Report – Religion and Diasporas: Challenges of the Emigration Countries

Religion and Diasporas – Challenges of the Emigration Countries


Jocelyne Cesari, Religion and Diasporas: Challenges of the Emigration Countries, INTERACT RR 2013/01, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute, 2013.


Using the theoretical framework of transnational studies and sociology of religion, this paper identifies  the most significant factors that influence the religious dimensions of the emigration countries: the majority or minority status of the migrant group in the receiving countries as well as the pre-existing level of politicization of religion in the sending countries. It shows that the interactions of sending and receiving countries take place in religious terms in a broader transnational space including deterritorialized religious and political actors.

Call for Papers: special issue for the Journal of Muslims in Europe

Call for Papers

for a special issue for the Journal of Muslims in Europe

“Europe with or without Muslims – narratives of Europe”

Guest editors:             Göran Larsson, University of Gothenburg

Riem Spielhaus, University of Copenhagen

We are seeking papers for a special issue of the new double blind-peer reviewed Journal on Muslims in Europe by BRILL to come out in Spring 2013. This special issue seeks to take up tensions in conflicting stories about and different perspectives on Europe’s history and identity that present Europe without Muslims or contrastingly portray Muslims as part of Europe’s past and present.

Under the headline “Europe with or without Muslims – narratives of Europe” we aim to bring together a number of perspectives from multiple disciplinary fields such as history, religious studies, cultural anthropology, political science and sociology in an analysis of diverging accounts and notions of Europe over time and places throughout the continent, open as well to external perspectives. The initial question thereby is, what role Islam and Muslims have played and still play in the imagining of what Europe means. (See more details on different possible themes for contributions below.)

This way we aim to direct our view at the nexus between constructions of Europe and developments within contemporary European Islam providing space both for a critical review of academic approaches and the development of new impulses for future research.

Besides empirical papers we strongly encourage theoretical papers that challenge current research on Islam and Muslims in Europe and reflect on the own position of the researchers and his or her contributions to the construction of Europe and the role and function of Islam and Muslims.

We invite papers that address one of the topics of two sessions described below. Deadline for sending your abstracts: July the 1st, 2012. Accepted participants will be notified by July 20, 2012. If your paper is accepted, you must submit the final paper (max 10,000 words inclusive of footnotes) by 20 October 2012.

Applications to submit a short paper should include: 1. Proposer’s name and affiliation, 2. a title for the paper, 3. a ca. 500 word abstract.

All abstracts and paper should be written in English.

Time frame:
Deadline for abstracts (ca. 500 words) 1.July 2012
Deadline for sending final papers  20.October 2012
Publication               15.March 2013

Paper proposals should be send electronically in Microsoft Word formats to Göran Larsson, University of Gothenburg: and Riem Spielhaus, University of Copenhagen:

For this special issue we invite papers on the narratives imagining Europe with and without Muslims analyzing contents, actors and setting of those narratives that relate to one or several of the following questions:

1. Localizing debates connecting Europe and Islam:

•     In what way are debates about Europe and its identity mentioning the European past with reference to Muslim’s presence in Europe on the local, regional, national or European Union level? How do these different levels (local, regional, national, transnational) intersect?

2. Imagining Europe without Muslims:

•    What are the main patterns of the dominant constructions of Europe’s heritage like notions of a Judaeo-Christian heritage? Where and by whom are these narratives told? To what extent are they embedded in European integration or projects of community or nation-building?

3. Narratives of Europe inclusive of Muslims:

•    In what cases is the Muslim history of Europe used as counter narrative to question the construction of Europe as a Christian continent? What groups of people insist on an imagination of Europe with Muslims? How are these narratives used to strengthen a feeling of belonging and responsibility of current Muslims?

4. Contextualizing Islam debates in European history of thought:

•    Is it possible to make any comparison between current debates about Islam and Muslims and previous debates about ties between religions and national identities e.g. different Christian denominations in early modern Europe?

5. Imagining Europe from outside:

•    How is the relationship between Europe and its Muslim inhabitants viewed beyond the Mediterranean? Do accounts of European history and presentations of the contemporary Europe from within and without bear considerable differences?

