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Islamic Education in Secular Societies

In Cooperation with Sedef Sertkan and Zsófia Windisch

Series:

Ednan Aslan and Margarete Rausch

Through history, Islam was the dominant religion and source of legitimation for ruling entities in diverse contexts where cultures and religions thrived in harmony. Today, the presence of Muslims as citizens in secular societies poses challenges, either by belonging to minorities in Western countries with long secular traditions or by comprising minority or majority populations in post-communist East European and Central Asian societies, where secular values are being revised. As Muslims reconceive the role of religion in their lives in those contexts, Islamic education acquires importance. It assists the young, especially adolescents, in learning to identify more fully with local realities with the intention of building sense of inner connectedness through which they may truly take part in and be of service to society. The contributors to this volume explore how the religious and secular, as well as the traditional and modern intersect in Islamic educational institutions that benefit Muslims and their societies by averting extremism and promoting cohesion.

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Introduction: Secularisms and Islam in Western and Post-Communist Societies

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13 I n t ro d u c t i o n : S e c u l a r i s m s a n d I s l a m i n We s t e r n a n d Po s t - Co m m u n i s t S o c i e t i e s M a rg a re t Ra u s c h The two concepts constituting the main focus of this volume, Islamic education and secularism, are understood and approached in a variety of ways depending on the context. The contexts investigated in these arti- cles fall into two broad categories based on geographic location. The first category, the West, encompasses the United States and three countries of Western Europe: Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The second category comprises ten post-communist societies located in two differ- ent regions. They include the Eastern European countries or regions of the Balkans, Slovenia, Ukraine, Russia, and the Russian federal subjects of Tatarstan and Dagestan, as well as the Central Asian republics of Azer- baijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The volume begins with two articles that discuss some important theoretical and conceptual points. I S L A M I C E D U C AT I O N : H I STO RY A N D C O N T E M P O R A RY A P P RO A C H E S Education, which is promoted by the foundational sources,...

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