The development of Irish Muslim institutional frameworks, including the sudden proliferation of mosques, has been taking place with great urgency in recent years, enabling rivalries to develop among Irish Muslims who are struggling to distinguish themselves. This process has led to competition among Irish Muslim community leaders who are trying to gain recognition by attracting certain sections of the Muslim population in order to establish Muslim constituencies as a viable minority amongst the non-Muslim majority. This study scrutinises existing power structures within the Irish Muslim community. It also compares how different conceptions of authority have come to be legitimized by Irish Muslim community leaders in their efforts to establish unique ideological orientations while functioning as representatives of Irish Islam. This will be achieved by analysing the influences of authority on Irish Muslim community leadership and by identifying the key factors that impact power structures in Irish Islam, which, as we shall see, revolve largely around funding, internal religious recognition, and outsider public opinion. This study ultimately examines the nature of the relationship between religious power and religious truth by identifying how contested notions of Islamic authenticity are validated through different concepts of authority within contemporary Irish Islam.
This volume focuses on Muslims in Finland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, representing the four corners of the European Union today. It highlights how Muslim experiences can be understood in relation to a country’s particular historical routes, political economies, colonial and post-colonial legacies, as well as other factors, such as church-state relations, the role of secularism(s), and urbanisation. This volume also reveals the incongruous nature of the fact that national particularities shaping European Muslim experiences cannot be understood independently of European and indeed global dynamics. This makes it even more important to consider every national context when analysing patterns in European Islam, especially those that have yet to be fully elaborated. The chapters in this volume demonstrate the contradictory dynamics of European Muslim contexts that are simultaneously distinct yet similar to the now familiar ones of Western Europe’s most populous countries.