CATEGORY . Islam Conquering Higher European Education: "Critics say that such efforts to create a "European Islam" are nave and misguided, and will serve only to contribute to the "mainstreaming" of a religious and political ideology that is intrinsically opposed to all aspects of the European way of life.

 

The proliferation of degree programs in Islamic theology is being justified by European governments -- which are subsidizing the teaching of Islam in European universities with taxpayer money -- as a way to "professionalize" the training of Muslim imams, or religious teachers, many of whom do not even speak the language of their European host countries.

 

Some European governments believe that by controlling the religious education of imams, they can promote the establishment of a "European Islam," one that combines Islamic principles and duties with European values and traditions such as the rule of law, democracy, human rights and gender equality. But critics say such efforts to create a "European Islam" are nave and misguided....

 

The first Dutch government-sponsored program in Islamic theology was a 2 million ($2.7 million) grant to teach Islam at Holland's largest Protestant Christian university, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), where students can earn bachelors and master's degrees by taking courses in Islamic theology, Arabic language and religious studies with a focus on Islam in the Netherlands and pastoral care.

 

In an interview with the Flemish daily newspaper De Standaard, Sannen says, "We need to train our own imams and Islamic theologians so they approach Islam from our environment and are better integrated."

 

... the Dutch Ministry of Education has also awarded public funds to the Amsterdam-based Hogeschool InHolland, a practical training university that prepares Islamic educators for work in Dutch secondary schools....

 

In Sweden, the University of Uppsala in November 2012 hired its first professor of Islamic theology and philosophy....

 

In Germany, Islamic theology courses at German universities are so popular that they are "changing the German religious landscape," ...The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to "hate preachers." See ARTICLE

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