Berlin Muslims to train imams at new school

Muslims in Berlin are planning to open a school to train Islamic clergymen, the first of its kind in the German capital. The project is the brainchild of Institut Buhara, an organization founded by a group of Muslims linked to the Sufi branch of Islam. The move comes amid growing frustration by Muslims who have grown up in Germany at what they are learning from imams who generally come from outside the country and rarely speak German. “Imams carrying out their work here lack the requirements needed for the future of Islam in Germany,” said Ayhan Cosgun, deputy chairman of Institut Buhara. If all goes according to plan, the first 35 students could begin their six-year training course next month. In all, the school has the capacity for 68 students. Located in Karlshorst, a suburb in the former communist eastern part of the city, the three-storey school has met with a mixed reaction from locals. “Some people will have to get used to the idea of living with a different culture,” Andreas Pruefer, the local councillor in charge of planning issues, told the newspaper Der Tagespiegel.

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