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Germany: Democracy educator who once proposed to create a new Aleppo in Western Pomerania now warns of Islamism in schools

The democracy educator Kurt Edler sees a new danger in the Islamist attack on a French teacher.

Berlin - "Teachers put themselves at the service of the education of young people and are completely defenseless because they are not trained to defend themselves", he told Die Welt (Wednesday edition). He has never seen it in "this form" in Germany. However, Edler states about the situation in this country: "For a long time, however, there has been a refusal by young people to deal with certain teaching material that, in their view, contradicts their religious commandments."

The former teacher and teacher trainer also observes that many conservative Muslim families demanded exemptions for participation in physical education and sex education classes. "No special conditions can be granted for certain groups. This would jeopardize the context of the democratic society," he said.

In school, a child must learn to disregard the particularities of his or her origin in order to become a citizen. Regarding the demand for the possibility of regular prayer, Edler said: "The school is a public place and not an unlimited space for religious practice. In view of the ideological diversity of our society, the school must remain neutral."

The former Green politician also speaks out in favor of resolute action against religious group pressure in schools. "Religious bullying is a clear violation of human rights for which the school must absolutely go on parade." Younger students in particular could be traumatized if they are pressured by classmates to dress religiously.

"In fact, we are dealing here with manifestations of a culture war for the young minds." Edler, who helped found the Hamburg Greens in 1981, also criticized his party. "The confrontation with Islamism is characterized by a false reluctance among some of my party friends," he said. "Some Greens have sacrificed women's rights to a relativistic culturalism."

Contraditions and the magic solutions
In 2016 he considered the fear of Islamist youth in Germany to be exaggerated, and as reported by Die Welt back then, he had surprisingly simple ideas for integrating the people in the country.

This was his simple solution:

"Why don't we set up a New Aleppo in Western Pomerania? With many capable people from our country and from Syria. Then we show that what the British and Irish emigrants did in the northeastern United States can also be done here. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said a wise phrase: "There is no society." Indeed. We have modern forms of non-socializing that lead to a mass experience of loneliness. The number of single-person households in a city like Hamburg is more than 50 percent. In this loneliness, human longings for a return to community with others arise. Because man is a zoon politikon, says Aristotle."

And to the question of whether it could be possible to tackle Edler answered: "I am very optimistic that we can get this problem under control. It is much more difficult for IS to win lone fighters who use specialist technical knowledge to make a bomb and who then know that they will either be dead or will be in prison. This is a much higher threshold than going to holy war in Syria in a group, following all possible illusions and with a Kalashnikov in hand."

Four years later and Kurt Edler seems to have lost his optimism.

Source: / Die Welt
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