The Governance of Islam in Finland and Ireland

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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The questions of how western European states have related, and should relate, to their Muslim populations have in recent decades generated a rapidly growing body of research, aimed at answering the above questions from different theoretical perspectives. It has been argued that the main problem with the existing theories is their failure to take into account historically evolved church–state relations that have a bearing on the way that Muslim religious practices are accommodated in a given country. In order to test this argument, we will examine the representational structures of Muslims in Finland and the Republic of Ireland as well as questions pertaining to Islam and education. Even if under different legal arrangements of church–state relations, both Finland and Ireland have opted for a policy where they aim at securing the status quo of a dominant national church while also extending some of the legal privileges enjoyed by the mainstream church to religious minorities. What we will demonstrate in our article is that while this kind of “policy of extended privileges” can work for, it can also function against securing the rights of religious minorities such as Muslims.

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References

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2

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 15–16.

3

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 15–16.

4

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 20.

6

Christian Joppke, Immigration and the Nation-State. The United States, Germany, and Great Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

8

Veit Bader, “The Governance of Islam in Europe: The Perils of Modelling,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 33/6 (2007), 871−886.

9

Bader, Governance, 872.

12

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 21.

13

 See Tuula Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, Multiculturalism, Islam. Cross-reading Finland and Ireland (Leiden: Brill, 2006).

14

 See Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 30–45; 123ff.

16

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 116–119.

24

Montgomery, “Ireland,” 291. It is estimated that there are around 3,000–4,000 Shi’a living in Ireland. In similar fashion to the Sunni community, the centre of Shi’a activity in Dublin was also initiated by medical students in the Royal College of Surgeons, many of whom settled down in Ireland and married. In the middle of the 1990s, the Shi’a community constructed, using their own resources, a centre in Milltown, which was officially opened in September 1996. This Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre, usually known as Hussiania, aims to serve the socio-cultural and religious needs of the Shi’a community in Ireland. See Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 286–291; Oliver Scharbrodt, “Shaping the Public Image of Islam: The Shiis of Ireland as ‘Moderate’ Muslims,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 31/4 (2011), 518–533.

28

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 22.

31

Claire Hogan, “Accommodating Islam in the Denominational Irish Education System: Religious Freedom and Education in the Republic of Ireland,” Muslim Minority Affairs, 31/4 (2011), 554–573.

33

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 388; Islam in Dublin. Islam and Muslims in Ireland, http://www.muslimtents.com/islamindublin/ireland.htm (accessed 15 February 2013).

35

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 397–402.

37

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 57–58.

38

 See Patsy McGarry, “Muslims wishing to practice should be facilitated – Imam,” The Irish Times, 18 October 2000.

39

Patsy McGarry, “No directive for schools on use of Islamic scarf,” The Irish Times, 15 August 2008.

40

Ruadhan MacCormaic, “Principal calls for guidelines on wearing hijab in schools,” The Irish Times, 19 May 2008.

41

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 383; Sakaranaho, “Governance of Islam,” in Scharbrodt et al., Muslims in Ireland.

42

Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 18.

43

 See Bader, Governance, 880.

44

Tuula Sakaranaho, “Religious Education in Finland,” Temenos, Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion 49/2 (2013), 9–35.

47

Wanda Alberts, Integrative Religious Education in Europe. A Study-of-Religions Approach (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007).

51

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 145.

54

 See Thomas S. Popkewitz, “The production of reason and power: curriculum history and intellectual traditions,” Journal of Curriculum Studies 29/2 (1997), 139–144; see also Inkeri Rissanen, “Teaching Islamic education in Finnish schools: A field of negotiations,” Teaching and Teacher Education 28 (2012), 740−749.

61

Rissanen, “Teaching Islamic education,” 747.

62

Rissanen, “Teaching Islamic education,” 745.

64

 Cf. Bader, Governance, 883.

65

Sakaranaho, Religious freedom, 374–382; Sakaranaho, Tuula ja Eero Salmenkivi, “Tasavertaisen katsomusopetuksen haasteet:pienryhmäisten uskontojen ja elämänkatsomustiedon opetus Suomessa,” Teologinen Aikakauskirja 114/5 (2009), 450−470.

67

 Cf. Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 56.

68

 See Bader, Governance, 883.

70

 See Stefano Allievi, “How the Immigrant has Become Muslim. Public debates on Islam in Europe,” Revue europèenne des migrations internationals 21/2 (2005), 2–23; http://remi.revues.org/2497 (accessed 7 May 2014).

71

 See Fetzer & Soper, Muslims, 18.

72

 See Jeldtoft and Nielesen, “Introduction,” 1–2.

73

 See Jeldtoft and Nielesen, “Introduction,” 3; see also Allievi, “Immigrant.”

74

Steven Vertovec, “Transnationalism and Identity,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 27/4 (2001), 573–582; Martikainen, “Multilevel and Pluricentric Network Governance of Religion.”

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