Participants of the German Islam Conference

June 18


Hamed Abdel-Samad is a Political Scientist and a “secular Muslim” who has written about Islam and its challenges in modern times. He criticized the violent reactions and threats against the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard as a sign of backwardness, which Muslims would need to admit. He has been chosen as an”independent Muslim”.
Bernd Ridwan Bauknecht is a teacher of Islamic Studies at a public school. He can be categorized as a “liberal Muslim” whose goals are to assist young Muslim pupils and youngsters in their integration in society.

Sineb el Masrar is the Chief Editor of the Women and Migrant magazine “Gazelle”. She is a “liberal Muslim” with secular views and stands for the recognition of Muslims and of their contribution to German society. She tries to strengthen the role of Muslim women in society as they would try to bridge modernity with tradition.
Gönül Halat-Mec is a lawyer, specialized on family law with special focus on migrants. She perceives herself as a “secular Muslim” and thinks that religion should be a personal and private matter only. She identifies a serious challenge for cooperation in religious doctrines and their tendency to repress and discriminate women, in conflict with the plural democratic societal order.
Abdelmalik Hibaoui is an Imam and preacher. He can be categorized as a “conservative Muslim”. He expects the Islam Conference to provide the fundament for the construction of Centers for Islamic theology at Universities. Another goal is to have Islam as a subject in public schools.


Hamideh Mohagheghi has studied theology and writes on interreligious dialogue. She expects a mutual dialogue between Muslims and their “State”. Islam and Muslims should be perceived as a normal appearance. She might be categorized as a “conservative Muslim”, though, as an expert she has taken a scientific stand in her interviews.


Bülent Ucar is a Professor of Islamic Religious Education. He is a “liberal Muslim” declaring mutual participation and recognition as fundamental parts of integration. The state should recognize Muslim associations and organizations and facilitate a wide religious education for Muslim children. Moreover, it should institutionalize the education of Imams in Germany.


Turgut Yüksel is a sociologist and a “secular Muslim”. As a consultant, he works on projects related to migration and intercultural dialogue. He declared that religious practices should be a private matter only without any form of discrimination. The state should not risk losing it neutrality toward all religions. A clear borderline between Islam and Islamism would be necessary. A founder of the “Initiative for secular Muslims in Hessen”, he tries to represent the voices of Muslims without a representative organization or association.



Tuba Isik-Yigit is affiliated with the Center for Theology and Cultural Sciences at the Institute of Catholic Theology at the University of Paderborn. Dr. Isik-Yigit can be categorized as a “conservative Muslim”, supporting the establishment of centers for the education of theology students. Also, she is engaged in strengthening equality of women, especially those with headscarf.



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