The lesson series “I, we and the others” was commissioned by the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg (State Agency for Civic Education of Baden-Wuerttemberg) and jointly conceived. At center stage is a discussion concerning the various forms of expression when it comes to group-based misanthropy (Gruppenbezogene Menschenfeindlichkeit). The series is conducted by teamers who have been trained by ufuq.de; it combines substantive debate with exercises and techniques that are meant to get students to reflect on their own experiences, perspectives and expectations. What is interesting about this project, among other things, is its approach: Originally intended as a school program for the prevention of Islamism, a decision was subsequently made to embed this goal into a more comprehensive concept to confront various forms of stereotypes and group-based misanthropy. This decision was followed by intensive deliberations among the participants and was made against the backdrop of a special situation, namely the composition of classrooms in Stuttgart and Baden-Wuerttenburg.
In it, raising awareness for Islamist world views and ideologies goes hand in hand with raising awareness about right-wing extremism, racism and discrimination including Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism or sexism. The initial results of the practical (hands-on) work are currently being evaluated.
Cooperation between the Islamic Youth Center of Berlin (IJB) and Berlin‘s Police
This project is aimed at initiating a meaningful encounter between young Muslims and the Berlin police force where ideas about prevention-relevant topics can be shared. The impetus arose from an ongoing discussion about involving “conservative” Islamic associations and their members in the prevention work targeted at youths and adolescents. The goal is also to stake out what kinds of possibilities and limitations can be reckoned with when it comes to forging cooperations with public and civil society sponsors of prevention work.
Ufuq.de served as a mediator in this project involving the Integration and Migration area of operation of Berlin’s Polizeidirektion 5 (AGIM) and the Islamic Youth Center of Berlin.
The starting point for this initiative was AGIM’s desire to involve youths from an Islamic association and thus also to strengthen their role within society. The project’s objective was to stimulate youths to engage in critical reflection on such issues as identity, religion and gender roles while also fostering their self-understanding as German Muslims. The intention was also to familiarize them with the duties of the police in its capacity as a governmental entity – an entity that is also there to represent the interests of Muslims in Germany.
The target group is young, religious Muslim between 14 and 25 years of age who are actively involved in the Islamic Youth Center of Berlin (IJB). The IJB collaborates with various Berlin-based mosques. The project was an attempt to sound out whether there might be a possibility of working together with this center’s religious guides in the area of civic education and prevention work. The discussion rounds focused on such issues as democracy, gender roles, and the experiences that young Muslims make with discrimination. An important aspect that was pointed out is the Berlin police’s role as a point of contact for the Muslim community in cases of conflict.
The experiences and results of this project were rather ambivalent. On the one hand, the workshops and personal encounters did help to break down prejudices and reservations. It was also possible to make some inroads in terms of conveying content. On the other hand, it became increasingly clear during the course of these encounters that the expectations of the two sides diverged. In a nutshell: The police was interested in talking about security problems while the Muslim youths emphasized the discriminatory behavior they had experienced at the hands of the police. In any case, the workshops were a first step in bringing across the varying perspectives.