The interest in resolving the social conflicts in which European Muslims are involved stretches back over the last 30 years. Muslims of Europe are more affected by unemployment and social exclusion than the rest of the population. Yet, it is not their social exclusion that raises the interest of European institutions and policymakers. Rather, the reason for their interest in the Muslim presence in Europe is linked to the fear of the radicalisation that could spring from the failure to integrate them. This obsession for securitising the political demands of Muslims has led policymakers by extension to consider these political claims as potentially destabilising and threatening elements to the European identity. A survey of the press as well as of policy documents produced on the relationship between Islam and social crisis since 2001 reveals that it is mainly when violence or political radicalisation is linked to Islam that institutional, national and local policymakers feel that the European identity is threatened.
French rapper Medine promotes a toned-down Islam to French listeners with his hip-hop music. This article suggests that his music promotes full participation in a secular democracy and free market. Named after Medina, Medine doesn’t emphasize religious dogmas. Rather, he focuses on the universal principles his tradition shares with Western society. Amel Boubekeur of the _cole des Hautes _tudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris notes that Medine reflects a larger social phenomenon in France. Boubekeur has named this new widespread movement among second and third-generation youths in Paris cool Islam.
Works on Islam in Europe often read like a juxtaposition of national case studies covering the history and perhaps the sociology of immigrant groups in the countries considered. Although the sociology of Islam is well-developed in certain European countries such as France, Germany and the UK, it is only in its infancy as a discipline at the European level. The chapters in this work, by leading European experts in the field, therefore aim to supply policy-makers, analysts and civil society leaders with an inventory of the main issues concerning the presence of Islam in Europe. The key message is that European Islam exists as a powerful transnational phenomenon, and European policy must keep pace with this reality.
Contributors include Samir Amghar, Amel Boubekeur, Michael Emerson, Chris Allen, Valerie Amiraux, Tufyal Choudhury, Bernard Godard, Imane Karich, Isabelle Rigoni, Olivier Roy and Sara Silvestri.