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Turkey: the rise of Islamic education angers secularists

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Sourcevoanews.com

By: Reuters

Turkey has seen a sharp rise in religious schooling under reforms that President Tayyip Erdogan casts as a defense against moral decay, but which opponents see as an unwanted drive to shape a more Islamic nation.

Almost a million students are enrolled in “imam hatip” schools this year, up from just 65,000 in 2002 when Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power, he told the opening of one of the schools in Ankara last month.

The schools teach boys and girls separately, and give around 13 hours a week of Islamic instruction on top of the regular curriculum, including study of Arabic, the Koran and the life of the Prophet Mohammad.

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