US State Department reaches out to the Muslim world

A new division opened in the State Department this year: the office of the Special Representative to Muslim Communities. Farah Pandith’s mission is to reach out to the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims. She tells Steve Inskeep the office will influence how Muslims perceive the United States.

Psychology of New Muslim Identity in America

The issue of identity has been the chief unifying concern of diverse immigrant Muslim populations in America. Now,in the post 9/11 world, this became the chief unifying concern of the all Western societies. Religion appears to be the essential factor influencing the second generation Muslim adolescents¿identity development and their integration into American society. How does second generation Muslims in the US identify themselves? How successfully do they integrate into the mainstream of American society? To what extent does religion influence this process? Very little is known about how they deal with their identity questions and how they more fully integrate or negotiate their multiple allegiances. This study will give you a glimps from the struggle that these young people experience between two conflicting worldviews in order to find their own niche in life. (Courtesy of Publisher)

Mosque turns to court against critics in Rotterdam

The Rotterdam Essalam administration is applying for a restrictive ban on five rebellious members of the organization. According to the administration, these five persons and their presence is leading to escalation within the mosque; this marks the first time that a mosque administration is trying to ban members from praying in their mosque, with the help of a court in the Netherlands. Administrators and some visitors to the mosque are upset with influence from Arab financiers from Dubai – who are helping to finance the building of a new large mosque in Rotterdam-South – of which building has currently stopped.

The Imams of Catalonia

The result of the research done by the anthropologist Jordi Moreras, about the imams of Catalonia reveals that contrarily to what society believes they are not so influent among the Muslim community.

One of the arguments Moreras presents is their poor labour conditions as their religious function is not officially recognised and they have no working contract. Another argument is the unfitted academic preparation to the current context in which they have to work at, as their preparation is designed in accordance with their native countries and not in accordance with western countries.

Islam in Europe: Diversity, Identity and Influence

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 (Cambridge UP).

Table of Contents

    Introduction—Effie Fokas
    Christians and Muslims: memory, amity, and enmities—Tarek Mitri
    The Question of Euro-Islam: restriction or opportunity?— Jorgen Nielsen
    Muslim identities in Europe: the snare of exceptionalism—Jocelyne Cesari
    From exile to diaspora: the development of transnational Islam in Europe—Werner Schiffauer
    Bosnian Islam as “european Islam”: limits and shifts of a concept—Xavier Bougarel
    Islam in the European Commission’s system of regulation of Religion—Berengere Massignon
    Development, discrimination and reverse discrimination: effects of EU integration and regional change on the Muslims of Southeast Europe—Dia Anagnostou
    Breaching the infernal cycle? Turkey, the European Union and Religion—Valerie Amiraux
    Afterword—Aziz Al-Azmeh

Dutch terrorism-buster to launch probe into Salafism

BRUSSELS — The Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism (NCTb) said on Wednesday that it will launch a nationwide investigation into the spread of Salafism in the Netherlands. The influence of Salafism, an ultra-orthodox form of Islam, is growing in the Netherlands, the Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Terrorism: European attacks ‘inevitable’ as al Qaeda influence spreads, say experts

European countries can expect more terrorist attacks in future because of continuing disaffection among Muslims and the low cost of producing bombs, according to international experts. Bob Ayers, associate fellow for international security at London-based thinktank, Chatham House, told Adnkronos International (AKI) on Friday, while police successfully foiled the planned terrorist attack in Germany last month, more attacks were inevitable.

Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States

Some scholars believe that the influence of Islam in the United States can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson. Today, Islam and American Muslim populations are growing in importance in this country, and demand for information about them is high, especially in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This A-to-Z encyclopedia will help students and other readers get a fast grip on pertinent holidays, terms, beliefs, practices, notables, and sects of the Islamic faith and Muslim practitioners in the United States. The accompanying primary documents volume provides 93 crucial articles, speeches, essays, poems, songs, and more to flesh out the encyclopedia entries.This encyclopedia and primary documents set, the first on the topic and for the general reader, is a must-have for every library. The primary focus is contemporary but the entries are historically contextualized, so the fuller picture of origins outside the country and practice now in the United States is clear. Further reading suggestions accompany each entry. The primary documents volume enhances the encyclopedic entries with annotated selections such as an article from an entry on a leading Muslim American magazine or an essay by a Muslim American scholar to illuminate an entry on her. This will be a boon for students doing reports on Islam and for non-Muslims looking to learn about Muslims in an objective, broad way. It is clearly and authoritatively written and compiled by a host of scholars, primarily from Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Greenwood Press).