According to the United States, Spain remains “important logistical base” for terrorists

According to its annual report on terrorism, the U.S. State Department stated that “Spain remained an important transit and logistical base for terrorist organizations operating in Western Europe.” The State Department also said that Spain’s government and citizenry “were concerned that their country remained a principal target of domestic terrorism and Islamic extremism.” During 2008, Spain made 65 arrests of persons suspected of Islamic terrorism, including alleged sympathizers of groups like al-Qaeda. Despite the ongoing threat within Spain, the State Department said that Spain has made great efforts to prevent terrorists from getting access to its national financial institutions.

This news article highlights the importance of transnational cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and the reality that in order to strengthen its intelligence in areas of national security, international agencies require the working together across national lines and boundaries.

Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gülen Movement

The Muslim world has been undergoing radical social, economic, political and intellectual change since its encounter with the West. How Muslims cope with the challenges they face necessarily impacts on the wider, non- Muslim world. The underlying aim of this conference is to examine the impact of the Gülen movement on the contemporary Muslim world in transition and the relations between the West and Islam in general. As a leading transnational faith-based movement originating from Turkey with a universal educational and interfaith agenda, the Gülen movement aims to promote creative and positive relations between the West and the Muslim world and articulate a constructive position on issues such as democracy, multiculturalism, globalisation, and interfaith dialogue in the context of secular modernity. Fethullah Gülen’s re-reading of religious texts in the context of a renewal and re-interpretation in Islam that can take part in the building of a fully human society in Europe will also feature in the deliberations of the conference.

The conference will also examine the theological and intellectual contributions of Gülen, situate him in the context of the modern intellectual history of Islam and discuss his own interpretations of the above central issues.

As a religious intellectual and peace activist from Turkey, Gülen has influenced a whole generation of Muslims worldwide and inspired them to play an important role in charitable and educational projects and foundations. His aim has always been to bring out the universal mission of Islam, which is to serve people regardless of faith, colour, or national origin.

Citizenship and Immigrant Incorporation, Comparative Perspective on North America and Western Europe

In recent years, scholarly attention has shifted away from debates on ethnicity to focus on issues of migration and citizenship. Inspired, in part, by earlier studies on European guestworker migration, these debates are fed by the new “transnational mobility”, by the immigration of Muslims, by the increasing importance of human rights law, and by the critical attention now paid to women migrants. With respect to citizenship, many discussions address the diverse citizenship regimes. The present volume, together with its predecessor (Bodemann and Yurdakul 2006), addresses these often contentious issues. A common denominator which unites the various contributions is the question of migrant agency, in other words, the ways in which Western societies are not only transforming migrants, but are themselves being transformed by new migrations (Palgrave).

Table of Contents

    Introduction—Y. Michal Bodemann

  • The Changing Nature of Migration in the 21st Century: Implications for Integration Strategies—Aristide Zolberg
  • The Economic Adaptation of Past and Present Immigrants: Lessons from a Comparative-Historical Approach—Ewa Morawska
  • Citizenship and Pluralism: Multiculturalism in a World of Global Migration—Irene Bloemraad

  • Islam and Multicultural Societies: A Transatlantic Comparison—Jocelyne Cesari
  • The Changing Contours of Immigrant Religious Life—Peggy Levitt
  • Crafting an Identity in the Diaspora: Iranian Immigrants in the United States—Valentine M. Moghadam

  • Nation-State Building Projects and the Politics of Transnational Migration: Locating Salvadoran Migrants in Canada, the United States and El Salvador—Patricia Landolt
  • Freedom to Discriminate: National State Sovereignty and Temporary Visa Workers in North America—Nandita Sharma
  • Professionals and Saints: How Post-Soviet Immigrants Do Home-Care Work—Cinzia Solari

  • ’We Are Together Strong’?: The Unhappy Marriage between Migrant Associations and Trade Unions in Germany—Gökçe Yurdakul
  • Liberal Values and Illiberal Cultures: The Question of Sharia Tribunals in Ontario—Donald Forbes

Islam and Feminism today

The 2007 Fall Institute at UMass Boston invites proposals that explore critically the relationship between Islam and Feminisms today. It seeks to examine the complex and rich terrain of Islam as a force for understanding global politics, an impetus for political and psychological self-determination, a stimulus for cultural productions, and a foundation for identity. By engaging Islam through a feminist lens, we hope to challenge inadequately interrogated assumptions and modes of thinking that posit secularism and democracy in opposition to religiosity and oppression. The critical perspective of feminist analysis provides a particularly valuable window into the many struggles internal to Islam, its changing dynamics over time, and the intersecting influences of economic/cultural globalization, imperialism and patriarchal power structures in the lives of individuals, communities, and nations.

