Association

Ufuq.de strives to develop alternatives to the heated debates about Islam, “parallel societies” and radicalisation, and to promote pluralism and social cohesion. Our work involves civic education, prevention, and scholarly research.

Islam is a part of Germany

Questions and conflicts related to cultural and religious diversity are a normal feature of modern pluralistic societies. Our aim is to strengthen educators to address these questions and to empower youngsters in their dealings with cultural and religious differences. Our association’s name says it all: ufuq is Arabic for “horizon”.

As social scientists, scholars of Islam, and educators, we work with young people as well as school faculties, youth work professionals, social workers affiliated with municipal administrations, and other information disseminators. We inform, advise, and develop materials for hands-on educational work with young people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Moreover, we offer training programmes for educators that can help them address the topics of Islam, racism, and radicalisation in classroom settings.

Much of our work is focused on youth cultural phenomena and trends.

“How do we want to live?” This is one of the central questions we examine, for we are interested in young people’s Lebenswelten and how these relate to religion, identity, racism, and religious extremism. 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 out their faith, assuming that this is even important to them?

One objective of our working together with young people is empowering them to speak out on questions concerning their identity and religion. We want to provide them with the space in which they can not only formulate their own interests, wishes, and orientations, but also learn to deal with those who embrace different views. This entails making visible the diverse ways Muslims think and live. After all, only those who can think for themselves and are aware of the broad spectrum of Islamic traditions can draw on alternatives that can enable them to resist the highly ideologised positions that young people often face. But it is also important that we take discrimination and racism seriously. The sense of frustration and helplessness that Muslims feel when confronted with discrimination and marginalisation must be addressed; we must envision courses of action that individuals can take.

We believe that civic education with youngsters from various religious and social backgrounds contributes towards a democratic and pluralistic society and serves as a preventive measure against extremism.

Ufuq.de also raises awareness of anti-democratic views and views that threaten individual freedoms. It does so by educating young minds about alternatives to the simplistic world views peddled by religious extremism – views that are aimed at giving young lives meaning and providing young people with a sense of direction. Our efforts serve to encourage young people to resist these simplistic world views and orientations; we wish to support young people from diverse backgrounds in their struggle to find their way in society.

This also includes working with non-Muslim youngsters and educators. After all, prevention work against racism and radicalisation presupposes a willingness among non-Muslims to acknowledge demographic change, the migrant backgrounds of young people, and the normality of Muslim life in contemporary Germany. Experiences with everyday racism and discrimination in the educational sector or in the job market as well as racist reporting in the media – all of these influence young Muslims’ self-image, something which makes it more difficult for them to identify with society.

We serve as a point of contact for educational institutions, public authorities, academia, and politics.

Since its founding in 2007, ufuq.de has established itself as a nationwide point of contact for hands-on educational work focusing on the topics of Islam, racism, and Islamism in Germany. Our association is a recognized provider of youth services and, since February of 2015, it has been supported by the Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth as a part of its “Demokratie leben!” programme. Ufuq.de’s objective is to further pedagogical practice and to enrich the expertise – our contribution towards co-existence in a democratic society. We employ tools such as counselling and training programmes, diverse project work on- and offline, expertise, and experience as well as the extensive informational and educational materials compiled by ufuq.de.

This website serves as a platform for educational work relating to Islam, racism, and radicalisation. We shine a spotlight on current topics that are of interest to young people regardless of whether they come from a migrant background. We also offer suggestions for hands-on educational work and provide background information on Muslim life in Germany.

In 2014, ufuq.de was recognised by the Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz (Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance) for its workshops focusing on the topic of “Wie wollen wir leben?” (“How do we want to live?”).