The "Tatar Way" of Understanding and Practising Islam in Estonia
This article gives a brief overview of the narratives used by Estonian Tatars, describing their religious identity and changes in the Estonian Muslim community during the past few decades. The Tatars are the founders of the Estonian Islamic Congregation in Tallinn, an organization which has been the main representative of Islamic faith in Estonia for more than half a century. Recently the Tatars and the congregation are being challenged by newcomers with other views on Islam. For instance, the “Tatar way” of defining religious identity within a family context differs from the way in which Estonian converts and more recent Muslim immigrants see their own religiosity. The changes in the Estonian Muslim community and the Estonian Islamic Congregation have influenced the Tatars in several ways, especially their religious and cultural self-concept. Examples are given of how Tatars evaluate and come to terms with the differences and the challenges.