The State and the Imams: Summary of a Government Report on Training Programmes for Imams in Sweden

Göran Larsson


The aim of this article is to show how the issue of imam training programmes was analysed and discussed in the official Swedish report Staten och imamerna. Religion, integration, autonomi (The State and the imams: religion, integration, autonomy) (SOU 2009:52), issued by the Swedish Ministry of Education in 2009. The Swedish report is here described with reference to contemporary debates and discussions about integration, security and equal civil rights in Europe. The enquiry came to the conclusion that the Swedish state should not support a specific training programme for imams. The Swedish state should be confessionally neutral, and to start a specific training for imams at university level and on state initiative would conflict with confessional neutrality; in addition, to single out Muslims would signal that Muslims are considered to be a problem group more in need of training than other religious (especially other migrant religious) groups.


Sweden; imam training programmes

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