School starts back up locally here in Hessen this week. One of the differences this year....is the introduction of the Islamic religion in local German schools.
For decades, religion has been one of the core class groups mandated by the school authority. To be honest, I doubt if it amounted to more than three hours per month, and half the kids just sat there in zombie-status. But, you got various pieces and parts of different religions....from the Lutherans to the Catholics. So, the authorities tossed in Islam this year.
So far, there are roughly 440 Hessen first-graders who are signed up....all of Middle Eastern background. No German-ethnic kids are signed up. There are approximately twenty-five school participating in this program.
There are several notes to add into this episode. First....as in all German schools....the language of use is German. The instructors? They are all Muslims. Right now, this is aimed strictly at elementary schools, and there is a possibility that it will extend out in a couple of years to higher-level schools.
There's a curious piece to religion instruction in Germany. For several decades, the key to religion has been that you accept people of different faiths.....period. It's been mentioned in the newspapers that concept of acceptance will be taught in the Islamic religious classes. It'll be curious to see how acceptance sells, and if a trend develops out of this effort.