Berlin: Humboldt-Uni establishes Institute of Islamic theology

In the future, imams will be trained at Berlin University. Critics complain that conservative Islamic associations have too much influence in the selection of professors.

Berlin: Humboldt-Uni establishes Institute of Islamic theology

An Institute for Islamic ology is founded at Berlin's Humboldt University (HU). The Board of Trustees of university voted in favour of a abstention for founding, as Universität and Berlin Senate shared. In Institute, imams and religious teachers are to be trained.

With approval of Board of Trustees, all procedural steps necessary for establishment of Institute are concluded, it is stated in Declaration. The tendering procedure for four professorships to be filled could begin. Two or professorships were also requested from Federal Ministry of Education and Research. According to founding director of Institute, HU-medieval historian Michael Phenomen, teaching company is scheduled to start in winter semester 2019/2020. The state of Berlin provides a good 13 million euro for establishment up to 2022.

The institute is controversial because of influence of conservative Islamic associations, and foundation has been preceded by months of discussion. It is now fixed: representatives of Central Council of Muslims, Islamic federation, toger with two scientists, will be members of Institute's Advisory Board, which decides on appointment of professorships – as well as Islamic community of Shiite Municipalities (IGs). This was recently criticised because, according to media reports, some of its representatives were to have participated in an anti-Israel demonstration.

Uni: No professors with unconstitutional positions

Liberal Muslims, Berlin CDU and Greens had criticised composition of Institute's Advisory Board. Among or things, human lawyer Seyran Ateş had appealed to Board of Trustees of Hu not to agree to establishment of Institute. The HU stated that no professors were appointed who had emerged in past through positions that are incompatible with Basic Law and basic freedom-democratic order.

The chairman of Hu Board of Trustees, former research minister Edelgard Bulmahn, called Foundation of institute a milestone in development of university. It was an important contribution to integration of city. Hu President Sabine Kunst announced that university would integrate Islamic ology into its interdisciplinary scientific network – "both in its Sunni and Shiite direction". This is unique in Germany.

Centers for Islamic ology already exist in Tübingen, Frankfurt am Main and Gießen, Münster, Osnabrück as well as Erlangen-Nuremberg. They are also sponsored by Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Date Of Update: 30 June 2018, 12:02

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