Germany opens first school to train Imams in German: this is how Berlin contrasts “educated” preachers from Ankara to Arab countries

It opened its doors to Osnabrück the first Islam College Germany (Ikd) funded by German state and from the Land of Lower Saxony. This is the first high school to form directly in Germany of I have, or specialize Muslim clerics for employment in prisons or social services.

It is located a short distance from the university institute of theology Islamic which celebrates five years of existence while the university teaches the religion Muslim for ten years; but only theIkd however now widens the field of education to the level academic and post-graduate in the specific training of I have, which can find daily use in mosque. The college of Osnabrück enjoys the collaboration of five of the associations which group Muslims in Germany, among which stand out above all the Central Council of Muslims, the Bosnian Muslim Association, and the Association of Muslims in Lower Saxony, individual communities e theology, which gathered in one commission have launched and will gradually update the plan teaching. After ten years of discussions we arrive with theIkd to form I have in German, recognized by all associations, ed independent. Admission requirement is the completion of a university course of study of Islamic theology.

Despite having the presidency of the Board of Directors the former President of the Republic Christian Wulff, the IKD is formally independent of the State, which has no right to any intervention direct internal, but has nevertheless committed to finance the structure, together with the Land Lower Saxony, with approximately 5.5 million euros for the first five years. With the opening of Islam Kolleg la Germany it intends at the same time to give a signal of equality and recognition to its Muslim citizens and on the other to erode the influx of preachers sent from other countries. The Imams serving in the approximately 2500 Muslim communities active in Germany are in fact still today mostly sent by Turkey, Egypt O Middle Eastern states.

The new Islam College it is opposed above all to training schools of the powerful association Ditib in Germany, which is the overseas organization of the Bureau of Religion of the Turkey and therefore depends directly on the government of Ankara and is strongly debated for the support of the currents religious more conservative. Traditionally it helps Erdogan in reaching the Turkish electorate in Germany. Many young Germans with origins Turkish they see the training in their country as positive I have educated in German, said the former President Wulff to the German broadcaster High, and aspire to free themselves from the intrusiveness that the Turkish government exercises through Ditib. The training offer of the Ditib academy, bilingual in German and Turkish, however, remains co-present in Germany. Only time will allow us to judge how much the figures formed in theIkd they will be well received in Muslim communities. For the director Bulent Ucar the German state will also have to undertake to finance the hiring of I have who will leave his institute if he wants to ensure that they can actually find more and more acceptance in the religious communities instead of the preachers of DItib.

The College aspires to train about thirty new religious every year, independently chosen by the association to which they belong. In addition to men it is also open to one presence female albeit to an extent of 20%. Many women honorably engage in Community, but there are few who also direct there prayer come I have. The first members are 35: half will become new I have, the others are instead engaged in courses of specialization higher than a year and a half for spiritual assistants in hospitals, prisons ed hospices. Strong point to attract subscribers than the new one structure provides a varied education both by touching aspects of social and pedagogical work, as well as those of educator and preacher; aspects co-present in the practice of the Imams, but which until now had been entrusted to learning on the field.

Se l ‘Ikd over time it will also prove effective in overcoming the absence of a single interlocutor to collectively represent all Muslims before the state authority, it could a fortiori constitute a valid model integrative also for other European countries. In the same days in which the school is inaugurated, the Ministry of Interior German also held the first meeting of the committee on Islam politico. A body made up of experts from the academic fields of Islamic studies and Islamic theology, public law, political and social sciences, who were charged for a year to analyze the manifestations of political Islam in a perspective scientific, thus developing measures preventive and security aimed at preventing its spread in society. Among them are, just to name a few, the professor Naika Foroutan of the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Austrian sociologist and Islamic theologian professor at the University of Münster where there is the first chair of Islamic religion established in Germany Mouhanad Khorchide and the professor and social anthropologist Susanne Schröter.

It is evident how the education of the preachers in mosque is already a decisive first step to combat the most radical deviations. The new ones I have of Islam Kolleg, giving shape to an Islam decidedly disconnected from the direct influence of Ankara and the Arab countries, could also prove to be a useful factor in achieving greater integration of refugees especially if they will possibly preach in German. Lot of I have who, on the other hand, come from abroad are often sent only for a limited period to Germany and have little or no knowledge of the language of the country of arrival.

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