Community college Krogerup Højskole in Nordsjælland is now offering courses in Islam. Principal Erik Boel explains he had to drop traditional courses such as ceramics, since he couldn't get 10-12 students together.
That wasn't a problem with the school's new courses in Islam, where student are streaming in to hear controversial lecturer Mona Sheikh explain what is sharia, Jihad and the Koran. The new subject had been picked up in many of the country's 79 colleges.
Erik Boel sees 9/11 and the Muhammad cartoon crisis as the main causes for the strong interest in Islam. Boel says they're not about to turn into a new koran school that will follow a certain interpretation of Islam, but that the school is a political college and that means it's part of the school's task as well as its reason for existence that it educate about Islam since Islam has marked the political agenda after September 11 and the Muhamed cartoons.
Rødding Højskole in Sønderjylland has the same experience, and offers students courses in "Islam" and "Middle East". Principal Mads Rykind-Eriksen explains on the school's site that the subject is extremely actual in a modern college education since students need to understand and learn to act in the society of which they're a part. He adds that it also fits in with their plans to generate interest in the world's oldest college.
Signe Bo, principal of one of Denmark's smallest community colleges, Haslev udvidede Højskole, says that it's the opportunity to attract new young people to the colleges that plays an important role, since the colleges suffer from a diminishing student count. Bo's college will offer a course in Islam next year. She says she doesn't see any problem with trying to attract new students by teaching about Islam. On the contrary, it's important that the colleges engage and create a dialog on the subject, since there is so much debate around it.
Source: Avisen (Danish), h/t Hodja (Danish)