A new study conducted by Rauf Ceylan, son of Turkish immigrants to Germany, charges the vast majority of imams in Germany lack academic qualifications not only about religion, but about life in Germany or the European Union. If a Turkish immigrant goes to a local mosque in search of assistance in how to integrate within German society, the imam is probably the last person from whom to seek advice. “Imams in Germany” reveals 20% of imams are drawn from conservative Islamist groups and only one out of five imams has qualified academic training in the Muslim religion let alone in any academic area dealing with the history or culture of Germany and Europe.
Ceylan visited numerous mosques and talked with many imams which led him to conclude the average mosque is mainly concerned “in the ability of their imam to recite the Koran.” As a result few imams have extensive knowledge of the Muslim religion or the content of the Koran beyond being able to recite it. He believes the few imams with extensive religious training only remain in Germany for a short period.