Netherlands: Moroccan imam union

Moroccan imams in the Netherlands have erected their own union Friday in Utrecht. The Moroccan Imam Union (Marokkaanse Imam Bond, MIB) will pose quality demands on imams, give trainings and courses, advise authorities and operate as a contact point for the media, says interim-chairman and imam Yassin Elforkani.

The MIB is an initiative of the Council of Moroccan mosque organizations in the Netherlands, and the Dutch Muslim Council (Nederlandse Moslim Raad).

Elforkani says he attaches importance to drawing up a professional profile. He says that not everybody can just call themselves an imam. The debate about sensitive questions will also take place within the union and the MIB will actively join in the public debate. Elforkani says that Islam is much discusses and is sharply debated. It's becoming almost a theological debate and they want to stimulate imams to take part in it. Imams who don't speak Dutch will be helped out and Elforkani says that they must know what is going on in the Netherlands.

The association is not planning to proscribe regulations for imams. Elforkani denies there being any behavioral guidelines, such as whether to shake hands or not and says that there must be a place for diversity.

The members of the MIB will elect their own administration in the future.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

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