Tag Archives: imams

Swedish Government Will Not Educate Imams

A special commission hired by the Swedish government to investigate the necessity of educating Muslim imams concluded to do so would interfere with separation of church from government. State sponsored education for imams claimed the report would constitute special considerations for one religious faith over others. The commission recommended that further education should come from normal education institutions. Of course, the very nature of this report is somewhat insulting to Muslims. Is there a commission studying the necessity of the government providing education for Rabbis, priests and ministers? How was the assumption reached that imams required special education?

Undoubtedly, the real reason for this study is an assumption that imams in Sweden are somehow connected to terrorism. One initial question is evidence that such is the case. Perhaps, a more important goal of government would be to subsidize meetings of religious leaders from all faiths to learn from one another and build the foundation of peace between those of different religions.

Germany Moves To Educate Muslim Imams

A perennial complaint of those who seek to create the image that Muslims are terrorists is to cite some religious figure who urges violence toward those in the west. The German government has decided to open a private institute for the education of Muslim imams in order to create a new generation of Muslim leaders who have an intellectual foundation which is centered not only in the Muslim community but in broader issues of society. “We want to educate German-speaking imams who are anchored in society and have a perfect command of the language. “If such imams emerge there will be less need for imams from other countries who lack knowledge of either German or European societies and thus communicate ignorance about the West.

The new institute has already reached out to local churches and other groups in order to create a sense they wish to center Muslims in the community rather than having them come across as a foreign group. Naturally, local neo-Nazis have threatened to demonstrate against such an institution.

Australian Muslim Leaders Charged With Condoning Rape

A report by the Islamic Women’s Council of Victoria in Australia, says some imams perform polygamous marriages and apply sharia law when it benefits men but not when it benefits the rights of women. The report was rejected by the Victorian Board of Imams, but the Islamic women’s group charged some imams told women seeking divorce they must leave with “only the clothes on their back” and not seek support or a share of property because they can get welfare payments. The report was commissioned and funded by he prior government of prime minister John Howard. The report is based on extensive interviews with police, lawyers, court workers, and academics as well as discussions with the Victorian Board of Imams.

The report apparently is based on extensive discussions with key people in the Muslim world of Victoria and can not be lightly dismissed as coming from a group of women who wish to make trouble. The study claims polygamy is increasing among Muslims as well as more underage marriages. The Board of Imams denies all allegations.

Imam Or Teacher–Who Will Win In Turkey?

Turkey is engaged in a struggle between religious and secular forces not only for the soul of its society, but over who will control its institutions of power. Yusuf Kanli, writing in the Turkish Daily News, confronts the issue as to which side will win. He quotes Professor Serif Mardin who recently posed the question as to whether the imam or the teacher will capture the minds of the Turkish people. Professor Mardin suggests there is a vast counter movement on the part of Turkish religious leaders who seek to extend their control over every aspect of society. Many Turkish religious figures look towards Iran as the model for what should occur in their own society since that nation’s control by religious leaders is total in its scope.

Yusuf Kanli argues, “thus the struggle between the imam and the teacher or between relligious conservatism and secular democratic republic is not yet won by either for the time being, though it is clear that the republic is trying to resist a grand siege.” We in nations like America are bewildered over attempts to prevent females from wearing a headscarf at the university because our secular society is strong enough to allow such behavior without threatening our secular foundations as a society, but Turkey is closer to a situation in which forces of religion are seeking complete control and the headscarf is merely a symbol of that effort.

Many Turks are discussing a recent TV talk show in which two girls attacked their nation’s founder, Attaturk, who they claimed had set back the right for religion in their country and proclaimed they preferred Iran’s religious leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei. They said the goal of religion in Turkey is to take control over every facet of society including the imposition of sharia law. These comments shocked secular forces in Turkey.

The reality of modern Turkey is there are more mosques than schools an more imams than teachers. Can Turkey retain its secular foundation in the face of such figures?