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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Finland Suffers Teacher Shortage~For Islamic Studies...

Just days ago it was reported that there is in fact a shortage of teachers~for Islam~in Finland. Accordng to Ahlul Bayt News Agency many of the current teachers are immigrants, but in recent years they have been joined by Finnish women who  have converted to Islam. Even so, there is still a shortage of Islamic teachers.

The first official text book, Salam--islamin polku, or "Salam--the Path of Islam" has just been released for children in the first and second grades. Books for higher grades are due to be released in the spring of 2012. 

Currently the Helsinki elementary schools are 8% Muslim. The "Teacher's Education 2020" report predicts that in 2020 a quarter of students in the capital region will be of immigrant origin. (Ed: I suspect that the numbers will be substantially higher and that conversions will increase.When Finns marry a Muslim it is the Finn that must convert to Islam~If a Muslim marries a non-Muslim these are considered invalid marriages)

Egypt Today reports Finland has the most liberal immigration policy in Europe:
"Tara Ahmed, a 25-year-old Kurdish woman, came with her husband to Finland seven years ago to work. 'There are a lot of services offered to us here,' she says. Like most immigrants, Ahmed and her husband took advantage of the free Finnish language lessons offered by the government, which pays immigrants €8 per day to attend. The government also provides immigrants with a free home, health care for their family and education for their children. In addition, they get a monthly stipend of €367 per adult to cover expenses until they start earning their own living.
After that story was published, the number of Muslim immigrants to Finland skyrocketed. For example, immigration from Somalia alone more than doubled in 2010, from 2009. Most of the Somali adults coming to Finland are illiterate. In September 2010, Finnish authorities admitted that Somalis were abusing the family unification procedure to facilitate human trafficking.

Finland's largest cities now have areas where more than one-fifth of the population is of foreign origin, which is causing native Finns to move out sparking claims that it has reduced the population capable of paying taxes, leaving behind only those consuming welfare services.

Although the immigration is now primarily from the Middle-East and Africa, Islam was first introduced to Finland by the Baltic Tatars in the 19th century. The came as merchants and soldiers, then were later joined by other family members. Yes, this is still happening~all around the world. Boatloads of men seek "illegal" entry, then once they have a foothold, they bring their families...which generally include multiple wives and many, many children. 

Finland, like every democratic country, is being pressed to build mosques and Islamic centers,  supply prayer rooms with special washing facilities. There are a number of  "Islamic Societies", and a Muslim social networking site, "Muxlim". There are an abundance of sites offering Muslims advice on remaining separate from the native population while working to their own "ways" established, which includes finance, halal food, bans on alcohol and pork, separation of genders and having all women cover their hair. Can Finns cope with the changes?

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