27 August 2010
Werner Schiffauer, who has pioneered cultural anthropological research into Turkish people in Germany, has taken the Islamic movement Milli Görüs as the subject of his new book. His analysis is more balanced than his critics claim, reviewer Susanne Schröter finds.
Secular revolutionaries who embarked on their long march through enemy institutions were ultimately absorbed, shaped, and moulded by the institutions they joined, and their subversive rhetoric watered down into easily digestible reform programmes. Does the same fate await Islamist fanatics? Werner Schiffauer, professor of cultural anthropology at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder who specialises in migration research, is convinced that it does. Schiffauer makes a case for his theory in his new book, which is revealingly entitled Nach dem Islamismus (After Islamism).
On the basis of an in-depth analysis of Milli Görüs’ history, Schiffauer outlines the considerable ground covered by this Islamic movement in its transition from an anti-Western organisation that focussed on Turkey and upheld a crude Islamist ideology to a pragmatic lobby group that represents the interests of German-Turkish Muslims and has found its place in democratic society.
This development is primarily the work of young intellectuals who were born and raised in Germany and who feel very much at home with the German language and the prevailing political culture. Schiffauer’s protagonists are still devout Muslims; however, they appreciate the political system in the Federal Republic or even claim to have discovered that democracy and the social market economy are the epitome of the Islamic ideal of justice.
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
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
Full title: Organizing for Our Rights: Women’s Activism in the Muslim Community in Britain – Developments, Challenges, Prospects
This is the first event in the 2007 ISIM lecture series at Utrecht University on aspects of the Muslim presence in Europe. Keynote speaker is Cassandra Balchin. Further speakers in the series are Maleiha Malik, Christine Jacobsen, Werner Schiffauer, and Suha Taji-Farouki. Cassandra Balchin is a freelance researcher, writer and human rights advocacy trainer, focusing on networking, advocacy, and policy work in the context of Muslim communities in Britain.