Training of imams, new translation of the Koran… What are these major projects at the Grand Mosque of Paris?

He took the opportunity of New Year’s greetings to talk about a major reform. Chems-eddine Hafiz, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, announced Thursday the opening of a new training center for imams in France. Another major project has been launched: a new translation of the Koran. We take stock of the major works carried out by Islam in France.

What objective for the new imam training center?

In 2024, Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) will become the capital of future imams of France. Budding religious people will follow specific training “to offer future imams an in-depth knowledge of Islam”, but also “of the ways in which it must be registered virtuously in France, of the principles and laws to respect”, posed as executive the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris. Until now, this training was provided in six French cities. As recalled The worldthe Ministry of the Interior is pushing for a “growing portion” of imams practicing in France to be at least partially trained in the country.

What future for “detached”, foreign imams practicing in France?

The restructuring of this training comes as France no longer accepts new “seconded” imams since the start of the calendar year. The religious “seconded” by other countries already present on French territory number around 300. They represent around one imam in ten, as recalled The Parisian and are paid by the country that sends them. For them, it will no longer be possible to stay in France on this status from April 1, 2024. At the end of December, the Ministry of the Interior recalled that a “specific framework” must be put in place so that managers of the places of worship can recruit them and provide them with a salary. Goal stated by the government: to prevent imams from being paid by foreign powers.

But for those first affected by the measure, their financial security is threatened, since they will go from a salary paid by their State of nationality, to emoluments recovered from associations, as specified The Parisian. Hence the idea of ​​increasing the training of imams in France. The goal is to “work so that every imam in France can benefit from a professional status, a decent salary, a real career plan,” added Chems-eddine Hafiz.

How will the project for a new translation of the Quran be structured?

Chems-eddine Hafiz explained during his vows the desire of the Grand Mosque of Paris to “carry out a new translation” of the Koran, to “guarantee that the Koranic message can be understood appropriately by the French-speaking Muslims of our time “. As AFP recalls, the previous translation of the sacred text of Islam by the institute dates back to the 1970s.

“Theologians, specialists in Koranic studies, experts in Islamic culture, linguists and high-level translators” will form an “interdisciplinary team” responsible for translating the religious text, the rector declined. Until next Monday, January 15, a call for applications has been launched on the website of the Grand Mosque of Paris. The institution recalled the particularly delicate task (of the mission) due to the linguistic complexity and nuances present in the sacred text.

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