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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 is 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: Nov 12, 2018

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Introduction Jenny Berglund
Chapter 1
‘Islamic’ Education between State and Community: Frameworks and New Directions Farid Panjwani, Ayman Agbaria
Chapter 2
State-Funded Muslim Schools in Ireland: Insights and Perspectives Youcef Sai
Chapter 3
Teaching Islam and about Islam in the Spanish Public System: The Confessional and the Cultural Approach to a Controversial Heritage Elena Arigita
Chapter 4
Public School in France: The Place of Islam and Muslim’s Languages Samim Akgönul
Chapter 5
Identity Development of the Two First Islamic Primary Schools in the Netherlands Bahuddin Budak, Cok Bakker, Ina ter Avest
Chapter 6
Religious Education in Italian Public Schools: What Room for Islam? Stella Coglievina
Chapter 7
Publicly Funded Islamic Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina Amina Hadziomerovic
Chapter 8
Between Old Traditions and New Diversities: Islamic Religious Education in Poland Agata Nalborczyk, Konrad Pędziwiatr
Chapter 9
Religious Education for Minorities: Perspectives from Islamic Education in Finnish Schools Inkeri Rissanen
Chapter 10
The Denominational Model of Islamic Education in Germany: The Case of Hessen Yasar Sarikaya, Esma Öger-Tunc
Chapter 11
(Re)discovering One’s Religion: Private Islamic Education in Lithuanian Muslim Communities Egdūnas Račius
Chapter 12
The Others: Muslim Faith-based Schools in a Catholic-majority Country Mariachiara Giorda, Alberta Giorgi
Chapter 13
How Secular Educational Policies have Changed the Contents of Religious Education Curricula and Teachers' Training Programmes in Modern Turkey Mahmut Zengin
Chapter 14
Character and Values Education in English Schools: What can Private Islamic Faith and State Funded Public Schools Learn from Each Other? Farah Ahmed
Chapter 15
A ‘Home of Study’: A UFO (Unidentified Foreign Object) in the Dutch ‘Pedagogic Civil Society’? Ina ter Avest
Chapter 16
State Neutrality and Islamic Education in Sweden Ailin Abdullah, Jenny Berglund
Chapter 17
Traditional Islamic Education and Mainstream Schooling in Contemporary England: Grasping the Nature of theFormer and Researching the Relationship and Interaction with the Latter Bill Gent
Chapter 18
Creating Coherence in Education for British Muslim Pupils Karamat Iqbal
Chapter 19
Islamic Education in Public Schools and Mosques in Germany Tuba Isik
Chapter 20
Mainstream Secular and Qur'an-based Islamic Education, Student Perspectives on the Relation between Two Disparate Forms Jenny Berglund
End Matter
Index Jenny Berglund


Overall, the volume makes a significant contribution to a better understanding of how Islam is now presented to a growing generation of Muslim young people in different national contexts, who are mostly in a minority situation.
Highly recommended.
Zeitschrift für Pädagogik und Theologie