Bishop calls for teaching Islam in all German schools

A German bishop believes teaching Islam in German schools could prevent pupils from falling into the hands of terrorists, such as DAESH.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A teacher conducts a German lesson for Syrian refugees' children in a welcome class in Germany.

A German Bishop, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, has called for Islam to be taught in state schools across Germany counter the narratives of terrorist groups.

In an interview with a German newspaper, the Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany, said that Islamic classes could help protect pupils from falling into the hands of some terror groups such as DAESH.

According to the German Interior Ministry, hundreds of Germans have left their country to join DAESH terror group since 2012.

Currently, six German states - North-Rhine Westphalia, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg - offer some type of Islamic classes in its schools. 

File photo shows Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany.

The Bishop said that all faiths must be compatible with Germany’s democratic constitution.

“Tolerance, religious freedom and freedom of conscience must apply to all religions.”

He called on Islamic associations in the country to help prepare educational courses.

The Bishop added that "They will organise themselves to be partners of the German state."

A teacher conducts a German lesson for children to a welcome class for refugees at the Katharina-Heinroth primary school in Berlin. (Reuters)

Representatives from the Catholic Church in Germany have seconded Bedford-Strohm's proposal, as they have already called for all schools to teach religions.

Bavaria's Culture and Education Minister, Ludwig Spaenle, also supports Bedford-Strohm’s call.

The country must give school children the opportunity to learn more about their religion, Spaenle said.

Germany holds the second largest Muslim population in Western Europe, with about four million Muslims across the country. 

TRTWorld and agencies