Conference Details

Engaging Islam: Preliminary Conference Schedule The Institute is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary for non-presenting attendees.


Panel Title: “Defining Islamic Feminisms”

Key-Note: Amina Wadud

Key-Note: Haideh Moghissi

Key-Note: Lila Abu-Lughod


Panel Title: “Negotiating Shari’a and the ‘Secular State’”

9-10AM Key-Note: Madhavi Sunder

10-10:30AM – Break

10:30-12:30 – Panel:

  • Berna Turam “Democratization and Muslim Women: The Case of Secular Turkey”
  • Natasha Dar “Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité, and the Shari’a: The Production of Islamic Legal Knowledges and ‘The Muslim Woman’ in the French-North African Diaspora”
  • Mitra Rastegar “Secularism through U.S. policies and discourses on Islam and Muslim citizens”
  • 12:30-1:30 Break for Lunch

    Panel Title: “Negotiating Shari’a and the ‘Secular State’” (continued)

    1:30 -2:30 Key-Note: Tariq Modood

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Srimati Basu “Separate and Unequal: Muslim Women, Women’s Movements and Un-uniform Family Law in India”
  • Jasmin Zine “Negotiating Religion and the Secular State: Muslim Women and Shari’a Law Tribunals in Canada”
  • 6-7:30PM – Screen Film “Silent Waters”
  • 7:30PM – Dinner & Presentation by Shahnaz Khan

    Panel Title: “Challenging Hegemonic Representations of Muslim Women”

    9-10AM – Keynote: Lara Deeb

    10-10:30AM- Break

    10:30-12:30 – Panel

  • Elizabeth Bucar “Good Hijab, Bad Hijab: The Politics of Religious Dress in Iran”
  • Peter McMurray “Speaking the Unspeakable: Three Representations of Wartime Sexual Violence Against Bosnian Muslim Women”
  • Surbhi Tiwari “Whither Fundamentalism or Feminism? Sania Mirza, ‘sexy’ dressing and the politics of (erotic) identity”
  • 12:30-1:30 – Break for Lunch
  • Panel Title: “Globalization, Gender Relations, and Sexuality”

    1:30-2:30 PM – Key-Note: Jasbir Puar

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Ashley Al-Sayyad “Queer Muslim Women: Visibility, Diaspora, and Islam”
  • Chris Kelly “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Muslim Converts”
  • Sonja Van Wichelen “Politics of Presence: Feminist Contestations over a New Muslim Indonesia” Dinner at a restaurant in Cambridge

    Panel Title: “Political Economy and Islamic Feminisms”

    9-10AM – Keynote: Lamia Karim

    10-10:30AM – Break

    10:30-12:30 – Panel:

  • Fauzia Ahmed “Islam, Poverty Alleviation, & Masculinity”
  • Roksana Bahramitash “Iranian Islamic Women as ‘the Other’: A Class Analysis of the Role of Women in the Informal Economy and Islamic Micro Credit”
  • Damla Isik “On Weaving, Sohbet, and Patience: Governance of Time and Labor in Konya’s Weaving Industry”
  • 12:30-1:30 – Break for Lunch

    Panel Title: “Coalition-building and Transnationalism”

    1:30PM – Key-Note: Zainah Anwar

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Azza Basarudin “Recreating Communities of the Faithful?: Negotiating Gender, Religion & Feminism in Malaysia and Egypt”
  • Tina Nebe “Islam in the Public and Private Spaces: Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, and Indonesia”
  • Dina Siddiqi “Legislating Fatwas: Dilemmas and Contradictions for Feminists”
  • Rafia Zakaria “Dangerous Truths: the Muslim woman’s story and the emerging chasm between transnational feminist scholarship and activism”

    Panel Title: Pedagogy and Islam

    9AM-11:30 – Panel:

  • Hilary Kalmach “Female Leadership and Activism in Conservative Islamic Communities: An Islamic Form of Feminism?”
  • Juliet Gentile “From ‘Honorary Man’ to Sheikha: The Path of Sufi Women in the West”
  • Jennifer Fluri “The Corporeal Marker: Gender, Space and Islam”
  • 11:30-12 – Break

    12-1PM – Closing Remarks

    For more details about the institute and guidelines for submissions, visit website.