The German government and representatives of the country’s large Muslim community said on Thursday they had agreed a number of practical proposals to resolve conflicts between German schools and Muslim practises.
The government cannot legally enforce the proposals because, in Germany’s federal system, each of the country’s 16 states regulates education law.
Yet the proposals — agreed upon at a high-profile summit in Berlin aimed at boosting the integration of Germany’s Muslim residents — testify to an increasingly open and rational debate in Germany about Islam.
“These suggestions are not a cure-all, but should be seen as the groundwork for solutions that teachers, pupils and parents have to agree on together,” the German Islam Conference (DIK) said in statement. (Photo: German Interior Minister Schaeuble chats with delegates of the Islamic Conference in Berlin, 25 June 2009/Wolfgang Kumm)
New official data shows that between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims live in Germany — a higher number than previously estimated – meaning about 5 percent of the overall population.