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Islamic Education in Secular Societies

In Cooperation with Sedef Sertkan and Zsófia Windisch


Edited By 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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- I I - M U S L I M I M M I G R A N TS, S E C U L A R I S M A N D I S L A M I C E D U C AT I O N I N T H E W E ST 83 Eileen M. Daily Ca t h o l i c Re l i g i o u s E d u ca t i o n i n t h e S e c u l a r S o c i e t y o f t h e U n i t e d S ta t e s A B ST R A C T This paper describes the Catholic experience of religious education in the United States as a point of comparison for Islamic education in Eu- rope. It traces the immigrant history of Catholicism in the US, considers the impact of the US Constitution on religious institutions and on citi- zens, explores the tension and the cooperation between religious institu- tions and secular society, and identifies some of the problems facing the Catholic Church today in relation to the US secular society. I N T RO D U C T I O N All religious organizations are immersed in a largely secular society in the US as in Europe. The secular society has a powerful formative effect on the members of the society often in ways that are antithetical...

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