A further rationale for Islam classes is to “immunize” Muslim students from fundamentalism, as Protestant leader Heinrich Bedford-Strohm put it.
Of particular concern is radicalization that might lead to violence. Since 2013, more than 1,000 people have left Germany to fight with or support the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations, most of them under 30.
It is hard to see how Muslim students could be “immunized” against fundamentalism if they are never taught what those fundamentalists believe, and from what verses in the Qur’an, and stories in the hadith, they derive their beliefs. If the students cannot learn about, and discuss, these verses and stories in a critical spirit — yes, to “immunize” them — how will they be able to withstand the polished presentations of the fundamentalists?
But some educators and politicians resist the notion that Islam has a place in German public schools.