The Union des organizations islamiques de France (UOIF), the Muslim Brotherhood organization in France, has published a statement elaborating its objections to the proposed January 2008 launch of a training program for Islamic imams to be conducted by the Institut catholique de Paris (Catholic Institute of Paris). As a previous post has reported, the program is said to have a “secular basis” and is supported by the French Ministry of the Interior as well as the Grand Mosque of Paris, the arch-rival of the Muslim Brotherhood in France and closely tied to the government of Morocco. According to the statement posted on the UOIF website, the proposal resulted from a “storm” inside the Conseil Francais du Culte Musulman, the body sponsored by the French government to represent Islam. The statement labels the new initiative “an attempt to mislead public opinion” and argues that the training of Islamic Imams is an “internal affair” that should be left up to “representatives of each religious family”:
What the Catholic Institute of Paris set up this type of training is to their credit, when several French universities have rejected the principle! However, this initiative as the solution to the concerns expressed by the Muslim institutions in France, or the government about this issue, we believe is a deliberate attempt to mislead public opinion. The issue of training of imams must be dealt with calmly away from any political or media pressure. Also, it would be important to define a number of principles that should guide our approach to this matter. We believe that the training of religious personnel, especially imams, is the internal affair and exclusive representatives of each religious family. An imam is not a technician of the Muslim religion, its role should not be reduced to theoretical knowledge. We can not conceive religious training devoid of spiritual charge, or devoid of the scope of a model that makes you want to follow their footsteps and replicate their examples. Were forgotten that any transaction training designed to meet the cognitive side as well as the emotional side, and the latter can only be ensured in an environment that inspires piety, devotion and sincerity. Also, we will always be remembered as the training of imams lies with Muslims themselves, and it is up to them to define the content and form, bearing in mind, of course, both of authenticity provided theological knowledge and context french where it is provided.
It would appear that the UOIF is concerned about losing any small amount of control it has over the training of French imams represented by its large failed theological training institute known as the Institut europÃ©en de sciences humaines (IESH) an educational facility also associated with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the EU-level European Muslim Brotherhood organization.
(Note: passage entirely machine translated)