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News Code: 759

 

French Campus Trains Muslim Imams

 “It will become the standard for Islam in France and Europe,” Saban Kiper, socialist councilor in the Strasbourg municipality told Libération, ANSA reported on Tuesday, October 8. 
Providing France’s future Imams with an intensive Arabic curriculum, the project will serve as a theology college with a five-year course of studies and a Muslim secondary school based on the Turkish imam hatip. 
“The secondary school will be a nursery ground for recruiting future students of theology,” Kiper, said. 
Supervised by Diyanet, the Turkish religious affairs service, the Turkish funded project will coats nearly 15 million Euros to accommodate France's Muslim community of Turkish origins. 
The new campus will be hosting religious courses for at least six hours on a weekly basis. 
Though the campus is still under construction, several different structures were purchased in 2010 and are currently undergoing renovation. 
The new campus is expected to fill a void in France where only two private institutes offer imams’ training, including a school created by Paris's Grand Mosque and the other is set up by the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF). 
Earlier in 2013, France has expelled several imams in recent months on claims of preaching hatred in the country. 
In October 2012, a Tunisian imam was expelled on claims of spreading anti-Semitic views. 
Imams were also barred from entering France under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, including prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars. 
In February 2013, a group of Muslim imams have visited Holocaust site in France in an effort to dispel public misconceptions about the sizable community and their religion. 
France is home to a Muslim minority of six million, Europe’s largest. 
French Muslims have been complaining of growing restrictions on their religious freedoms. 
The French government had held a national debate on the role of Islam in French society. 
Paris had also outlawed Muslim street prayers, a sight far-right leader Marine Le Pen likened to the Nazi occupation. 
Muslims have also complained of restrictions on building mosques to perform their daily prayers.

Source: On Islam