Berlin: First school for Muslim imams

Berlin: First school for Muslim imams

Germany's first private institute for the education of Muslim Imams will open soon in Berlin's Karlshorst neighbourhood.

The Institut Buhara, housed in a former culture house for East German railway workers, hosted an open house last Friday to introduce their school to curious local residents and the media.

"We want to educate German-speaking Imams who are anchored in society and have a perfect command of the language," the school's 37-year-old founder Alexander Weiger said, adding that there is demand for such skills among believers as well as government officials.

The renovated three-storey building can accommodate up to 68 male students, although there will only be 29 in the first year. Students will attend for a total of six years.


Preparatory courses have been running for some time, but official instruction won't begin until the school is accepted into Berlin's school registry.

The institution has sought to cooperate with the district's government and churches, according to city officials, but has still been the target of threats by the neo-Nazi NPD party, which distributed flyers warning of an "act of proselytisation."

But Berlin police said dialogue with the institute has been positive. After holding security talks with leadership, police assigned two officers to remain within contact area of the institute.

"We will make sure that the community can live here safely," police officer René Behrendt said.


Source: The Local (English)

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