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Islamic Education in Secular Societies

In Cooperation with Sedef Sertkan and Zsófia Windisch

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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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APPENDIX (CONFERENCE OPENING WELCOME ADDRESSES)

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A P P E N D I X ( CO N F E R E N C E O P E N I N G W E LCO M E A D D R E SS E S ) 335 O p e n i n g Ad d re s s : I n t e r n a t i o n a l Co n fe re n ce “ I s l a m i c Re l i g i o u s E d u ca t i o n i n S e c u l a r S o c i e t i e s” Dear participants in our International Conference! Taking into con- sideration the importance of the issue that we are here to discuss and the experience that we have accumulated during the past two decades in the development of solidarity and community building, and the unification of Muslims, with particular attention to Islamic education in secular so- ciety, I would like to stress that the Constitution of independent Ukraine guarantees Muslims the right to maintain their religious observance. The first mosque in the capital city built recently is an example that clearly demonstrates the attitude of secular society toward Muslims of Ukraine. This is the result of considerable effort to develop good relations and mu- tual trust. The Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine and the Islamic University, which are both registered as legal entities, have existed for 20 and 19 years,...

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