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On Thursday, February 29, AIA Fellow Hüseyin Cicek presented the key findings of his research project “Integration. Perspectives for NRW and Germany” in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia at a meeting of the NRW-Turkey parliamentary group chaired by Rainer Schmeltzer, Vice President of the state parliament. Cicek emphasized right at the beginning that Islam is neither historically nor currently a homogeneous religious community. Within the individual countries and regions in which it is spread, it forms a very heterogeneous movement with different religious, political and ethnic attitudes.

He then gave an overview of Ditib’s links with Turkey. He discussed the diverging numbers of Ditib congregations reported by the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag and Ditib itself and spoke about the various activities of imams. Based on this, he problematized how these different behaviours can lead to tensions with German society and what possible effects this can have, such as a loss of trust in religious institutions, a division within society and an impairment of social harmony. He concluded his speech by emphasizing once again: “Muslims are an integral part of German society, and the question of whether Islam belongs to Germany is superfluous. This has long been a reality. Only those who recognize this reality are in a position to develop lasting prevention concepts that strengthen our society.” The state in particular is called upon to create a framework so that Muslim communities become independent of foreign states in the long term. He emphasized the central importance of prevention and education: “Ultimately, it is an open and liberal society that can offer the best against segregation and racism.”

Hüseyin Çiçek
Fellow AIA