Germany: Islamic Groups Lose Legal Battle for Control over Schools Curricula

Muslim groups in North Rhine-Westphalia wanted “permanent control over Islamic religious studies” in state-run schools.

A Higher Regional Court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has thrown out a case brought by two Islamic groups, the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) and the Islam Council, seeking more influence over religious instruction classes in state-run schools. The Muslim groups had filed the lawsuit in order to “to secure permanent control over Islamic religious studies” in the state, German newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten commented.

Besides North Rhine-Westphalia, several German states have introduced Islamic religious instruction for Muslim pupils. In the northern German state of Hessen, the first to offer such classes, Islamic religious instruction starts as early as the first grade.

While giving religious and moral instructions to young children might sound like a good idea, the Islamic values being taught in German schools and the influence of Muslim groups over the recruitment of teachers has been a source for concern for some time now. Muslim organizations are heavily involved in writing of curriculum and recruiting teachers.

Westfälische Nachrichten covered today’s court verdict:

The Central Council of Muslims [in Germany] (ZMD) and the Islam Council have no standing in matters related the introduction of Islamic religious classes in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Higher Regional Court in the city of Münster came to this conclusion on Thursday, and threw out the case field by the two Islamic umbrella organizations that were trying to exert more influence over faith-oriented classes.

The ZMD and the Islam Council are not religious denominations as defined in the German constitution [Basic Law], the Higher Regional Court explained. (…)

The Islamic religious classes are being offered in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2012. The plaintiffs have been involved in the shaping of the program through an advisory board. The model is only an interim solution until July 2019. Yvonne Gebauer, the Minister for Schools, clarified that the state government will continue to offer these classes. Despite the legal setback suffered by the Islam Council and the ZMD, she will continue to cooperate with the organizations. [Translation by the author]

The writing of textbooks for German school has been monitored by organization with links to Radical Islamists. Groups like the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), which runs more than 900 hundred mosques across Germany has been playing key role in setting the curriculum, selecting the teachers and monitoring the Islamic religious instruction. Earlier this year, DITIB clerics have been caught spying in Germany on behalf of the Erdogan’s Islamist government. All this hasn’t stopped the Merkel government from handing out millions of euros to this Muslim group alone. Collaborations with DITIB and other Muslim groups continue at the state and national level.

While the Muslim groups may have lost a legal battle, the Islamic supremacist agenda espoused by many of their members is alive and kicking. The demographic shift in Germany being fueled by a growing Muslim population and mass migration from Arab and Islamic counties may well secure those objectives.