Leni Franken is a senior researcher and teacher assistant at the University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Against the backdrop of labor migration, family reunification, and the ongoing refugee crisis, the number of Muslims in Europe has increased over the past decades. This has resulted in a growing number of Muslim schools and Muslim students enrolled in Islamic Religious Education in state schools. In the Netherlands, for instance, the number of state-funded Muslim schools has increased from only a few schools in the 1980s to more than 50 schools today. Comparably, the present number of students enrolled in Islamic Religious Education in Belgian state schools is, with more than 20%, twice as many as ten years ago. In addition, an increasing number of students with a Muslim background are enrolled in non-denominational and non-confessional “religion education” classes, which are organized in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish state schools.
Given this rather new sociological situation, combined with the presence of (violent) Muslim fundamentalism in Europe, “Islamic Religious Education” has become a matter of concern for politicians, religious stakeholders, policymakers, and academics. Hence the book Islamic Religious Education in Europe  offers a comparative study of curricula, teaching materials, and teacher training in fourteen European countries. These country reports are followed by multi-disciplinary essays—from the hermeneutical-critical to the postcolonial—addressing challenges posed by teaching about and into Islam.