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  Religion
College in Netherlands to stop training courses for Imams
08/02/2013 | LOC14:35
11:35 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
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 Trouw.
"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 its mosques.
"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) nk.gta KUNA 081435 Feb 13NNNN
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