The Muslim Association of Britain has announced that the theological training facility known as the European Institute for Human Science (EIHS) will be opening the second of its U.K. branches in London this month. According to the announcement:
European Institute for Human Science (EIHS) – Islamic Studies – London branch. European Institute for Human Science is an educational academy registered in the United Kingdom, registration 1092228. The Academy works towards spreading the teachings of Islamic science and Human principles, and believe scholars to be descendent of the prophets and the one Allah desires good for will increase their knowledge. EIHS announces the opening of its London Branch, following the successful opening and progress of its Birmingham Branch.Therefore, if you are devoted to studying Islamic sciences, have a desire to be knowledgeable in Islamic studies and the Arabic language than call and book now as spaces are limited.
Venue: Muslim Welfare House, 233 Seven Sisters Road , London N4 2DA
All lessons are taught in a modern and exciting manner, an advanced syllabus and professional and qualified lecturers.
An earlier post discussed reports that U.K. government funds were being given to the Muslim Welfare House.
The EIHS is the U.K. branch of the Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines (IESH), an educational facility in France associated with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and its French member the Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF), both organizations representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Previous posts had discussed the low graduation rate from the IESH campus in St. Denis and plans by FIOE to establish a new body to train European imams located in Brussels. EIHS has had a campus located in Wales since 1998.
A confidential report on IESH from 2004 contained the following conclusions about the facility:
1) IESH does not appear to serve its stated purpose of developing Imans trained in the European context.”
In the words of a French political scientist, IESH appears to have a “double vocation”- to promote the “Arabization” and “re-Islamization” of its students. This can be seen in the composition of the library, the backgrounds of the instructors, and the make up of the advisory council.
2) IESH is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood
As is the case with other European Islamic structures of this type, the connection to the Muslim Brotherhood is complex and multi-faceted. Evidence of the connection consists of ideology, the background of IESH board members, and the presence of Youssef Qaradawi on the advisory board.
3) IESH has failed to graduate significant numbers of trained Imans to serve in French mosques.Various reasons have been offered for this failure:
The location is not attractive to students because it is so far away from Paris
Most students would prefer to study at a more famous, Middle Eastern institutions
The Arabic language requirement is too arduous
Of these explanations, the first two are less than persuasive as IESH does appear to have a substantial number of students enrolled. The problem appears to be in both graduation rates and then job placement. One French expert stated that IESH was “taking in dropouts but then not providing them with jobs.” He also stated that one IESH graduate was given a job in a mosque in Strasbourg but was rejected by the congregation for being “too liberal.”
4) It is unlikely that IESH will close.
What ever the reason for IESH’s difficulties, it does not appear likely that the institution will close. As noted early in this report, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe has accorded IESH a role as one of its “central organizations” and the institutions has managed to expand to two additional locations in the last years. It does remain to be seen how IESH will weather the financial difficulties attributed to the reduction in Gulf State funding.