This article addresses the role of imams in Germany and anxieties that exist about the nature of Islamic instruction there. As German schools lack training in the Islamic faith, Muslim congregations have been importing imams. One Islamic organization that trains Turkish imams for service in Germany, Diyanet, represents those who would like Europe to develop strong institutions of Islamic theology. This seems to agree with the recent recommendation by the German Council of Science and Humanities, which advocates for two to three Islamic theology programs in German public universities.
While this article touches on tensions in Germany about the seeming chasm between the Muslim community in Germany and other residents, it also does some work to show that there is an undeniable German character to that very community. The move toward “homegrown” imams seems in keeping with this observation, and suggests that a German Muslim community might benefit most from a German imam. The article mentions that the imam in Germany is more like a social worker who must navigate complex cross-cultural issues. As imams begin to come out of German theological institutions, they may be better equipped to understand and support the unique challenges found in the German Muslim community.
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