A comparative study of how social cohesion is taught in Islamic religious education in Finland and Ireland
Based on classroom observations and semi-structured interviews with teachers, parents and students, this comparative study looks at how social cohesion is promoted in Islamic Religious Education (IRE) lessons in Muslim schools in Ireland and non-faith schools in Finland. The study analyses teaching in the following areas: intra-religious cohesion; inter-religious cohesion and commitment to society. The findings reveal that despite differences in the governance of IRE as a subject taught in both types of schools, the IRE classroom emerges as a space, whereby teachers use power as agents for internal governance of religion. The authors conclude with some implications and offer some considerations for future research and practice.