The Liberal-Islamischer Bund e.V. (LIB) („Liberal Islamic Federation e.V.“) unites and represents Muslim citizens who opine that their liberal understanding of Islam has not been hitherto adequately represented in the debates and political processes in Germany. Thus, the issues and demands of LIB are addressed both to policy makers and to society as a whole. LIB furthermore wishes to contribute to the initiation of a (long overdue) discussion within the Islamic community. Many Muslims who are at home in Germany/Europe no longer feel that their religious views are reflected (solely) by the understanding of Islam prevalent in their parents’ countries of origin. Germany/Europe is the centre of their lives. Within the pluralistic society of Germany and Europe they are a quantitively significant group that seeks to assert its right to public recognition and to take on the attendant responsibility.

The theological basis for the representation of liberal Muslims in Germany can be reduced to a single common denominator: the shahâda, the Islamic statement of belief. With the shahâda one testifies the belief in the One God and in Muhammad as God’s Messenger. It is improper to require dogmatic and cultural uniformity on any matter going beyond this core principle. In general, the Federation seeks to create a climate in which Muslims are able to interpret the Qur’an and the Sunnah free of fear, openly, and in accordance with the dictates of their conscience. The Federation advocates acceptance and equal treatment of diverse and self-determined ways of life consistent with the German constitution (Grundgesetz), and is convinced that fostering intra-Islamic pluralism simultaneously promotes pluralism in German/European society as a whole.

LIB is non-partisan. It encourages its members to participate in German/European society and politics, and seeks to support this participation. The self-evident core prerequisites for the representation of liberal Muslims in Germany are a commitment to the free democratic basic order and the equality in rights and dignity of all genders. Political participation is further based on combating racism, anti-Islamic sentiment, and anti-Semitism. It also follows from the commitment to pluralism that an exclusive claim to truth vis-à-vis other religions should be reflected upon, qualified or given up.

An Islamic prayer led by our female Imam Rabeya Müller, adhering to gender justice as propagated by Qur’an and Sunnah
Photograph © Lutz Jäkel

Statement of Principles

Liberal Islamic means …

  • a devout belief that God is the Lord of our life towards whom our daily personal lives are oriented.

  • to stand up for a way of life based on freedom and self-determination in responsibility before the Creator.

  • to trust in a religious faith which is open to reason. The mind is a gift from God.

  • to cultivate theological reflection in order to get to an up-to-date interpretation of Islam in touch with reality – thereby taking historical, cultural, biographical and social contexts into consideration.

  • not (just) to ask about the form, but, above all, about the purpose.

  • not arbitrariness.

  • to embrace progress and change as societal dynamics.

  • to see demythologisation as a potentially supportive tool for distinguishing between the significant and the insignificant.
  • to respect and appreciate other viewpoints.
  • to be able to tolerate variance and yet to be able to see the uniting aspects.
  • to reflect upon, to qualify or to give up any claim to exclusivity.
    • to understand the right to physical and emotional integrity as a given.

              The essential goals of LIB are the following:

              • Cultivation/Practice of religion.

              • Representing liberal Muslims as their organised voice.

              • Establishing itself as a contact organisation in theological and policy matters for the state, for policy makers, society, media, science and others.

              • Participating in the process of forming public opinion.

              • Introducing Islamic religious education in German language in public schools throughout Germany.

              • Promoting knowledge and competence by providing theological expertise/education.

              • Performing ijtihâd.

              • Making universities open for Islamic concerns.

              • Promoting open scholarly discourse, in particular by setting up professorships for Islamic theology at public universities.

              • Promoting gender equality (both in education and theology).

              • Engaging in interreligious dialogue in all directions.

              • Combating anti-Islamic sentiments, racism, extremism, anti-Semitism, other forms of group-focused enmities as well as any form of discrimination of minorities.
              Liberal-Islamischer Bund e.V. is part of the global Alliance of Inclusive Muslims

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