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muslimische stimmen de muslim voices l.
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  1. NECE conference, Lisbon, April 26-28, 2007„Muslim voices“) Clémence Delmas, Berlin

  2. Presentation • How it started • Why Internet? • Name of the website • Goals • Contributions, authors, categories and series • Users and feedbacks • Team • Cooperation and long-term planning

  3. 2005: Creation of the website Motivation Idea came after the murder of Theo Van Gogh at the end of 2004. Very few Muslims participated in the debate about integration that followed in Germany. Problems • Monolithic and negative image of Muslims in the media • Low participation of Muslims in public debates, no public articulation of their frustrations and concerns • Muslims in a defensive position, „Muslim agenda“ defined by Non-Muslims • Lots of Muslims not represented by Muslim organisations • Most websites presenting only one view of Islam without pluralistic approach

  4. Spaces for constructive and pluralistic discussions were urgently needed !

  5. Why Internet? • Low cost solution for communication • Potential to reach a broad public, especially young people • Possibility to publish different kinds of contributions: texts but also photos, videos, music etc. • Chat, poll and comment tools make real interactivity with and between the users possible • Internet as archive: discussions are documented (better than oral discussions) • Anonymity may foster non politically correct and possibly more productive discussions

  6. Name of the website • „Muslim“, not „Islamic“ „Muslim“ refers to people, „Islamic“ to religion. „Muslim“ is more neutral and encompasses not only religious but also cultural and political aspects of Muslim presence in Germany. • „Voices“ • Voice: is meant to be heard • VoiceS: shows pluralistic perspective

  7. The website is… • Independent It does not represent an organisation It is financed by the team • Pluralistic The team does not censor but moderates Only words of hate are banished • Non-religious It does not define the „right“ Islam • Civic It promotes values of tolerance and civic engagement The website is NOT… • A forum • A blog • A lobbying instrument

  8. Goals • For Muslims • Promote pluralistic discussions and tolerance for different Muslim ways of life • Encourage social and political participation • Find solutions to existing problems • For Non-Muslims • Show Muslim diversity, fight against prejudices • Offer a platform for underrepresented (and more tolerant?) voices • Answer to questions and fears • For journalists, politicians, students and scientists Offer an information tool about German Muslims

  9. Contributions, authors, categories, series • Contributions Political statements, project descriptions, personal anecdotes, scientific articles, interviews, event announcements and proceedings, photos, videos, music, cartoons • Authors Unknown and well-known, mostly between 20 and 40, different professions, cultural and social backgrounds. • Categories • Projects, Politics, Society, Religion, Personal experiences, Berlin, Audio/Video, Opportunities • Soon: Dossiers • Series • StimmeN Aktuell • mit Koffer, Kummer und Kismet • Außensicht

  10. Users and feedbacks • Users ? But increasing number of journalists, politicians and association representatives are subscribing to the newsletter • Feedbacks • Positive: Journalists, German foundations • 2 prizes: Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz, Startsocial 2006. • Almost no reaction from Muslim organisations, at least not officially (but no active communication in their direction)

  11. Team • Since Aug. 2005: the conception, programming, moderation and communication are in the hands of: Clémence Delmas, 28, politologist and Betül Yilmaz, 21, student in Islamic studies. • 2007: The team is being enlarged, more and more people will be involved in the project

  12. Cooperation and long-term planning • Cooperation with other websites and newspapers: exchange of articles etc. • Cooperation with Muslim organisations, foundations and public institutions: event organisation, projects • Local teams in all Germany • More involvement of students • More videos, less texts • Fundraising (especially for programming and video production)

  13. Thank you for your attention!