Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims

In this timely work, Alexander Castilla deconstructs the myth of the so-called clash of Islam and democracy, and examines the forces involving the social integration and religious accommodation of Muslims in Catalonia, Spain during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and the March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks in Spain. In adapting to the pressures of globalization and to their own religiously plural, yet increasingly secular society, the Catalans sought to strike a delicate balance between the accommodation and integration of Muslims, while building on Catalonia’s nation building project which focused on the historical continuity of Catalan language and culture.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims defines how the claims of immigrant Muslims influence the ongoing construction of a Catalan national identity. It also explores the primary demands for religious accommodation which Muslims sought in the beginning of the 21st century and why it is necessary to separate political and religious powers. Looking at the role of Muslim religious leaders in the context of secular society is of particular significance because the contemporary issues surrounding the separation of politics and religion is far from being resolved not only in Catalonia, but also in greater Spain and in other European countries with significant Muslim communities such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland and France.

Re-imagining European Identity Politics and the Social Integration of Muslims represents the first comprehensive study in English about the social integration of Muslims living in Catalonia and combines an historical, socio-political and philosophical analysis about Islam and democracy and contributes to the literature on peace and security studies, as well as to studies of migration, citizenship and nationalism.

Published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, the book is now available on Amazon.com.

Islam, Islamisms, and the West

Identity politics in the widest sense is now quite the norm, and it comes to us in many guises, in the actual conduct of politics as well as in political theories and analyses, from the right, the left, the liberal centre. Culturalism, or the view that culture is the primary and determining instance of social existence, is a by-product of this identitarianism, and wherever politics and religion come to inflame each other, religion itself becomes synonymous with culture, and culture with religion, so that, for example, a constitutive difference between Islam and Christianity, as regards the scope for egalitarian politics in their respective zones, can be posited from the left, while the most hard-nosed geopolitical prescriptions can come to us from the right, in the guise of a discourse on religion, culture and civilization.