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In recent years, the study of religious diversity has become a significant educational issue in Europe and on the wider international scene. This is partly due to a recognition of the significance of religion as a factor in relation to issues of ethnic, national and cultural identity (Baumann, 1999), and as a factor in social divisiveness or social cohesion, for example as an indicator of what Modood calls ‘cultural racism’ (Modood, 1997).1 This development also reflects specific events such as the riots in some towns and cities in the north of England in 2001 (Home Office, 2001) and in Paris in 2005, and those of September 11, 2001 in the United States of America as well as their complex and ongoing consequences internationally (e.g. Beauchamp, 2002; Leganger-Krogstad, 2003). Such debates are especially relevant within states where migrants from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds have settled. The global and more local situations are related in a variety of ways, through the transnational identities of many families (Jackson and Nesbitt, 1993; Østberg, 2003) and the direct effects of international conflicts on community relations within particular states.
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