Press Review: Presentation of the Research Project “Islam in Bavaria”
On Wednesday, July 18 2018, the EZIRE research project „Islam in Bavaria“ was presented at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaft). The presentation was followed by a Worldcafé with special topic areas. The study has been crafted over a 3-year-period (2015-2018) and broadly examines the living environments of Muslims in Bavaria. Its second purpose is that of a policy paper as it offers strategies and recommendations for the Bavarian government.
In attendance were, aside from founding director Mathias Rohe and managing director Jörn Thielmann, several other EZIRE-reseachers who contributed to the project, as well as the president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences Thomas O. Höllmann. The project was financially supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Sciences and Arts.
The full-length study can be accessed here.
Additionally, Mathias Rohe talks about the core contents of the project in an interview with the Nürnberger Zeitung (20.07.2018). He offers examples that illustrate the results and advocates for the much-requested “careful language and differentiated debate”.
The results have been anticipated, recapitulated and evaluated with great interest by both local and national media. The coverage emphasizes, among other things, the differentiated picture that the study paints of Bavarian Muslims and that it “neither sugarcoats nor paints it black” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19.07.2018).
Other point of interest for the media seem to be the policy recommendations that are unlikely to gain the approval of the Bavarian government as they “not rarely contradict the resolutions” (FAZ, 23.07.2018). These concern for example Islamic religion as a school subject and the burial culture in Bavaria.
The most important finding of the study, so proclaimed by the Münchner Merkur (19.07.18, subscribers only), were the course of action against extremism on both sides and the need for a “culture of acceptance” to prevent the “splitting of society”.
In other reports, the emphasize is put on a self-proclaimed aim of the project: to study and make visible the existing normality of Muslim life in Bavaria and provide suggestions that further improve the desired normalization of (also) being Muslim in Bavaria (Nürnberger Nachrichten, 19.07.18; Focus Online / Domradio.de, 19.07.2018; Bayerischer Rundfunk, 18.07.2018; Islamische Zeitung, 19.07.2018)
The overall positive response of the media and the detailed discussion of the findings show that the aim – diminishing a large research gap – could be achieved, and that “pioneering work” has been done (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19.07.2018).