The classes offered in Hesse state are part of a growing consensus that Germany, after decades of neglect, should do more to acknowledge and serve its Muslim population if it is to foster social harmony, overcome its ageing demographics, and head off a potential domestic security threat.
The need, many here say, is ever more urgent. According to German security officials and widespread reports in the German news media, this past semester at least two young Germans from Hesse — one thought to be just 16 — were killed in Syria after heeding the call for jihad and apparently being recruited by hardline Salafist preachers in Frankfurt.
Such cases have stirred alarm not only that some young Germans are increasingly feeling alienated and vulnerable to recruitment, but also that they will eventually bring their fight home, along with new skills in the use of weapons and explosives gained on distant battlefields. Other parts of Europe with expanding Muslim minorities — including France, Britain, Spain and Scandinavian countries — are facing similar challenges of integration and radicalisation.
Germany teaching Islam to better know Muslims | GulfNews.com (external - login to view)