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The Muslim Question in Europe

The Muslim Question in Europe: Political Controversies and Public Philosophies OPEN ACCESS

Peter O’Brien
Copyright Date: 2016
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 298
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  • Book Info
    The Muslim Question in Europe
    Book Description:

    The Insecure City is an ethnography of the experiences of moving through Beirut, focusing on the relationship between urban space and social class.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-1278-2
    Subjects: Political Science
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  1. In our times political controversy seems to follow Muslims wherever they go. This is no less true of Europe, where an estimated twenty million Muslims now reside mostly as a result of large-scale postwar immigration. Non-Muslim Europeans acrimoniously debate how best to handle these “new” Europeans of Muslim heritage. For their part, the Muslim Europeans, comprising approximately 4 percent of the European Union’s (EU’s) population, hardly speak with one voice. Indeed, a central conclusion of this book is that European Muslims disagree vehemently but generally along the same ideological contours of discord that generate controversy among non-Muslim Europeans. To wit,...

  2. 2 Kulturkampf (pp. 24-64)

    I employ the German notion ofKulturkampf(literally, “culture struggle”) to connote an ideological battle among liberalism, nationalism, and postmodernism. As intimated in the preceding chapter, I contend that none of the three public philosophies has been able decisively to discredit or defeat its rivals philosophically or politically. Each public philosophy has distilled such compelling arguments for its integral tenets that it has proven able to defend itself against philosophical or political marginalization. The enduring normative stalemate produces fertile ground for the emergence of mutual fragilization. Although each public philosophy doubtless has its share of staunchly committed proponents, a great...

  3. 3 Citizenship (pp. 65-103)

    It is hard to think of an issue that has shifted more decidedly from low to high politics than citizenship for immigrants. “No issue,” writes Marc Howard (2006: 450) in his comparative survey, “has been more sensitive, explosive, or politically effective than immigration and citizenship.” Benhabib (2004: 150) describes them as “time bombs . . . ready to explode at very short notice.” While the issue figured prominently in European politics in the second quarter of the twentieth century through the creation of stateless peoples or what amounted to the denaturalization (including disenfranchisement, expropriation, sequestration, and elimination) of Jews and...

  4. 4 Veil (pp. 104-143)

    Scholarship on policies regulating Islamic veiling in Europe exhibits the propensity to impose order on what is actually a messy reality. Christian Joppke (2009: vii), for instance, points to distinct national approaches in “Republican France,” “Christian-Occidental Germany,” and “Multicultural Britain.” Similarly, Schirin Amir-Moazami (2007: 35–38) insists on the critical differences between a discourse based on “abstract universalism” in France compared to an “ethnic-cultural” idiom in Germany. Sawitri Saharso (2007: 527) differentiates between the Netherlands’ “multicultural” and Germany’s “ethno-cultural” model (also see Collet 2004). Anna Korteweg and Gökçe Yurdakul (2014) contend that France, Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United...

  5. 5 Secularism (pp. 144-198)

    The comparative study of church-state relations has generated its fair share of tidy models. Bader’s (2007: 203) impressive study, for example, delineates five models: strong establishment (Greece, Serbia, Israel), weak establishment (England, Scotland, Norway, Denmark), plural establishment (Finland), nonestablishment combined with public institutionalization of religious pluralism (Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain), and strict separation (France, United States). Triandafyllidou (2010b: 11) distinguishes between “Absolute secularism” (France), “Moderate secularism” (Sweden, Netherlands), “Moderate religious pluralism” (Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece), and “Absolute religious pluralism” (no European land yet) (also see Monsma and Soper 2009; Casanova 2007). This national models paradigm has been...

  6. 6 Terrorism (pp. 199-240)

    Terrorism is not new to Europe. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, for example, revolutionary political organizations such as the Red Army Faction (RAF) or the Red Brigades and irredentist groups like the Irish Republican Army (IRA) or the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) committed acts of violence in e ff orts to advance their political agendas. Earlier, during the tumultuous interwar years, political violence in the form of paramilitary clashes regularly transpired in many European countries. Of course, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in 1914 triggered World War I. However, Islamist terrorism carried out...

  7. This book has argued against viewing European Muslims as a distinct group of political actors. Instead it has urged readers to see Muslims and non-Muslims alike as inhabiting a normative landscape in Europe dominated by the vying public philosophies of liberalism, nationalism, and postmodernism. This is not to contend that Islam does not shape the political agendas of (some) Muslims. Rather, it makes good sense to couch one’s political goals, however informed, in the language of liberalism, nationalism, and/or postmodernism, because those three public philosophies carry substantial political clout in Europe.

    I have employed the notion ofKulturkampfto underscore...

  8. The page proof for this book were finalized only a few hours before the deplorable attacks transpired in Paris on November 13, 2015. Therefore, no systematic analysis of the tragic events appears in the body of the text. However, at this time, only a few days after the events, they do not appear to undermine or alter the lessons and conclusions of this study. Rather, the latter can enable a more nuanced comprehension of the events as well as a more sophisticated anticipation of their political fallout than is common, for example, in the flood of media reports.

    The most...

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This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International.
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