“Countering fundamentalism with something”

The former chairwoman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Margot Kabmann, sees religious communities as a social corrective in the integration of refugees. They offer refugees a space to tell their story.

"It is precisely religiously oriented people who can do something to counter fundamentalism," Kabmann said Wednesday evening at a panel hosted by the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk in Berlin. They could expose the hate speech of Pegida supporters and counter Islamism with respect for people of other faiths, the theologian added. She herself would rather be "called a good person than become a bad person".

Kabmann regretted that at present there was hardly any opportunity to talk about the peace-keeping power of religions. After the 11. Since September 2001, the image has spread in society that "the terrorist is the Islamist". Most refugees who come to Germany, however, are themselves victims of Islamists.

"Refugees not only defined in religious terms"

"We could have taken care of what is happening in the Middle East a long time ago," Kabmann warned. "We could have strengthened the democracy movements." Germany has "deluded itself for far too long" into thinking that it can shut itself off from the world's crises and have nothing to do with them.

Islamic scholar Milad Karimi warned against defining refugees only in religious terms. Those fleeing militant Islam are "religiously wounded". These people, she said, wondered above all how there could be a God who could make them feel something like their own escape.

The Jewish educationalist Micha Brumlik criticized discussions about the causes of flight. This is the kind of thing he feels is "evasion," Brumlik said. "Even if we all start living in a highly ecological way tomorrow, stop turning up the heating and donate money to democracy movements," the war in Syria will not end in the next two or three years.

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