Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book: Islam in Europe Diversity, Identity and Influence


Edited by Aziz Al-Azmeh
Central European University, Budapest
Effie Fokas
Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

Events over recent years have increased the global interest in Islam. This volume seeks to combat generalisations about the Muslim presence in Europe by illuminating its diversity across Europe and offering a more realistic, highly differentiated picture. It contends with the monist concept of identity that suggests Islam is the shared and main definition of Muslims living in Europe. The contributors also explore the influence of the European Union on the Muslim communities within its borders, and examine how the EU is in turn affected by the Muslim presence in Europe. This book comes at a critical moment in the evolution of the place of Islam within Europe and will appeal to scholars, students and practitioners in the fields of European studies, politics and policies of the European Union, sociology, sociology of religion, and international relations. It also addresses the wider framework of uncertainties and unease about religion in Europe.

Contents

1. Introduction Effie Fokas; 2. Christians and Muslims: memory, amity and enmities Tarek Mitri; 3. The question of Euro-Islam: restriction or opportunity? Jorgen Nielsen; 4. Muslim identities in Europe: the snare of exceptionalism Jocelyne Cesari; 5. From exile to diaspora: the development of transnational Islam in Europe Werner Schiffauer; 6. Bosnian Islam as European Islam: limits and shifts of a concept Xavier Bougarel; 7. The regulation of religious diversity by the institutions of the European Union: the case of Islam Bérengère Massignon; 8. Development, discrimination and reverse discrimination: effects of EU integration and regional change on the Muslims of Southeast Europe Dia Anagnostou; 9. Breaching the infernal cycle: Turkey and the European Union Valérie Amiraux; 10. Afterword Aziz al-Azmeh.

Reviews

"Perhaps no mistake is greater in discussion of the contemporary world than the belief that identity is one-dimensional, and fixed, and that, on its own, religion, as part of such identity, can explain social and political behavior. The essays in this volume challenge such simplistic ideas in general, and the particular variant that is applied to Muslims, in the Middle East and in Europe, and as much by Islamist fundamentalists as by western observers. In disaggregating ‘identity’ and in demonstrating the many varieties of ethnicity, context, religious practice, class belonging and political affiliation of the Muslims who live in Europe, Aziz Al-Azmeh and Effie Fokas have produced a book of great relevance to public debate and academic research alike." - Professor Fred Halliday, London School of Economics, author 100 Myths About the Middle East (2005)

"Scholars of European politics, religion and politics, and the politics of Islam will certainly profit from a close reading of this volume. It deserves to influence serearch, teaching, and broader public discussion of the future of Europe and its increasingly heterogeneous societies." --Andrew C. Gould, University of Notre Dame: Comparative Politics Book Reviews

Contributors

Effie Fokas, Tarek Mitri, Jorgen Nielsen, Jocelyne Cesari, Werner Schiffauer, Xavier Bougarel, Bérengère Massignon, Dia Anagnostou, Valérie Amiraux, Aziz al-Azmeh

(Cambridge University Press)

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