Press Release

Diversity must be a standart part of schoolbooks

24. March 2021
Pressemitteilung/press release

Secretary General of the Islamic Community Millî Görüş Bekir Altaş made a statement in connection with the scientific study “Immigration and Integration Curricula Reseach” carried out by MIDEM. According to the research findings, the subject of immigration and integration as it is covered in the school curricula in Germany does not correspond to real life. Moreover, the immigrants and Muslims are represented as problematic types in these curricula, reinforcing racist stereotypes. Saying that “the school books cover the subject of cultural and religious diversity in a problematic way and this has to change.” Altaş resumed his statement as follows:

“The findings of the research are corroborative of what we have also been observing. We get many complaints from both students and parents regarding the courses in schools. Topics of immigration, Islam or cultural diversity are generally covered in classes in the cotext of conflicts or crises. Teachers making fun of religious beliefs of Muslim students is yet another widely encountered situation. School books contribute negatively to this situation and even lay the ground for these cases most of the time.

The vast majority of students and parents refrain from filing an official complaint, worrying that it would have adverse ramifications for them in the school. The fear of children being ‘punished’ with bad grades especially weighs heavily on them.

Considering this background, we approve every word of the recommandations put forth by the organizers of the research: The subject of cultural and religious diversity should be included in the curricula more vividly; there should be more diversity in the elections of the members to the curriculum committees; and teachers should be subjected to compulsory education and advanced training on cultural and religious diversity.

Hereby, we appeal to all the states to reevaluate critically the headscarf bans enforced on Muslim teachers. Moreover, most of the German states either do not have faith-based Islamic classes at all or work on alternative model studies to open Islamic religion classes, which is problematic in terms of constitutional law. These ‘middle’ ways and so-called solutions cause unequal treatment towards Muslim students in schools and reinforce negative stereotypes.”