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Cultural and Social Anthropologist Prof. Dr. Werner Schiffauer at Freie Universität

Mercator Senior Fellow at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies through June 2018

№ 025/2018 from Feb 01, 2018

The cultural and social anthropologist Professor Werner Schiffauer from the European University Viadrina is currently at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies for a for nine-month research stay as a Mercator Senior Fellow. During his stay he is doing research for the project “The Islam Policy of the German Ministries of the Interior – A Contribution to the Anthropology of the State Apparatus.”

"Following reforms in German immigration policy in 1999 and 2000, German policy has had to address the integration of Islam," explains Professor Werner Schiffauer. The major issue is: How can a religion that is viewed skeptically or even rejected by sections of the population be integrated into the social and political order of the German Federal Republic? The Ministry of the Interior plays a key role in dealing with this issue. The Ministry of the Interior needs to ensure political and social stability, the preconditions for all other state activities. Although statehood and the state cannot be reduced to the Ministry of the Interior, this ministry does have a prominent role in the interaction of the ministries. In his current research project, the cultural and social anthropologist Schiffauer uses the government's policy toward Islam to examine how the German Federal Ministry of the Interior defines a framework for the policy toward Islam practiced by the individual German states. As a Mercator Senior Fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Schiffauer is continuing his long-term research on Islam in Germany. His goal is to contribute to a reflected policy on Islam.

"The collaboration between the Mercator Foundation and the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies offers Mr. Schiffauer an excellent environment for his research," says Dr. Lars Ostermeier, managing director of the Graduate School. Dealing with religious diversity, in particular with Islam in society, is an important research topic of the Graduate School and an important area of activity of the Foundation. Schiffauer's research project has the potential to contribute to a more objective discussion of Islam and a better climate for integration. The doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at the Graduate School are particularly interested in relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. Within this context they critically examine the perception of Islam and Muslims in politics and society.