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The Training of Imams and Teachers for Islamic Education in Europe

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Ednan Aslan and Zsofia Windisch

Following 9/11 and the growth of religiously legitimated violence in Islamic countries, the focus of public discussion moved to imams and teachers of religion as actors supporting Muslim isolation and the lack of willingness to integrate – imams became central figures in the debate on Islam. With great enthusiasm, politicians discovered them to be the scapegoats of a failed integration of Muslims in Europe. Integrated imams trained in Europe were to promote Muslim integration, prevent violence, resolve contradictions between society and Muslims and further Islamic enlightenment. With this objective an attempt was made, on the one hand, to rediscover the existing institutions for imam training in Balkan states and, on the other hand, to establish new educational institutions at European universities to train Europe-compliant imams. Due to their central role in the lives of Muslims, the training of imams and teachers of religion is given an important role in the process of Muslim integration.

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Ibrahim Serif: The Legal Status of the Muslim Turkish Minority of Western Thrace

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189 Ibrahim Serif T h e L e g a l S ta t u s o f t h e M u s l i m Tu r k i s h M i n o r i t y o f We s t e r n T h ra ce T h e Tu r k i s h M i n o r i t y o f W e s t e r n T h r a c e After World War I, Western Thrace was withdrawn from Bulgaria un- der the terms of the 1919 Treaty of Neuilly. Then, Western Thrace was under temporary management of the French Mandate led by French General Sharpe. In the second half of April 1920, at a conference in San Remo with the prime ministers of the main allies of the Entente powers (except USA), Western Thrace was given to Greece. After that, the issue of Western Thrace was put on the agenda of the Lausanne Peace Conference. The Lausanne Peace Treaty, signed in 1923, gave the Turkish people of Western Thrace a “minority status”. The Peace Trea- ty of Lausanne, the bilateral agreements signed between Greece and Turkey and the international instruments concerning human and mi- nority rights, which Greece signed and ratified, established the minor- ity’s status. Today, an estimated number of 150,000 ethnic Turks live in the Northeast part of Greece. 190 Ibrahim Serif T h e L e g a l S...

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