Mainz – The Rhineland-Palatinate state government reached a milestone on Wednesday on its way to a basic contract with the Islamic associations: After approval in the cabinet, Konrad Wolf (SPD), Minister of Culture for Religious Affairs, signed target agreements with four Islamic associations. In it, the Ditib, as an association of 55 Turkish mosque associations, agrees to an amendment to the statutes, which anchors the independence of the regional association.
With this, concrete measures could already be taken to regulate the long-term equality of Muslim life in Rhineland-Palatinate, Wolf said. In the agreement, the state government assures that “structural talks” will lead to the further development of Islamic religious education and the establishment of professorships for Islamic theology. An estimated 200,000 Muslims live in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The contract negotiations that started in April 2015 have been interrupted since the attempted military coup in Turkey in summer 2016. The state government plans to check in a year and a half whether the target agreements have been met and whether negotiations will then resume.
Ditib Rhineland-Palatinate spoke of a «first step in the right direction». Dating will promptly implement the steps mentioned in the agreement to “strengthen the independence of the regional association”. As chairman of Schurr, the regional association of mosque communities with different cultural roots founded in 2013, Akif Unal said: “We will tackle the agreed points immediately.” The other two communities are the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers and the Ahmadiyya community, which is mainly influenced by Muslims from Pakistan.