Thursday, March 7, 2019

Address of thanks to Catherine Dussmann

The House of One - Bet- und Lehrhaus Berlin Foundation has very much regretted Catherine von Fürstenberg Dussmann's decision not to support the interreligious work of the House any further", said Roland Stolte, Administrative Director of the Foundation, on Thursday after the entrepreneur's decision became known. "We would like to thank Mrs. Dussmann for the many years of trusting and wonderful cooperation."

The wish expressed by Mrs. Dussmann, which she did not yet see fulfilled, for a broad participation of Muslim actors corresponds to the Charter of the House of One and is part of the work and task which the Foundation has imposed on itself with its foundation. By the way, this applies in the same way to the Jewish as well as the Christian side.


Interreligious understanding in small steps


"The fact that this can only happen in small steps is part of our social reality", Roland Stolte continued. "With the support of our Muslim partner Forum Dialog, we have been holding talks with numerous Muslim communities and associations throughout Germany for eight years. This shows that the rapprochement needs staying power. "We have that," said Stolte.

Imam Kadir Sanci, member of the foundation's executive committee, said: "The dialogue is not failing due to a lack of effort on our part. Since 2012, I myself have repeatedly tried in numerous personal talks to win more Muslims and Muslim associations for the House of One. On many levels this has also been successful."

There has long been an intensive exchange and close cooperation with Muslim personalities and institutions. These include the Sunni and Shiite theologians of the University of Paderborn, during the architecture competition the Orientalist Navid Kermani and the sociologist of religion Rauf Ceylan, the Young Islam Conference, Sunnis from Northern Iraqi Kurdistan, our project ambassador Imam Ali Alliyef from Georgia or the head of the Central African Muslims Imam Layama Kobine, who will be visiting Berlin next week.

"Our dialogue, which takes place at eye level with Jews and Christians in the House of One, is of course full of challenges. We face them again and again," says Imam Sanci. The coup in Turkey certainly did not make this any easier. "Nevertheless we will not let up in our efforts to take further Muslim partners with us to the House of One - we also see this as an opportunity to break new ground in the interreligious path beyond deadlocked, politicized constellations.


The House of One is necessary


Rabbi Andreas Nachama, who chairs the Board of Trustees of the House of One, said: "The current situation shows once again the need for an understanding project, as the House of One is one. We want to use these existing problems to create opportunities for a dialogue 4.0." One has to take note of the fact that Muslims in Germany live side by side from very different regions and with very different imprints. In this respect there are no grown or even common structures, as for instance in the Christian churches or a unity congregation like on the Jewish side.

"The fact that the current domestic political situation in Turkey leads to our cooperation partner getting into difficulties also shows the influence that the countries of origin still have on the local Muslims", said the Rabbi.