, University of Hamburg
The project will carry out a comparative analysis of the political
and legal status of Muslim minorities in South Africa and Europe.
It takes into account the strategies applied by Muslim communities
to establish and nurture religious institutions in a Western and
liberal state. The analysis will illustrate the insights European
states stand to gain from the South African experience of introducing
extended minority rights.
South Africa and Europe will be compared in a case study on
the practical application of constitutional minority rights to
the Islamic education system. By conducting research in Islamic
schools in South Africa, England and Holland the project aims
to establish the role these institutions play in different cultural
and political settings. The question of whether Islamic schools
promote processes of identity formation in a democratic society
or lead to disengagement from the majority society wil be analysed
in particular. Furthermore, the international exchange of Muslim
organisations in the field of Islamic education will be highlighted
to investigate how certain religious groups and movements exert
mutual religious and idealogical influence.
Islamic schools in England, Holland and South Africa have mushroomed
in recent years but have not been analysed in a comparative perspective.
Yet Islamic schools in South Africa and England show cultural
and religious parallels: in both cases schools are attended by
learners predominantly from the Indian subcontinent and are affiliated
to Islamic movements and organisations that operate in both countries,
such as the Tablighi Jamaat and the Deobandi movement.
For the comparative analysis of constitutional and institutional
aspects of minority rights in South Africa and Germany, published
and unpublished material will be analysed using critical-hermeneutical
methodology. Further, qualitative interviews will be conducted
with law experts on constitutional rights, as well as with politicians
and representatives of Muslim organisations.
The study of Islamic schools in South Africa, England and Holland
will include two schools in each country. Interviews will be carried
out with teachers, learners and representatives of the respective
Ministries of Education. Project results will be documented in
a special study and the findings presented at a conference in
Hamburg at the beginning of 2009. Moreover, the researcher will
participate in seminars of the Faculty of Education at the University