Islamic studies program at Greek university gets the green light

10 January 2016
764 Views

Despite reactions from conservative clerics and politicians, the Education Ministry has consented to the introduction of an Islamic studies program at a Greek university.

The four-year course will be available at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, as of the new academic year starting in October, with the official title “Introduction to Muslim Studies.”

“We respect the academic autonomy of universities and we give our consent since there is no legal obstacle,” Alternate Education Minister Sia Anagnostopoulou, who rubber-stamped the directive nearly two years after it was issued in March 2014, told Kathimerini.

The general secretary for religious affairs, Giorgos Kalantzis, said the move will allow Greek tertiary institutions to catch up with their Western counterparts.

“Although as a country we have an indigenous Muslim minority and we are Europe’s border with the Muslim world, we still do not have an Islamic studies program,” Kalantzis said.

The new course, which will initially accept 30-50 students, will be taught by professors from the Department of Theology as well as academics from the departments of political science, history, philology, law and architecture.

The development has met with opposition from conservative clerics including the archbishops of Kalavryta, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, as well as the neofascist Golden Dawn party and other far-right organizations.

Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki is expected to organize a rally against the new department on February 14.

A government source dismissed the reactions as “the last spasmodic moves of a system… that represents the introversion and conservatism of a section of contemporary Orthodoxy.”

You may be interested

Egypt: No talks with Turkey on maritime zones
POLITICS
shares14 views
POLITICS
shares14 views

Egypt: No talks with Turkey on maritime zones

makis - Mar 08, 2021

Egypt and Turkey did not engage in any talks about the demarcation of maritime zones between the two nations, it…

Coronavirus Greece: 2,215 new cases, 451 intubated, 32 deaths
GREECE
shares63 views
GREECE
shares63 views

Coronavirus Greece: 2,215 new cases, 451 intubated, 32 deaths

makis - Mar 05, 2021

Greece announced that the new laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded in the last 24 hours are 2,215, of which 15…

Great city routes to explore on foot in Athens
ART
shares67 views
ART
shares67 views

Great city routes to explore on foot in Athens

Panos - Mar 05, 2021

Athens reveals its best charms to those who put one foot in front of the other! Whether you’re looking to…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.