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German-funded Islamic studies contested by some Muslim groups
Quiet murmurs permeate the sparsely furnished office of the student assistants. A Koran rests in front of Daniel Garske as he silently recites a few verses. It's part of his course of study in the Islamic theology program at the University of Münster. "First and foremost I am motivated by personal enrichment and the acquisition of knowledge," the 33-year old student says. "With the knowledge I gain here, I want to achieve great things in life. And also help Islam gain a different image in society."
Three years ago Daniel Garske converted to Islam. For the past year he's studied at the Center for Islamic Studies in Münster, the largest of four such centers in Germany where teachers of Islam and imams are trained. Garske is one of the few converts amongst the Muslim students. He wants to stay at the university, teaching and researching. In principle the Islamic theology program should also prepare pastoral practitioners, such as imams. Currently many Turkish communities in Germany import imams from Turkey.
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