The association ufuq.de strives to find alternatives to the agitated debates about parallel societies, radicalisation or the alleged Islamization of Germany. We address the topics of Islam, anti-Muslim racism and radicalisation from the interfaces of civic education, prevention and scientific research.
Islam is a part of Germany.
Whatever questions and conflicts may arise in connection with the presence of Islam in day-to-day life, at school, at work or in the political realm, it is no longer a matter of whether or not this is reality but how it is managed. Our association’s name says it all: “ufuq” is Arabic for “horizon”.
As scholars of Islam, social scientists, educators and teaching method experts, we work with young people but we also work with school faculties, with youth work coaches, with municipal administration-affiliated social workers and other disseminators. We inform, advise and develop materials for hands-on educational work with young people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Moreover, the trainings we offer teachers imparts knowledge on how to address the topics of Islam, racism and radicalisation in classroom setting.
Much of our work is focused on youth-cultural phenomena and trends.
“How do we want to live?”- This is one of our central questions. We are interested in the worlds (Lebenswelten) of young people within the context of Islam, racism and Islamism: What are the interests and desires of young Muslims today? How do they see themselves and others? What are their experiences and how do they live their faith – provided it is even important to them?
One objective of our work with young people is to give them a voice and to empower them to speak on questions concerning their identity and religion. We want them to be afforded more space in which to not only formulate their own interests, wishes and orientation but also to deal with others who embrace different views. This entails making visible the diverse ways in which Muslims think and live. After all, only those who think for themselves and are familiar with the broad spectrum of Islamic traditions can draw on alternatives with which to resist the highly ideological positions that young people are often being confronted with. But it is also important to take discrimination and racism seriously. The sense of frustration and helplessness that Muslims feel in the face of social and international conflicts must be addressed; an understanding for the complexities and ambiguity must be awakened in a way that can be related to. And one’s own potential courses of action must be envisioned.
We consider the civic education of young people of various backgrounds and religious beliefs as both a preventive measure and as a contribution toward an education in democracy.
Ufuq.de raises awareness about anti-democratic views and views that threaten our freedoms. It does so by educating young minds about alternatives to the simplistic world views that are being peddled by the Salafist scene – views that are aimed at “giving young lives a meaning” and “providing young people with a sense of direction”. Our efforts serve to hearten young people to resist simplistic world views and enemy stereotypes; we want to support young people of diverse backgrounds in their struggle to find their way in society.
But we also address non-Muslims. After all, Islam, racism and radicalisation are topics that affect us all; this presupposes a willingness among non-Muslims to acknowledge demographic change, the migrant backgrounds of young people and the normalcy of Muslim lifeworlds in contemporary Germany.
Experiences with every-day racism and discrimination in the educational sector or in the job market – but also as racist reports in the media – all of this influences the self-image of young Muslims. And this also makes it more difficult for them to identify with society.
We serve as a point of contact for educational institutions, public authorities, science and politics.
Since its founding in 2007, ufuq.de has established itself as a Germany-wide point of contact for hands-on educational work dealing with the topics of Islam, racism and Islamism. Our association is a recognized provider of youth services and, since February of 2015, it is supported by the Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth within the framework of its “Demokratie leben!” program. Ufuq.de’s objective is to further the pedagogical practice and to enrich the expertise it then goes on to share. This is our contribution towards democratic co-existence. The means at our disposal include counseling and training offerings, diverse project work, expertise and experience as well as the informational and educational materials that we have compiled.
This website serves as a forum – as a portal for educational work related to Islam, racism and radicalisation. We put a spotlight on current topics that are of interest to young people, whether or not they have a migrant background. We also offer suggestions for hands-on educational work and provide background information on Muslim lifeworlds in Germany.
In 2014, ufuq was distinguished by the Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz (Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance) for its workshops on “Wie wollen wir leben?” (“How do we want to live?”).