University of Tübingen: University of Tübingen welcomes agreement on Islamic theology

Cooperation between the Advisory Board and the Sunni School Board Foundation in the appointment of future professors at the Center for Islamic Theology
The University of Tübingen and the Sunni School Council Foundation have agreed on a coordinated procedure for appointing future professors to the Tübingen Center for Islamic Theology (ZITh). Both sides concluded an agreement that provides for the foundation and the ZITh’s advisory board to work closely together in appointment procedures.

Since the ZITh was founded ten years ago, the seven-member advisory board alone was responsible for granting teaching permits to all Tübingen professors of Islamic theology. However, the Baden-Württemberg state government decided in summer 2020 to transfer responsibility to the foundation as far as the training of teachers for Baden-Württemberg schools is concerned. The agreement now provides for all professors who teach Islamic religious studies to share responsibility for the advisory board and foundation in the appointment process and in granting teaching permits.

As the rector of the university, Professor Bernd Engler, announced on Thursday, the advisory board and foundation should decide within three months whether to grant a teaching license in an appointment procedure. A professor can only be appointed if both bodies have given their consent.

“The regulations that have now been reached enable the further positive development of the Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen and create the prerequisites for good cooperation between the Center Advisory Board, which has been established in 2011 and has been working extremely successfully, and those responsible for training teachers for Islamic religious instruction with a Sunni character Foundation, ”said Engler. “The advisory board has played an extremely important role in the development of the ZITh in recent years.” Without the advisory board, the broad social anchoring of the center would not have been possible. Against this background, it is of central importance for the University of Tübingen that the advisory board continue to help shape the center. At the same time, both the university and the advisory board since then recognize the role of the newly established Sunni School Council Foundation in the expansion of Islamic religious instruction at state schools in Baden-Württemberg. The positive experiences to date with two appointment procedures with dual responsibility that have been completed in the last few months show that both the ZITh Advisory Board and the Sunnischer Schulrat Foundation make the necessary decisions appropriately and promptly and thus give the University of Tübingen the opportunity to implement appointment procedures in a constructive manner To conclude successfully with each other.

The Sunni School Council Foundation was established on August 1st, 2019. The purpose of the foundation is to organize Sunni-style Islamic religious instruction as a regular subject at public schools in Baden-Württemberg within the framework of the requirements of constitutional and school law. The foundation is supported by the State Association of Islamic Cultural Centers Baden-Württemberg (LVIKZ) and the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Germany (IGBD).

The members of the seven-member advisory board of the Center for Islamic Theology are appointed by the Rector of the University of Tübingen. The three associations DITIB (Diyanet Isleri Türk-Islam Birligi), IGBD and LVIKZ have the right to propose five of the seven members. The other members are appointed on the proposal of the Rector. The advisory board model was introduced in 2011 when the ZITh was founded. The University of Tübingen followed the recommendations of the Science Council.