“There Is Freedom of Religion in Finland, But…” The Helsinki Mosque Debate

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Pauha , T & Konttori , J 2020 , “There Is Freedom of Religion in Finland, But…” The Helsinki Mosque Debate . in T Sakaranaho , T Aarrevaara & J Konttori (eds) , The Challenges of Religious Literacy : The Case of Finland . SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies , Springer , Cham , pp. 9-24 . https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47576-5_2

Title: “There Is Freedom of Religion in Finland, But…” The Helsinki Mosque Debate
Author: Pauha, Teemu; Konttori, Johanna
Editor: Sakaranaho, Tuula; Aarrevaara, Timo; Konttori, Johanna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Publisher: Springer
Date: 2020
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: The Challenges of Religious Literacy The Case of Finland
Belongs to series: SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies
ISBN: 978-3-030-47575-8
978-3-030-47576-5
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321109
Abstract: In this chapter, we examine statements of Finnish municipal election candidates regarding plans to build a “grand mosque” and cultural centre in central Helsinki. Despite proclaiming support for the universal freedom of religion, the candidates were hesitant to apply it to the mosque case. Opponents of the mosque project emphasized the Christian heritage of Finland and portrayed the proposed mosque as a channel through which foreign conflicts could enter Finnish society. The mosque was also opposed because it was seen as a “political” project instead of a “religious” one. The proponents of the mosque, in turn, considered it to be a “Muslim church” and therefore entitled to the same treatment as Christian houses of worship. The mosque was also seen as important to the local Muslim community, but very few candidates considered the possibility of the mosque (or Islam) making a positive contribution to the broader society. Besides identifying the key discourses, we reflect on them from a religious literacy perspective.
Subject: 614 Theology
Finland
Helsinki
Religious literacy
Discourse
Election
Islam
Mosque
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