Azeem Khan, assistant secretary general of the Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim community development organization based in Queens, said, “bigger Islamic centers are very picky when looking for an imam, so they won't take just anyone, and they might end up looking for months.”
According to Zahid Bukhari, president of the American Muslim Studies Program at Georgetown University, this fundamental challenge for American Islam – too few imams qualified to fulfill expanded social roles and to bridge vast ethnic and cultural differences – can be solved by establishing an Islamic school of higher education in America.
“We need to establish an institution to train imams here. It will take some time, but eventually our community needs American-trained and -educated imams,” said Bukhari.
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