Anti-Semitic statements and worldviews present educators with particular challenges, often because they are also connected with issues and conflicts that present themselves in a plural, multi-ethnic society. In her article, Anne Goldenbogen summarises the current state of academic debate on anti-Semitism in multi-ethnic societies. She argues for a critical examination of one’s own attitudes and experiences within pedagogical work, but also calls for a greater consideration of young people’s realities of life and of their constructions of identity.
Experiences of discrimination and marginalisation are widespread among young Muslims in Germany. Mistrust and exclusion create a climate in which radicalisation becomes possible. Jochen Müller stresses the importance of addressing these issues in education.
As part of the “Highlighting Alternatives!” project (Alternativen aufzeigen!), we have created short films and exercises to support pedagogical work with students in grades 5 and up concerning Islam, racism, democracy, and Islamism. The films tap into current issues and developments in the media affecting youths and show the differing perspectives. The films and accompanying exercises do not seek to deliver simple answers. Instead they show that there are a number of diverse viewpoints and ideas when it comes to dealing with such issues. This comes with the invitation to develop one’s own point of view.
‘I’ve been working at this school for 25 years and now, suddenly, I have to talk about God all the time!’ This is what a Berlin-based teacher reports with astonishment about the growing interest of her students in religious issues during her civic education lessons. Up until a few years ago it was hardly a topic in her school in Berlin’s Neukölln district; now her predominantly Muslim students bring religious points of view into the classroom time and again.
Jihadists reach students because they address their problems. Talking about Islam can prevent radicalization, according to ufuq.de’s Jochen Müller. He explains the methods and ideas of the association and why he believes that workshops in schools might help to prevent radicalisation.