Yearbook of Muslims in Europe

The Yearbook of Muslims in Europe will provide an up-to-date account of the situation of Muslims in Europe. Covering 37 countries of western, central and south-eastern Europe, the Yearbook will consist of three sections. The first section presents a country-by-country summary of essential data with basic statistics with evaluations of their reliability, surveys of legal status and arrangements, organizations, etc. providing an annually updated reference source. The second section will contain analysis and research articles on issues and themes of current relevance written by experts in the field. The final section will provide reviews of recently published books of significance.

Time to Deradicalise?

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.

Who Speaks for European Muslims?

It seems to be very clear that there is no single _face’ to Islam in any European country, but a mosaic of _faces’. That makes government policy work in terms of engagement very difficult, says H. A. Hellyer: Who speaks for European Muslims? It is a pressing question as far as policy makers in Europe are concerned. Even prior to 9/11, they were interested. After the 7/7 London bombings, finding an answer to the question has become imperative. Before the attacks of 9/11, I had decided to map out the Muslim communities in Europe; as an academic, I was interested in their organisation. What I found was that whereas the Christian churches in Europe all pretty much have single bodies representing them, Muslims do not. But does it really matter who represents Muslims? Many Christians, after all, would prefer that their churches did not represent them. The simple answer is that it does. When al Qaeda decided to attack the United States, supposedly in the name of Islam (but more accurately, in the name of their own frustrations and heretical ideology), European nations realised the necessity of engaging with their Muslim communities. It was deeply appreciated, as it meant that governments could send a positive message to mainstream society that Muslims were not all threats to western civilisation.

Muslims in Berlin, London, and Paris: Bridges and Gaps in Public Opinion

Gallup’s recent surveys of Muslims in London, Paris, and Berlin point to the need for greater understanding between Europe’s Muslim residents and the broader societies in which they live. But these surveys also offer plenty of evidence that the foundation for that understanding is already in place.

Muslims in Europe: Basis for Greater Understanding Already Exists (April 30, 2007)

Values Questions Set European Muslims Apart (April 27, 2007)

European Muslims Show No Conflict Between Religious and National Identities (April 26, 2007)

Executive Summary (PDF) 

Ireland: Irish Muslim gets top role in fight to counter extremism

Sheikh Dr. Shaheed Satardien has been chosen to lead a group of powerful European Muslims in the fight against Islamic terrorism. The organization, called European Muslims Council for Justice, Peace, & Equality, elected the Irish Muslim in a unanimous decision during a conference in Rotterdam. Satardien expressed joy that Ireland had been chosen to lead a host of other countries in a fight against terrorism. He went on to say there are still a lot of radical extremists living in Ireland but I think I am keeping them on their toes… the Irish people should know that these extremists are in the minority.

European Muslims Battle Insecurity

In France and even neighboring Germany the Muslim population has a massive presence, but after 9/11 they face the problem of massive insecurity. In France the controversy of headscarves, the Mohammed Cartoons in Denmark and the mistake of profiling many from the community in Paris has only led to more heartburn and more cause for concern. Localised riots after the deaths of two boys in a North African Paris suburb grew into a nationwide insurrection. It was waiting to happen as vast Arab and African populations had been restive after constant police harassment. The invisible minorities of Europe were tired of being victimised. Le Pen Openly xenophobic leader Le Pen shocked most, when he won more votes in the last Presidential election than the main opposition party led by former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. A once tolerant France also banned religious symbols in schools and politicians in Germany and Belgium wanted similar laws. The rationale a necessity to secure the country from extremism and preserve its secular credentials. And that immediately invited the charge that it would only radicalize an already disillusioned and disenfranchised Muslim population. There are fears radical Islam of Osama’s kind is luring descendants of Muslim immigrants. Many say that’s because the governments here are unable to address issues like integration, especially at a time when anti-terror laws are becoming so stringent.

European Muslims and the Secular State

The institutionalization of Islam in the West continues to raise many questions for a range of different constituencies. Secularization represents much more than the legal separation of politics and religion in Europe; for important segments of European societies, it has become the cultural norm. Therefore, Muslims’ settlement and their claims for the public recognition of Islam have often been perceived as a threat.

This volume explores current interactions between Muslims and the more or less secularized public spaces of several European states, assessing the challenges such interactions imply for both Muslims and the societies in which they now live. Divided into three parts, it examines the impact of State-Church relations, ’Islamophobia’ and ’the war on terrorism’, evaluates the engagement of Muslim leaders with the State and civil society, and reflects on both individual and collective transformations of Muslim religiosity.

European Muslims and the Secular State in a Comparative Perspective

Sorbonne: Salle Louis Liard 17 rue de la Sorbonne, 75005 Paris

European Muslims and the Secular State in a Comparative Perspective

NOCRIME CONFERENCE – Organized with the Sponsorship of the European Commission (DG Research)

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003

I. Modes of Interaction in Non-Muslim Societies

President Patrick Michel CNRS/CERI, EHESS, France

Discussant: Tuula Sakaranaho University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Jonas Otterbeck Silence and Speech in the Muslim Groups in Sweden Malmö University, Sweden
  • Lars Dencik Jewish Life in Sweden Roskilde University, Denmark
  • Philip Lewis Beyond Victimhood – from the Global to the Local: a British Case Study Bradford University, UK
  • II. Muslim Leadership and Institutional Constraints in Europe

    President Jean-Paul Willaime EPHE, Director of GSRL (CNRS-EPHE), France

    Discussant: Martin Van Bruinessen ISIM, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

  • Séan McLoughlin Islam, Citizenship and Civil Society: New Muslim Leaderships in the UK Leeds University, UK
  • Valérie Amiraux Building Religious Authorities among Muslims in Europe: Some Case Studies from Germany and France CURAPP-CNRS, France
  • Nico Landman New Policies on Foreign Imams in the Netherlands Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2003

    III. Religious Authorities in the Global Era: Ethnicity and Diasporas

    President Sami Zemni University of Ghent, Belgium

    Discussant: Jonathan Friedman EHESS, France

  • Jocelyne Cesari Muslim Leadership in Europe: What Connections with the Umma? GSRL-CNRS, Harvard University, NOCRIME coordinator, France/USA
  • Sébastien Fath Transnational Dimension of Evangelical Movements CNRS/GSRL, France
  • Yngve Lithman, Transnational Radicalism and Muslim Diasporas University of Bergen, Norway
  • Garbi Schmidt Formation of Transnational Identities among Young Muslims in Denmark Danish National Institute of Social Research, Denmark
  • IV. Islam and European Urban Life

    President: Tariq Ramadan University of Fribourg, Switzerland

    Discussant: Jose Casanova New School University, USA

  • Chantal Saint-Blancat/Ottavia Schmidt di Friedberg Visibility of Muslims in Italy and Communication Issues University of Padova, University of Trieste, Italy
  • Gema Martin-Munoz Mapping the Muslim Leadership in Spanish Urban Centers (Madrid and Barcelona) Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain
  • Dilwar Hussain Muslims in British Cities: Are they Different from Other Migrants? The Islamic Foundation, UK