Hamburg signs historic deal with Muslims
Hamburg authorities have signed a deal with the city's Muslim community groups guaranteeing Islamic holidays, school religion lessons, and burial rights. It's the first agreement of its kind in Germany."Something that should be taken for granted has gained a lot of attention," Hamburg's centre-left mayor Olaf Scholz said as he presented the new agreement on Tuesday. It is the first ever deal between a German state and its Muslim community, Scholz said - "a signal that we're ready and willing to cooperate."
The 11-page agreement, which still has to be approved by the city parliament, is meant to regulate religious freedoms, school lessons, burial rituals, and recognition of Germany's constitution, the taz newspaper reported.
The deal, which has been in negotiations since 2007, was signed by the council of Islamic communities (Schura), the Turkish-Islamic Union (Ditib), the association of Islamic cultural centres (VIKZ), as well as the city's Alevi community.
These community groups, representing the Hamburg's 120,000 Muslims, have agreed to recognize the "basic values of constitutional order," to reject "violence and discrimination based on origin, sexual orientation, and faith" and "religious and political viewpoints," and to recognize "equality between genders." (...)