Muslims in Bavaria – current state of research

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In the latest issue of the journal „Akademie aktuell“, published by the Bavarian academy of Sciences and Humanities, Mathias Rohe elaborates on first results of the research project “Muslims in Bavaria”, dealing with questions of cooperation, extremism and prevention, Islamic religious education and parallel justice (p. 23 – 27). The research project, conducted by the Erlangen Center for Islam and Law in Europe and put into place in 2015, deals with the current life worlds of Muslims in Bavaria.

Questions of Cooperation

In general, cooperation between Muslim organizations and state authorities has been improved, especially on the municipal level. The cities of Munich, Augsburg and Erlangen have been pioneering in this field. However, capacities are restricted due to mostly voluntary actions of Muslims.

Extremism and Prevention

Affected persons mostly do not gather in mosques, were they attract negative attention due to their disrespect of the common religious practice, but meet in hermetic private cycles. The researchers of EZIRE have so far only identified seven deliberately unhidden Salafist mosques in Bavaria. Affected persons mostly connect through internet forums, which are also being covered by the EZIRE’s research.

Islamic Religious Education

Islamic religious education has mostly proved successful. However, it now needs a perspective on how to transform from the modelling phase into normality with respective Muslim involvement. Since a couple of years, initiatives for a stable self-organization are being established. However, up until today the teachers have to work under difficult circumstances (with teaching assignments in up to 9 schools and lacking planning security). Bavaria’s forerunner role has meanwhile been replaced by further reaching initiatives in other federal states.

Extrajudicial Dispute Resolution and Parallel Justice

On the subject of parallel justice, interviews in Islamic facilities and organizations are executed continuously, especially in the areas of Munich and Nuremberg. Religious marriages and divorces can be performed in accordance with existing laws. Religious or cultural mediation is welcome as long as it happens voluntarily, professional and in accordance with German law. Here, the researchers find enormous deficits of information.