Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks by Spyros A. Sofos; Roza Tsagarousianou;

By Spyros A. Sofos; Roza Tsagarousianou;

Islam in Europe delves into the day-by-day workouts of eu Muslim groups to be able to supply a greater knowing of what it capacity to be a ecu Muslim at the present time. rather than positing specific definitions of being Muslim, this quantity invitations and encourages a various physique of 735 informants from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the united kingdom to mirror on who they're and at the which means and position Islam has in such concerns. Drawing upon wide fieldwork and suggesting novel methods of seeing the phenomenon of ecu Islam and the continent's Muslim groups, Islam in Europe examines how via their practices, discourses, nose to nose and mediated interplay, eu Muslims build notions or id, organization, unity and belonging, or how they negotiate and redefine faith, culture, authority and cultural authenticity. Theoretically and methodologically leading edge, Islam in Europe makes an important contribution to raised figuring out eu Islam and Europe's Muslims.

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Quite often, the presence of assertive Muslim minorities in European societies has been perceived and depicted by populist politicians and commentators as a challenge to the norms, values and principles of liberal democracy. The latter see in demands that European Muslims put forward for recognition and voice a challenge to Western liberal (or even Christian, depending on one’s standpoint) values and a threat to social cohesion. The succession of controversies and disputes such as the ones we attempted to outline earlier on and the emergence of anti-Western terrorism in the name of Islam have contributed to the construction of a framework of understanding Islam, and European Muslims for that matter, that has given rise to definitions of the situation in Europe along the lines of what Huntington has called Clash of Civilizations (1996).

In addition, significant Muslim populations also live in India (comprising one of the largest Muslim communities in the world living alongside a non-Muslim majority), China (East Turkestan or Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) and several republics of the Russian Federation. The presence of Muslim populations in these territories and the influence of their religion and cultures is such that, they too, are readily associated with Islam and often feature in Islamic geographical and political imaginaries.

Such representation strategies drew and keep on drawing upon ‘extreme’ behaviour among Muslims (personalities such as the notorious Abu Hamza or – now outlawed – organizations such as Al-Gurabaa). By doing so, they have conflated Muslims and Islam with an extreme and possibly extremist minority within it and, impatiently and unsympathetically have refused to engage in processes of translation between ‘us’ and ‘them’, in attempts to comprehend the other’s individual and collective standpoint before passing judgement on them.

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