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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 27, 2004 / 15 Teves, 5765

France's government-approved training ground for homegrown Islamic clerics has ties to world's largest Islamic militant group

By Evan Osnos


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Does 'enlightened' country deserve what it will get?



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT) The European Institute of Human Sciences lies at the end of a winding country road in a drafty 19th century chateau in the town of St. Leger-de-Fougeret, France. The site was a corporate retreat until 1992, when a federation of French Muslim groups bought the 27-acre campus of craggy trees and moss-lined brick paths.


Every year, 150 men and women from across Europe, ranging in age from 14 to the mid-30s, pay $3,500 a year to study theology and Arabic language, and memorize the Koran. Most are second — or third — generation immigrants, and some are converts. They are the proudly conservative vanguard of European Islam.


"I used to go dancing with my friends, but my life was not close to Islam. Islam was not deep in my heart," said Lazare Boufeta, walking under a canopy of towering pine trees on the path to his small dormitory room. "One day I started thinking, where am I going? Do I have an aim in my life?"


By some measures, the European Institute of Human Sciences, with branches in St.-Denis, France, and near Lampeter, Wales, presents a possible solution. Still, there is much about it that makes the French government uneasy; a senior Interior Ministry official said the textbooks, training and lectures at the school are "being watched."


The wariness begins with the school's sponsor, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, an influential federation of local Muslim groups. The union has long-standing ties — though it denies formal links — to the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's largest Islamic militant group, which has renounced violence but remains banned in Egypt.

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The campus has a conservative atmosphere: Men and women do not socialize; bearded men study at one end of the room and veiled women at the other. The cafeteria is split by a screen like those found at restaurants in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Most of these young men will not become full-time imams because they could not earn enough to make a living.


Some stick with Western clothing, while others adopt the traditional Arab robes, including a few who wear the robes with higher hems that are favored by Saudi-based Wahhabi teachings. But those hints of orthodoxy should be seen as a sign of healthy Islamic practice, not a drift toward radicalism, said the school's Iraqi-born director, Zuhair Mahmood.


Boufeta was like any other young French man in the southern city of Grenoble, snowboarding and playing clarinet, until he made the change. The tall and slim 25-year-old arrived at the institute last year and began growing his beard. He adopted the brown robe and sneakers favored by other men on campus. His mission, he says, is to help his nation understand Islam.


"I am French, I know French history and theater. I feel closer to France than Algeria," he said. "But France is afraid of things it doesn't know. As we see, nuns can wear a head scarf, and the French are not afraid of them. But not Muslims?"


The school's declared mission is to train a new generation of homegrown clerics. Its backers call that a vital step in supporting Europe's burgeoning Islamic population. Government officials across the continent are cautiously welcoming the project as well because they are eager to reduce their nations' dependence on foreign imams and foreign financing of mosques, on the belief that ties with the Arab world are fomenting extremism and stymieing integration.


France has about 1,000 Muslim places of worship, and all but a handful are funded in part by foreign governments, according to the Interior Ministry. Ninety percent of the imams in France don't speak French, the ministry says. Spanish officials are also trying to reduce their 400 mosques' links to Libya, Morocco, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The Netherlands has launched state-financed integration courses to tutor all imams in Dutch views of tolerance, such as the thorny issues of euthanasia and drug use.


State support of Islam stirs deep unease in Europe's secular societies. Former French Cabinet minister and rising political star Nicolas Sarkozy sparked controversy last month with the suggestion that the government should finance the construction of mosques.


Doing so would mean revising a century-old French law on the separation between church and state, a particularly hallowed principle in France known as laicite. Sarkozy believes that, not unlike Turkey — where authorities directly manage the religion as a means to control it — France must no longer maintain a hands-off approach to Islam.


France has deported at least 10 clerics in the past three years for endorsing violence or for spousal abuse, including Algerian-born imam Abdelkader Bouziane, who argued that the Koran allows men to beat unfaithful wives. Britain and Italy have also expelled or jailed imams for expressing what authorities consider statements in support of violence. .

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Evan Osnos is a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Chicago Tribune Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.