An Education Program For German Imams

The German government is pushing for a pro-active program regarding the education of imams. There are over 2,000 imams in Germany, but only a small percent can even speak the national tongue let alone be familiar with German society. The University of Osnabruck is now offering a one year program designed to educate imams about daily life in a 21st century German society. The pilot project begins with 30 imams, not only from Germany, but from other parts of the Muslim world. Participants will explore how to relate the Muslim religion to issues confronting German Muslims in their everyday lives. Family counseling skills are part of the program as is learning about other religions. Students will meet with other religious leaders for discussions and it would also enable imams to teach others about their religion. There will even be a field trip to death camps and discussions with Jewish religious leaders.

An important goal of the program is fostering dialogue between Muslims and other religions. Hopefully, it can spawn a new generation of Muslim imams who understand nuances of western societies and can assist families in dealing with modern German life.