Why are not all Muslims violent

"Violence and Islam - Background and Way Out": Lecture by Prof. Dr. Khorchide in the W-Forum of the Scientific Services of the German Bundestag

In the W-Forum series of the Scientific Services of the German Bundestag, Prof. Dr. Mouhanad Khorchide on Thursday, July 9th, 2015 with the topic "Violence and Islam - Background and ways out". The numerous Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years have led to the fact that Islam is often viewed in the Western perception as a religion that glorifies violence. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schöler, head of the “Science and External Relations” department of the Bundestag administration, recalled the recent attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait as well as the IS terror and referred to the bitter debates among Islamic scholars when it comes to the role of violence plays in Islam.

Khorchide explained the theological foundations on which Islam's relationship to violence is based, what causes the propensity for violence among young Muslims and what approaches should be pursued. As in many religions, the phenomenon of violence also occurs within Islam, religions per se have a potential for violence. However, well over 90 percent of Muslims in Germany rejected violence. Khorchide pointed out how necessary an internal Islamic debate was, in which Muslims grapple with their religion and their outdated traditions, as different currents within Islamic theology are fighting for the sovereignty of interpretation in the interpretation of the Koran, from liberal, peaceful approaches to conservative, violent attitudes. Khorchide also made it clear that the acts of violence committed in the name of Islam are not solely a theological problem. The social context in which young Muslims in Germany grow up plays a central role. Above all, social and political efforts are required to remove the ground from the violence. The main cause of the violence is the often precarious political and social situation of people who feel excluded. Foreign policy efforts must also be increased in order to defuse tensions in the Middle East. In the eyes of the Muslims, the West has discredited itself with its policies in this region and distanced itself from its own values ​​such as democracy and human rights.

An essential step in strengthening the enlightened positions of Islam was the establishment of chairs in Islamic studies at German universities and the introduction of Islamic religious instruction in the federal states. For example, 600 young Muslims have already enrolled in the course in Islamic theology and religious teaching at the University of Münster since 2012, and they have now been trained to become religion teachers and theologians. As they gradually take up their work as graduates and act as representatives of an open Islam, according to Khorchide, there is slowly a change from below in the Muslim society in Germany.

The lecture in full length to watch and listen to (source: German Bundestag)