NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

The management of religious diversity in Danish public schools

Lene M. Kühle

Though 22 state-supported Muslim schools has been established the majority of Danish Muslim children do attend a ordinary public schools. This has in recent years caused an increasing amount of controversy Two teachers demanded in 1997 that three Somali girls took off their scarves in the class room. When they would not, the teachers gave in a notification of illness, but were after a while called back to work. A 13 years old Muslim student from Nørremarkskole in Vejle refused in 2007 to participate in the Christmas service arranged by the school. Traditionally, the school has offered alternative activities for students who did not want to attend, but as this was not the case anymore the case became a controversy. The presence of a considerable amount of Muslim students in Danish public schools poses the question of how the Danish public schools are managing religious diversity.