Hamburg State signs treaty with Muslim community

November 13

The State of Hamburg, Muslim associations and the Alawite community have signed a treaty. They agree to implement and recognize religious-related holidays, including school holidays, religious education and burial rituals for Muslims.

The State of Hamburg guarantees three official holidays: Eid ad-Adha, Ramadan and Ashura. Muslim teachers will be allowed to teach religious education, once they have passed the state exam and given that the course is cross-confessional. The equality of men and women is a premise.

The involved parts, other than the State of Hamburg, are: the Turkish-Islamic Union Institute for Religion (Ditib), the Council of Islamic communities (Schura), the association for Islamic Culture centers (VIKZ) and as the Alawites community of Germany. The three associations represent approximately 130 000 Muslims in Hamburg. Approximately, 50 000 Alawites live in Hamburg.

The chairman of the Turkish-Islamic Union Institute for Religion in Hamburg Dr. Zekeriya Altuğ emphasized the importance of the treaty as a historical day for Muslims in Hamburg and Germany. The Muslim community would be hopeful to receive the full support of all political institutions. This treaty would express the diversity of Muslim life in Hamburg.
The Federal chairman of the Alawite community Hüseyin Mat emphasized the importance of this treaty in recognizing the Alawite community. Germany should be dignified for recognizing the Alawite community and their rights as a religious minority. In contrast to Germany, the Turkish government should be ashamed. Turkey would still repress Alawites and force them to assimilate.

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