Coping with the Training of Muslim Leaders in Belgium

Andrea Rea
2016 Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society – J-RaT  
AndreaRea Since many years,the training of imams has been put at the centerofthe policyagenda in several Europeanc ountries.B ecause in Belgium religion classes are part of the compulsoryprogram of pupils,the training of imams is coupled with the training of professors of religion. Recently,p roposals to organize theset rainings by universities have been submitted to the political arena. These proposals aim at introducing, on the one hand, classes of French and Dutch languages and, on the other
more » ... hand, classes on Belgian society and legislations.Assuch an issue is under the competence of regions,debates and proposals diverge significantly in Flanders and in the French-speaking part of the country. Thep aper analyzes the challengesf or dealing with this issue in the two parts of the country. It analyzes the positions, the controversies and the proposals of state and nonstate actors involvedinthis debate.T he author stresses how the state plans to organize these trainings and how the state justifies its interventioni na ni ssue that is usually a domain of competence of thehierarchy of the "Church"orthe self-organization of the Islam. AndreaRea is Professoratthe UniversitØ libre de Bruxelles.Heisthe Directorofthe Group for Research on Ethnic Relations,Migrations and Equality (GERME, website: nd the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the UniversitØ libre de Bruxelles. His research interests focus on the integration of migrants on the labour market, the political participation of ethnic minorities,t he European policies of immigrationand integration and the European border control policies.
doi:10.14220/jrat.2015.2.4 fatcat:y56uq2zxl5bdtigntcqvd4kdma