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European Perspectives on Islamic Education and Public Schooling

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Islamic religious education (IRE) in Europe has become a subject of intense debate during the past decade. There is concern that states are doing too little or too much to shape the spiritual beliefs of private citizens. State response to the concern ranges from sponsoring religious education in public schools to forgoing it entirely and policies vary according to national political culture. In some countries public schools teach Islam to Muslims as a subject within a broader religious curriculum that gives parents the right to choose their children’s religious education. In the other countries public schools teach Islam to all pupils as a subject with a close relation to the academic study of religions. There are also countries where public schools do not teach religion at all, although there is an opportunity to teach about Islam in school subjects such as art, history, or literature. IRE taught outside publicly funded institutions, is of course also taught as a confessional subject in private Muslim schools, mosques and by Muslim organisations. Often students who attend these classes also attend a publicly funded “main stream school”.

This volume brings together a number of researchers for the first time to explore the interconnections between Islamic educations and public schooling in Europe. The relation between Islamic education and public schooling will be analysed within the publicly and privately funded sectors. How is publicly funded education organised, why is it organised in this way, what is the history and what are the controversial issues? What are the similarities and differences between privately run Islamic education and “main stream” schooling? What are the experiences of teachers, parents and pupils?

The volume will be of interest to scholars of Islam in Europe, policy makers of education and integration and teachers of religious education.

Published: Dec 1, 2018

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Preliminaries
Preface Jenny Bergland
Part 1: Publicly Funded Islamic Education in Europe
Introduction to Part 1 Jenny Bergland
1. Conceptions of Islamic Religious Education: Implications for Public Schooling Farid Panjwani
2. Islamic Religious Education or Islamic Ethos? An Exploration into the Rationale for Irish Muslim Schools Youef Sai
3. Teaching Islam and about Islam in the Spanish Public System: The Confessional and the Cultural Approach to a Controversial Heritage Elena Arigita
4. Islamic Education, Education of Islam, Education on Islam: Paradoxes and Evolutions in the French Public Schooling Samim Akgönul
5. Identity Construction of Public Funded Islamic Primary Schools in the Netherlands: An Historical Approach Bahuddin Budak
6. Religious Education in Italian Public Schools: What Room for Islam? Stella Coglievina
7. Publicly Funded Islamic Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina Amina Hadziomerovic
8. Between Old Traditions and New Diversities - Islamic Religious Education in Poland Agata Nalborczyk, Konrad Pietsewar
9. Marrying the Two: A Case of Islamic Religious Education in Sweden's Public Education System Ailin Abdullah
10. Religious Education for Minorities – Perspectives from Islamic Reigious Education in Finnish Schools Inkeri Rissanen
11. The denominational model of Islamic education in Germany – In the case of Hessen Yasar Sarikaya, Esma Öger-Tunc
12. (Re)discovering One’s Religion – Private Islamic Education in Lithuanian Muslim Communities Egdūnas Račius
13. The Others – Muslim faith-based schools in Catholic-majority country Mariachiara Giorda, Alberta Giorgi
Part 2: Relations between Private Islamic Education and Mainstream Schooling in Europe
Introduction to Part 2 Jenny Bergland
14. Islamic Religious Education and Religious Nurture in UK Muslim Communities: Diversity, Challenges and Possibilities Farah Ahmed
15. Homework and Housework in the House of Study – A Contribution to a Pedagogic Civil Society Ina ter Avest
16. Hidden Knowledge: The Value or Cost of Islamic Religious Education in Secular Schooling Jenny Bergland
17. Traditional Islamic and Mainstream Schooling in Contemporary England: Characteristics, Interactions, Challenges and Ongoing Issues Bill Gent
18. Integrating 'Deen' and 'Dunya' in Education, to Create Coherence for British Muslim Pupils’ Karamat Iqbal
19. Islamic Education in Public School and Mosques in Germany - Relations of Tension or Cooperation? Tuba Isik