«There will be no official imam study program»
UiO received five million NOK to educate religious leaders within Islam, but Jan Tore Sanner denies plans for an official Norwegian imam program.
Last week, the Faculty of Theology at UiO announced [it had received five million NOK](1) to create «a flexible education program for religious leaders.»
Oddbjørn Leirvik, dean of the faculty, told Universitas the funding could go toward building an imam study program.
In 2015 the Parliament decided the government should investigate the possibility for an official, Norwegian imam program. That’s unlikely to happen, says Jan Tore Sanner, the Minister of Knowledge and Integration.
According to Christian newspaper Vårt Land, in a letter to Parliament Sanner wrote that «In the department’s dialogue with the Faculty of Theology at University of Oslo, it has become clear that it’s not currently relevant to create a full imam study program.»
In order to create such a program for future imams, the proposal would have to be approved by the religious community. According to the letter, Sanner believes «it’s difficult to create a holistic imam education program that will meet the needs of all sects.»