What does Islam say about interest

Young Muslims and Islamic Theology

Status: 07/06/2018 1:27 p.m. | archive

In April the Institute for Islamic Theology at the University of Osnabrück turned five. The "Islamic Religion" course has been there for 10 years. The interest of young Muslims in the scientific discussion of their faith is still great. What moves you and what topics do you deal with? This week, some students gave an overview of their theses at a conference.

From Kerstin Staben

The students are excited about the first speaker that day: Osman Akintürk. For months he researched for his master's thesis what contribution Islamic religious education can make to the formation of identity among Muslim young people. Akintürk already works as a teacher - it was also his own story that motivated him: "The decisive factor for me was that, for example, I came into the staff room as a teacher and a teacher said to me after several weeks, 'Oh, and you are the new Turkish teacher `. And I see there, also from people who grow up here in Germany, that you can see my identity in my parents' countries of origin."

Teaching Islam is important for identity formation

Students of Islamic theology presented their theses at a conference at the University of Osnabrück.

The question of identity - it is omnipresent for Osman Akintürk. For his work he also interviewed Islamic religion teachers from Lower Saxony. He asked them questions spontaneously without their being able to prepare for them. For example, whether the teachers see religious instruction as a contribution to strengthening the self-confidence of Muslim students. Or what role the question of identity plays for you personally.

His scientific result: Religious education is not completely identity-creating. But it is a very important part: "We also know that Muslim students discuss controversial topics in class and thereby develop a maturity. It is important that Muslim children discuss their religion in the school as an institution and not just in the mosque. It must also give modern discussions. That the students are also challenged to get to know their religion better. "

"Religion is colorful"

According to Akintürk, you are born into a system - a family. The religious beliefs that prevail there are decisive for further life. Dealing with it in religious education is therefore all the more important. You can create the necessary balance and equilibrium. But interreligious dialogue is also important. Religion is colorful, he says, and also has shades of gray. The students should get to know them in order to get their own picture of their faith.

E.a new definition of Salafism?

The 29-year-old Matthias Schmidt dealt with Salafism in his thesis: "My objective was to show what it actually is within this spectrum in which one always talks about Salafism. I am trying to propose a new definition. That one says that these are not only radical religious people, but that they have a certain kind of understanding of religion. "

The 29-year-old converted to Islam at the age of 14. He was drawn to the religion and had many Muslim friends. Today he works with young people - in the field of prevention. In his work, Schmidt tries to come closer to a definition of Salafism. In his opinion, it is often simply rated as a medieval religious or extremely radical form of belief: "They are not external features, such as long beards, but rather a kind of 'mindset' as I now understand religion," emphasizes the theology student. "Salafism is characterized by the fact that the teaching of classical Islam is simply skipped over. Or that you pick things out at random and try to implement them in the here and now. And then I can abuse that too. "

In search of the correct understanding of Islam

Matthias Schmidt wrote his thesis back in 2015 - today he is about to do his master's thesis. Here, too, he wants to take a closer look at this topic.

Overall, there was a lot about religious trends in the work of the students. Much revolves around the right understanding of Islam or how young people can be supported in dealing with their religion - in school lessons or in the communities.

This topic in the program:

NDR culture | Friday Forum | 07/06/2018 | 3:20 pm