, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Monday that Germans must begin to see Muslims living in the country as a “normal part of society.”

He suggested that the teaching of Islam and its principles in schools across the country would help to control the education of young Muslims and counter any extremist ideology taught by “dubious teachers” in foreign-funded mosques.

“We have to set up Islam lessons under state supervision,” he told the newspaper, adding that the state should look to recruit “appropriately convinced democrats” as teachers of Islamic studies to ensure the religion is being taught in a responsible way.

He said it was the responsibility of the state to “protect all democratic Muslims” from “extremists,” and more focused education within state schools would go a long way in bringing the country together.

“(Parents) repeatedly express their wish that their children receive Islamic instruction under state supervision, preferably at school,” said Düll, a former teacher himself. They want their children to be taught “in the spirit of enlightened Islam with professional support, but not instruction that is controlled by other states such as Turkey or Iran,” he added.

According to Düll, many Germans have a “fear” when experiencing Islamic religious holidays and festivals, and called for a “way of getting to know each other” by celebrating religious festivals together at school.

“Our society has a blind spot here,” he claimed, insisting that greater inclusivity and multiculturalism were needed to harmonize society.

A 2020 study from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) revealed that 5.5 million Muslims currently live in Germany of which just over half (3 million) are now German citizens. Some 45 percent of all Muslims living in the country originated from Turkey.

Muslims comprise around 6.6 percent of the German population and Islam is now the second-largest religious community in the country after Christianity.

There are an estimated 1 million Muslim students studying in public schools across the country.

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