Accepted Paper:

Schools for Muslim children and youth in Moscow  


Rano Turaeva (Ludwig Maximillian University)

Paper long abstract:

The paper will present a school privately organized by the members of the Islamic movement in Russia and accommodating the children and youth within this school and youth club within the same premises. The paper deals with knowledge circulation in a migrant setting: looking into semi-religious schools in Moscow, focusing on discourses and purposes behind the schools and the question will be asked whether these schools aim only to educate the youth or there are also other aspects of being Muslim in general define those goals.

Informal schooling in form of home schooling or in form of half formal schooling arrangements is provided mainly in the big cities in Russia. An example of home schooling in the premises of a youth centre is a small school with 20 to 50 children self-organised by Muslim teachers and parents with administrative support of NGOs which is registered as a youth centre. The school attendees are formally registered in state school where they successfully pass all state exams and other tests but learn at the facilities of small school for Muslim children. During the schooling times children learn not only state required subjects but also about Islam and Arabic. The children are taught in mixed groups but wear proper Islamic clothing as the teachers also do. Islamic education and the way of proper Islamic lives are the fundamentals of the schools.

The attendants of these schools do not only grow up learning about being a Muslim but also are better in the subjects of state schools since the schools offer a more individualised approach (repetitorskiy podhod) to the pupils of the schools. There are also bigger schools which are organised in the same way within Islamic centres where the number of pupils are higher and education is much more formalised such as the facility itself with grading system, curriculum, and fixed strict schedules.

Panel ANT-03
Shaping Islam: Religious knowledge production and religious knowledge circulation in Central Asia and beyond