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New programme teaches Turkish imams to lead prayer in German

DDP/Kristen Allen · 12 Nov 2009, 17:08

Published: 12 Nov 2009 17:08 GMT+01:00

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The imams from mosques across Germany have come to Dortmund for the course, which has been organised by the Auslandsgesellschaft group in cooperation with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) and the Turkish consulate general.

Most of the religious leaders have recently come from Turkey and have no German skills.

Organisers said the measure was an important step on the path to better integration of Turkish Muslims and their mosques into German society.

The year-long intensive course will be held in the Merkez mosque in Dortmund, after which participants will receive a certificate signalling that they are capable of understanding simple German texts and can speak German in day-to-day situations.

They will also focus on learning to convey Islamic religious concepts in German so that someday worship in mosques can also be conducted in German. The programme organisers also hope that the imams will provide a German summary of their sermon texts to help give Germans a better understanding of the religion.

Story continues below…

More than 2.8 million Turks make up the largest minority group in Germany.

DDP/Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:08 November 12, 2009 by OPB
I agree, thank you.
19:14 November 12, 2009 by Portnoy
Statistically, it's an atheist country. So you're both wrong.
20:43 November 12, 2009 by wpfaeffle
The statistics are based on the number of people actually attending church services. If you use the number of people paying church taxes as a yardstick, Germany is Christian. Besides, Luther said you don't need to go to church at all to pray. Geh in Dein Kämmerlein, etc. Remember?
21:03 November 12, 2009 by Davey-jo
How about synagogues? Are they OK?
21:24 November 12, 2009 by Edin
@plebber, @OPB etc

Yes germany is generally considered Christian country, but contrary to its Religion it does allow Gay marriage, Satanists, Neonacies and all sorts of ideological groups. When you find time and effort to write your islamophobic thougths, it means you really do have a problem with it. 50 years ago Hitler and Co. thought same about Jews... and we all now how it ended.

I am a Muslim, I came here after I was offered a good career opportunity. I was given a high level job that officially no German could fill. Now... I practice my religion fully, and I have a need to attend mosque prayers. What do you have against that?

When and if it should ever happen that your views are shared by the official Germany policy, I and other 3,5 mil Muslims will take our religion, knowledge and business elswhere, so you can fully enjoy your stay. Next will probably be Chinese, Thais, Indians, even Russians etc.... after which you will also have a lot of space, since all of these make more than 10% of population.


Given the natality in Germany, immigration and increasing number of chuch abandonments.... I suggest you to give it a few more years.... then you will have to move out.
21:37 November 12, 2009 by Portnoy
And ... you're wrong wpfaeffle or plebber or whoever you choose to be -- only 43% of those required to pay taxes pay church taxes, making the majority of Germans -- by your own definition -- atheists.

Those are states from the federal statistics office www.destatis.de.

Stop being racist and open yer eyes.
22:34 November 12, 2009 by OPB
I agree, what person wouldn't want to take advantage of the benefits their own could hardly ever offer? That is the biggest incentive countries in the West provide, and likely the reason why millions emigrate to places like Germany. What bothers me about these imams however is that their German is weak, and they were brought in only for the reason of preaching their religion in a country that is or at least was traditionally Christian.

Germany is expected to open her arms to everyone else, but do we see this same treatment of Germans in regions such as the Middle East? Even in Turkey that is not the case.
22:59 November 12, 2009 by wpfaeffle
Portnoy ignores the last part my comment. You can be a Christian or a Jew without attending services in a house of worship or pay taxes. I personally believe in the separation of church and state which exists in France since 1905. Let those who want to worship in a church, synagogue or mosque pay for it.
23:10 November 12, 2009 by Portnoy
I didn't ignore the last part of your comment. As proof that Germany is a Christian country, you trotted out erroneous statistics. I called your bluff. Germany isn't a Christian country (I don't even know what that means) and, if you look at the statistics, is becoming less religious by the day. Who cares what Luther said? What matters is what people do -- and it's not go to church or even pray in their little closet. It's more drink beer, sip coffee and watch Dieter Bohlen.
00:13 November 13, 2009 by eddymanly
It is funny.

They are fuming if they are called non-christians.

They are fuming if they are asked to go to Church on Sunday morning.

They dont embrace religion into their life and they hate to see others to do it.
00:40 November 13, 2009 by Psypher
Given the natality in Germany, immigration and increasing number of chuch abandonments.... I suggest you to give it a few more years.... then you will…
The really scary thing about this (for me anyway), is that the above quote by Edin is closer to the truth than most (German or Western European) people would ever want to believe.

Oh yeah, and Portnoy is technically correct by the way, based on registration status - NOT church attendance as someone foolishly suggested (...as if that could ever be accurately/reliably tabulated!).
01:29 November 13, 2009 by wpfaeffle
Being Christian in today's world means you identify yourself as such. My passport says "evangelisch." I don't go to church much but I feel comfortable with this identity. Prost, Portnoy.
13:27 November 13, 2009 by Psypher
I would appreciate it if thelocal.de moderators would delete my last post (#12) because it was in response to a post that has since been deleted, and now makes no sense within the context of this thread...
02:24 November 15, 2009 by kiwikraut
@ Edin !

Your statment unfortunately pretty much reflects the situation and the demographical development in Germany today, but nobody should be surprised or even puzzled if, when or why there is resentment in the "real" german population against anything in relation to a religion that isn't theirs and never will be !!!

The results of this resentment are to be observed in the daily news !

I believe the germans are not going to whine forever, but fight !

The potential is there and by god, I can't blame them !
12:44 November 15, 2009 by Psypher
I believe the germans are not going to whine forever, but fight! The potential is there and by god, I can't blame them!

I'm a little worried about that actually. In conjunction with a sh!tty economic situation, history shows that bad stuff is gonna happen if that continues...
20:17 November 15, 2009 by LAURA EX-MUS
Sorry about my ppor german. So, please how to see in German :

- Love your 4 wives equally

-Be human, Dont stone the raped girl before she give birth

- Cover your self from hair to toes (not for men)

-Punish the wive only when necessary

In fact, this programm is intended by the governement "to help german people to understand the religion"..., as it was said in the article." ..So the imams received a mission to expalain islamic laws to those infortunate only german speaking people? That's nice to help muslim imams spreading islam among those who only received german education...

Even if the stoning will not be practiced in germany, (only a broad....) many other rules are and will more and more.

Those imams should also try to use german to understand Christianty and other peoples religions,

I think German Christian priests should make effort to explain christianty to Turkish and Arab children born in Germany to enrich their culture. It is very important that those children have knowledge of both religions and have passibility to made an option later in the futur after comparing and thinking by themself. And even be able to not have any religion at all if they wish so...but islamic learning they are receiving in germany desn't help for such option.
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