Jenny Berglund [+]
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.