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Berlin: Study on Muslim hostility works with Islamists

The integration officer for the Berlin district of Neukölln, Güner Balci, has criticized a publicly funded study on discrimination against young Muslims in schools. The survey was carried out in collaboration with mosque communities that were classified as Islamist in reports on the protection of the constitution in the country. “The mosque associations involved in the study represent a 'who's who' of political Islam,” said Balci last Sunday in Welt. The mosque communities included in the study are exclusively those that spread a reactionary understanding of Islam.

These include, for example, the Teiba Mosque in Spandau, which is related to the Muslim Brotherhood and which was described in a report by the domestic secret service as a “meeting place for Hamas supporters”. In the study initiated by the “Contact Point Discrimination Protection in Schools” (ADAS), 274 Muslim young people in various mosque communities were asked about their experiences of discrimination in school.

Neukölln mayor criticizes study director
The mayor of Neukölln, Martin Hikel (SPD), attacked the methods of the study organizers. "With a politically tinged study in cooperation with associations that are under surveillance of the Constitutional Protection, Ms. Yegane discredits herself and endangers the credibility of the contact point for anti-discrimination protection in schools," he said about the director of ADAS, Aliyeh Yegane. In Berlin there are already Muslim schoolchildren who would be treated derogatory by devout classmates because they eat or drink during the day during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Yegane himself defended himself against the allegations. “Our study aimed at ensuring protection against discrimination and freedom of religion and belief in Berlin schools. Against this background, questions of past or current assessments of the protection of the constitution were irrelevant,” she emphasized. Young people who would pray in Islamist mosque communities are also entitled to basic and human rights in school.

A majority of the young people surveyed about experiences of discrimination stated that they strictly adhere to Muslim fasting and dietary regulations. A third said they pray in the breaks between school hours and pay attention to gender segregation in class. ADAS is supported by the Berlin Senate with 210,000 euros annually.

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