December 5, 2013
Summary: If a Turk receives and keeps German citizenship in addition to his own Turkish nationality, then he suffers an identity crisis. If a German were to additionally obtain Turkish citizenship however, this would be no problem at all. A commentary by Prof. Klaus J. Bade.
Full story at Qantara.de – http://en.qantara.de/content/dual-nationality-in-germany-double-standards-in-the-citizenship-debate
There is an increasing trend among European intellectuals, politicians, and essayists to describe Islam as a major cause of the current identity crisis of most European countries. Christopher Caldwell’s book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West [see “New Book Stokes Fear of a Muslim Europe” by Bruce B. Lawrence], is based on the same simple premise that permeates today’s political and public discourse on Islam: Europe’s Muslims are responsible for the radical transformation and increased vulnerability of the continent’s culture and identity.
Secularisation – the process of a dividing the realms of politics and religion – has been influencing national and worldly affairs for several hundred years. The idea of the desirability of such a division – secularism – is nowadays a given backdrop for public policy issues regarding education, family, gender, media, migration, personal integrity and freedom, reproduction and sexuality. But globalisation and multicultural trends, as well as claims from religious groups for increased political influence or autonomy and the uncertain and varying responses to these from society, have made us aware that the secularist ideal has been realized through the process of secularisation in radically different ways in different settings. As a result, an identity crisis is presently afflicting secular societies. It is no longer as clear what secularism is supposed to amount to, why secularisation is desirable and where its proper limits are. To investigate questions about this is the focus of a newly initiated multidisciplinary research theme at the University of Gothenburg.
- ABDULLAHI AN-NA’IM, Human Rights Law, Emory University
- KENT GREENAWALT, Law, Columbia University
- BRIAN PALMER, Anthropology & Religion, Uppsala University & University of Gothenburg
- PAUL WEITHMAN, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
- LINDA WOODHEAD, Religious Studies, Lancaster University
The conference is open to the public and free of charge. Registration is required for attendance.
Contact & Information
The relationship between Turkey and Islam is examined in a report compiled by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). The Turkish translation of the report was published in October and makes a strong case for the country’s European Union accession bid at a time when the words “Turkey” and ”identity crisis” often appear side by side in the media. The report is titled “The European Union, Turkey and Islam.” It was initially presented to the Dutch government on June 21, 2004 in light of the decision that would be taken by the EU under the Dutch Presidency in December of the same year…
Confirmed reports of French-born Muslims leaving the country to fight the US-led occupation forces in Iraq are puzzling the European country, which fears a future backlash. “There is confusion as to what is motivating young French to travel to Iraq to join the fighting,” a French judicial source told IslamOnline.net Tuesday, November 29, on condition of anonymity. “A possible scenario is that they are being recruited by non-French individuals on ideological grounds.” He stressed that the issue is causing a major headache for French security authorities. “Paris fears that such young people might carry out operations inside France or other European countries once the Iraqi war is over,” he added. A recent study put at 22 the number of French fighting with the Iraqi resistance, seven of them were confirmed killed in attacks and three in US custody. Vanishing Hajj Aziza, a French Muslim mother, recalled how her 20-year-old son, Mohammad, disappeared last summer. “He called me from Istanbul saying he was embarking on a short trip to learn Arabic in Syria,” the mother, who lives in Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, told IOL. “Later, he phoned me saying he was in a Baghdad district, and was ok,” she said, adding he promised to return home soon. Heart-broken Aziza has not heard from her son ever since and is dying to know if he is still alive. Her story is similar to that of many Muslim mothers in France whose sons have disappeared into thin air over the past two years, only to discover later they were fighting against the US forces in Iraq. Most of the young French believed to be fighting in Iraq hail from districts mostly inhabited by immigrants of north African background. Why? French experts well versed in Islamic movement affairs have given different accounts as to the possible motives for joining the Iraqi resistance. Analyst Olivier Roy believes this has to do with “globalization of the Islamist phenomenon” which trespasses borders and cultures. “There is also the feeling of marginalization and identity crisis experienced by the second and third generations of French Muslims,” he told IOL. This argument was contradicted by Gilles Kepel in the introduction of his book Al-Qaeda dans le texte. He refuted any link between joining the Iraqi resistance and the identity crisis, saying Al-Qaeda was playing the religion tune. A study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said the US occupation of Iraq has radicalized Arabs and Muslims to join Al-Qaeda network of Osama Bin Laden. Saying that foreign fighters represent less than five percent of the Iraqi resistance, the study said most of them were motivated by “revulsion at the idea of an Arab land being occupied by a non-Arab country.” The London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs has also said that the Iraq war gave a momentum to Al-Qaeda’s recruitment and fundraising and made Britain more vulnerable to terror attacks. Patrick Cockburn, an award-winning British reporter, has also charged that the Anglo-American “ill-considered venture” of invading Iraq has turned into a “mess” fueling attacks around the world and providing Al-Qaeda with sympathizers it did not possess before the invasion of 2003.