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Browsing by Author "Ghribi, Sonia"

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  • Ghribi, Sonia (2017)
    The study examines the occurance of Islamophobia in kindergarten and/or school communities. This subject has been examined in Finland a little but a similar research was made in Canada recently, which shows that Muslim teachers encounter Islamophobia in schools. The aim of this study was to investigate the appearance of Islamophobia in Finnish educational institutions. In addition, the goal was to study what kind of experiences the Muslim teachers faced in kindergarten and / or school communities, as well as what kind of effects these experiences had in their professional identity, as well as in their work in educational institutions. The study is a qualitative research. The data collection method used in the study was made by semi- structured face-to-face interviews with three Finnish Muslim teachers. Two of them were class teachers and one a kindergarten teacher. The participants were all females and originally native Finnish converts to the Islamic faith. They all have been working in the field of Education for more than seven years. The study revealed that the participants experienced Islamophobic attitudes in many diverse ways. They experienced Islamophobia by colleagues and children's parents and also in the context of re- cruiting process for hiring. Media biases and misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims, and general ignorance regarding Islam as a religion were seen as primary reasons for Islamophobia. These nega- tive experiences had a direct impact on their professional identities. However the study also revealed that Muslim teachers encounter positive experiences regarding their religion as well. The participants were seen as a strengthening asset, especially in multicultural educational institutes. Based on this study one can draw a conclusion that the Muslim teachers truly face Islamophobia in school and kindergarten environments, however, less than in their free time. In an increasingly globalized world, particularly employees in educational institutions should be aware of Islamophobia and try to counter it and guide children to critical thinking.