Using a critical discourse analysis method, this study explores media coverage of six online newspapers and their coverage of the Muslim school debate in Norway in 2014, when permission was initially granted, and then rescinded, for the establishment of a Muslim school in Oslo. The debate is considered in light of differentiation and de-differentiation theories in making sense of the way the authorities and advocates of Muslim schools contend for their viewpoints. It is argued that the government rhetoric, which justifies the rejection of Muslim schools on the pretext of ‘integration’, is untenable for two reasons: the existence of over 200 private schools, of which 72 are Christian, and a growing pattern of ethnic ‘enclavization’ in the capital in the absence of Muslim schools. This absence does not justify the creation of Muslim schools. However, it is argued that this may lead to a further segregation of schools along ethnic-religious lines.

Keywords: Muslim schools, integration, critical discourse analysis