chapter  6
26 Pages

Welcoming Muslims into the nation: Tolerance, politics and integration in Germany


In the past few years, and with the rise of a global terrorist threat, Germany has embarked upon a new policy of “integrating Muslims.” The federal ministry’s 2006 initiative to convene the “German Islam Conference” (Deutsche Islam Konferenz, DIK), an ongoing series of multi-level meetings of state representatives with select German Muslims, is a central element of this policy.1 Since its inception, the DIK has been controversial due primarily to the fact that the initiative assumes a more favorable position by state authorities with regards to the institutional incorporation of Islam. In this it stands in relative similarity to recent developments in other Western European countries. The DIK policy initiative is further innovative in that it articulates a specific kind of recognition of Islam as part of Germany. However, at the same time, the DIK contributes to the objectification of immigrant populations from Muslim countries as “Muslims.”