Introductory commentary: Lived experiences of qur’anic schooling in Scandinavia

Christina Hedman, Natalia Ganuza

Literacy education, Multilingualism, Faith literacy


Reading the contributions to this special issue, it is striking how little research has hitherto been conducted on qur’anic schooling and Qur’an faith literacy practices in Scandinavia, despite it being well-known that the Qur’an schools constitute important religious and social meeting points for many Muslim faith members (e.g., Risenfors, Gurdal, & Sorbring 2011). In all of the Scandinavian countries, numerous children and adolescents regularly attend qur’anic schooling from a very young age. As argued by Day and Rogaly (2014), shared Islamic faith literacy practices and participation in qur’anic schooling thus contribute to creating a sense of social belonging and coherence for many faith members. Despite this being the case, we still know very little about faith members’ lived experiences of qur’anic schooling. This lack of attention in the research seems to be a global rather than a local phenomenon. For example, Moore (2011) claims that qur’anic schooling is “[o]ne of the least-studied and most poorly understood educational institutions in today's world.” Consequently, all of the papers in this special issue make a valuable contribution in widening the research focus, and in counteracting the invisibilization of qur’anic schooling and faith literacy in the research.

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