Hamburg is the first federal state to sign an agreement with muslims

Hamburg is the first federal state to sign an agreement with Muslims

Negotiations that have been ongoing since 2007 have been concluded, said hamburg’s mayor olaf scholz (SPD) on tuesday.

Before the contract can be signed, however, it must be approved by the hamburg city council, in which the SPD has an absolute majority. A simple majority is enough, according to the senate.

"We hope that this agreement will also be seen as an initial step for other federal states," said aziz alsandemir from the alevi community of germany. The agreement will ensure "legal certainty and transparency," explained murat pirildar of the association of islamic cultural centers.

There are already written agreements with the catholic and protestant churches in the form of a church-state treaty. The new treaty is a sign of recognition of muslims in hamburg and of historical significance, said zekeriya altug of the turkish-islamic union of religion. Around 130,000 muslims live in the hanseatic city.

Among other things, islamic holidays are to be put on an equal footing with christian holidays. Muslim schoolchildren do not need to come to school for ramadan or sacrifice celebrations, for example. Workers were allowed to take time off on these days – but they had to work the time off at a later date. Equal rights for men and women were also made clear in the draft agreement.

For joint religious education in state schools, it is stipulated that the protestant church and the muslim communities share equal responsibility for this subject. Muslims who have passed the second state examination will also be allowed to teach. On the subject of religious education, the contracting parties set a five-year trial period. The catholic and protestant churches buried the agreements. The CDU opposition faction also supports the agreement. However, there were still a number of detailed questions that had to be clarified before a final decision could be made, it said.

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