Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News

Germany Proposes Formal Education for Imams, Islamic Scholars

BERLIN (RNS) German political and religious leaders appear mostly supportive of a proposal to provide training for imams and other Islamic scholars at German universities.
The recommendation, issued Friday (Jan. 29) after two years of study by the German Council of Science and Humanities, said given the country’s 4 million Muslims, German colleges and universities should play some role in training those who would, in turn, teach the faith.
“The growing plurality of religious affiliations in Germany combined with the growing need for academic expertise in questions about religion has set new demands for the organization and capabilities of academics who focus on these issues,” read a statement released by the council.
The plan calls for initial pilot programs in Islamic studies at two or three German universities. The goal would be to train imams and other people active in social and community work, but also teachers who would teach the Muslim faith in German public schools.
Most German schools provide religious education, though many districts complain of a lack of trained Muslim teachers. Many students, since they cannot learn about Islam at school, attend classes run by local community centers, which has fueled concern that children are receiving schooling outside the mainstream educational establishment.
German Education Minister Annette Schavan told the newspaper Die Welt that the move, if implemented, would lead to “a comprehensive integration policy for modern society.” Although Germany’s Muslim population is growing fast, there is also concern that foreign-born Muslims are not integrating into German society.
Kenan Kolat, the head of Turkish associations in Germany, told the newspaper Die Zeit that his group supported the plan, but argued that the educational centers must remain independent.
Currently, the University of Muenster is the only German academy with a small Islamic studies program geared at training teachers and imams.
— Niels Sorrells
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • nnmns

    Interesting idea: educated religious advocates.
    I know many of ours, like e.g. jestrfyl, are, but so many others have little education, if any, that’s pertinent to what they are preaching. A lot of them do, of course, have the ability to sell. But that and little knowledge about what they are selling and, in many cases, little morality, mean bad results. Which we see so often in our religious stories here.
    Now as to whether Germany should do that, I’m not sure. Perhaps the US should but I doubt very much it could. And there definitely is danger in having the state in control of things like that.

  • jestrfyl

    It is from Germany that the concept of an educated clergy developed. With that goal in mind, the Germans founded many colleges. This carried over to America, and the Germanic denominations founded many significant schools. Two German denominations were part of the root stock of the United Church of Christ, so we include several excellent colleges in our heritage.Of course, the English colonialists borrowed the idea and built upon it. Hence, Yale and Harvard were founded. Many others followed as well.
    Educating the Imams is in everyone’s best interest. Rather than perpetuating, and even further corrupting, misconceptions and untruths, this provides a way to learn more thoroughly and present more clearly the truths of faith. Could this be the start of a new Reformation?

  • Alena

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.