BRUSSELS, Feb 8 (KUNA) -- The 'InHolland college group' is to stop offering
professional training to become an Islamic religious leader or imam due to the
economic crisis, Dutch media reported Friday.
It is said to be the only institution in the Netherlands that offered
training courses for Imama.
The course is being stopped as part of budget cuts. "It is one of our most
expensive courses," Doekle Terpstra, of the college, told Dutch newspaper
"The 150 students need a relatively large amount of supervision. In
addition, you have to deal with students from a wide range of cultural
backgrounds," Terpstra said.
Current students will be allowed to complete their course. The degree
subject has been partly subsidised by the government since it was set up in
2006 in an effort to create a group of integrated Islamic leaders.
A spokesman for a special committee linking Muslim and government
organisations said there is now a risk the Netherlands will lose its grip on
"Dutch Muslims want their own imams," spokesman Yassin Elforkani told the
paper."Some 30% to 40 percent of mosques are without their own imam. Many
youngsters are listening to sermons from foreign spiritual leaders," he said.
An estimated one million Muslims mainly from Morocco and Turkey live in the
Netherlands which has a population of around 17 million. (end)
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