"No State-Run Education for Imams"

The state should not run a school for imams in Sweden, despite the fact that a majority of the imams in this country would like to have a Swedish education for their profession. The conclusion is reached in a report commissioned by the government, which was published on Monday.

Originally, the Minister of Education commissioned the report because he thought a Swedish education for the imams would lower the risk of attracting fundamentalists to the country. Today, there are a couple of hundred imams in Sweden, who all have been educated abroad. Most of them have been here over ten years. According to a poll made for the report, four out of five imams would like to have further education in Swedish legislation, and three out of four would like to learn better Swedish.

Yet, a state run education for imams would risk becoming a certification of religious leaders which according to the report is problematic in a secular society. The report also warns that a state run imam school could add to the suspicion that the state is singling out the islamic religion by trying to discipline the imams of this country through education.

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