The Governance of Islamic Religious Education in Finland: Promoting “General Islam” and the Unity of All Muslims

In: Muslims at the Margins of Europe

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Recent decades have witnessed a change in European governments’ policies from benign neglect to active management of religious minorities. With respect to these minorities, it is Muslims who are often seen as the most challenging for the social order of a multicultural European society. Consequently, there is a growing need for studies on the opportunities that societies create or restrict for the development of Islam in Europe. One important issue concerns the Islamic religious education in European state schools. In Finland, Islamic education programmes are incorporated in the public school system. This chapter will look at the governance of Islamic religious education in Finland on three levels of administrative hierarchy: the state as a creator of legal opportunity structures, curriculum as a site of external regulation, and teachers as actors in internal regulation.

Muslims at the Margins of Europe

Finland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal