Sweden's first state-funded Imam training will start in Kista in the fall, reports Ekot.
"I welcome it, it's a step forward" writes the Malmö Iman, Salahuddin Barakat, in a comment to the Swedish news agency TT.
- The need is great. Today, (foreign) scholars lead most of the mosques in the country, so that there are people who are trained in Sweden is required, says Abdulkader Habib, Principal of Kista High School, which will be behind the training, to Ekot.
The new program is funded with a public education grant, a government grant distributed annually to the country's high schools.
According to Salahuddin Barakat, there is a great interest in higher education within Islam and to become an Imam. The availability is one reason why he believes it is important to get to a higher Islamic education in Sweden.
"There are more reasons. Partly it's about getting an Islamic education which is anchored locally, to address local conditions and provide students with the skills to do the same. It is particularly important for women because of various reasons, often they find it difficult to study Islam abroad," Salahuddin Barakat says.
Currently there is no possibility for higher denominational theology studies of Islam. Salahuddin Barakat says that scholars in Sweden are not sufficiently proficient in Islamic theology and jurisprudence.
"There are few relevant initiatives, except the Islamic Academy and Kista high school, that I know of in Scandinavia. None of them are at university level," writes Salahuddin Barakat.
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