What are children being taught in the mosque? Turkish mosque education in the Netherlands

Semiha Sözeri*, Hülya Kosar Altinyelken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Mosque education in Western countries has been a source of anxiety and speculations in the public debates about youth radicalization and the teaching practices of foreign imams. This research aims to contribute to this understudied field by presenting findings on the organization, objective of provision, learning goals, and curriculum content of mosque education provided by the largest Turkish Islamic communities in the Netherlands: Diyanet, Milli Görüş, and Süleymanlıs. The analysis is based on a diverse data: fieldwork notes, classroom observations at two of the mosques, interviews with imams, hocas (mosque teachers), and key stake-holders. The findings indicate that there is to a great extent overlap between objectives and the curriculum content of the mosque classes. The respondents underline the importance of teaching the children the five pillars of Islam, the life and teachings of the prophet Mohammad, and Islamic rules of behavioral conduct so that they learn “how to be a good Muslim”. However, besides providing education, mosque classes in all communities also aim at Islamic and Turkish identity building and advancement of the Turkish language skills of the students. The research discusses the implications of the findings and offers potential directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100326
Number of pages13
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Diyanet
  • Islamic education
  • Milli Görüş
  • Süleymanlıs
  • the Netherlands
  • Turkish immigrants


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