Jean-Claude Marcourt (PS), Minister for Higher Education Minister for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, is considering creating an interdisciplinary master’s program in Islamic Studies, reveals Le Soir on Thursday from findings in a report on the feasibility of a university-level training programme for Belgian imams by the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies at the University of Liege (ULg). Imams and professors of Islam currently have no opportunity to get training from an officially sanctioned structure.
The report presents 3 possible paths, with no order of preference. One option is to set up a master’s programme, one is to create a faculty for Islamic Thelology, and one is to sanction foreign qualifications.
Minister Marcourt seems to favour the first option. This programme would be jointly set up by the various French-speaking universities. An essentiel precondition for success would be to involve Muslim communities, taking care, however, “not to restrict academic freedom’’.
As for the programme itself, it would include various modules, such as religious education, social and civic education, possibly even French language classes for non French-speakers.