Germany: Living with Muslims

Does a ?parallel Islamic society? exist in Germany, and to what extent? Is there an alternative to isolated Muslim ghettos within European societies? In September at Ludwigshafen, the Social Justice Working Group took up ?living together with Muslims,? certainly a very topical theme in the West. Twenty-five Jesuits from German-speaking countries studied aspects of the history and organisation of Muslim immigration. Two concerns which generate controversy and tension in European countries are religious education in schools and the building of new mosques. Islamic economic legislation forbids interest-taking loans, contrary to the widespread practice in the West. Most of the Muslims in Germany have originally come from Turkey. To better understand some aspects of their daily life, participants attended Friday prayers at the Ludwigshafen mosque, Germany?s largest, and visited an institute for German-Turkish integration and the Turkish Business Association. Attempts at dialogue sometimes fail, but this should not discourage common initiatives from being undertaken so that a parallel and separate society does not solidify and become inevitable. [HL11106]