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Strategies of adaption and dissociation
Islamic missionary groups from South Asia in the European diaspora – the Tablighi Jama’at and the Da’wat-i Islami

Islamic Training Institutes in Germany
links to Training Institutes in the Middle East and Europe

Between participation and disengagement
The Muslim minority and its schools in South Africa and Europe

Islamism, the Reform of Islam, and Civil Religion in France

„Pioneers of 'Euro-Islam'“?
The role of Muslim women in the Milli Görüs. Crossed views: Germany-Turkey

The Ahmadiya in Germany
Areas of conflict between Islamic identity and secular embedment


Muslims in Europe and Their Societies of Origin in Asia and Africa

Diversity and Consequences of Religious Faith and Practice in Different Contexts

Seven studies investigate the role of religious Muslim groups, movements, and institutions in European countries in an attempt to understand the extent to which Muslims will shape the emerging European identity. For comparative reasons, links with their countries and cultures of origin in Africa and Asia will be considered.

The results should contribute to an understanding of whether and how Muslims in Europe can aspire to a religious lifestyle and what obstacles might arise in the process. Muslim notions of Europe, the position practising Muslims might adopt there, and the ideas and concepts they pursue will be explored. In addition, Muslim links with countries of origin will be studied to establish the impact societies dominated by Islam might have on their concepts and ideas for a life guided by religion in the secular European context.
The research is designed as a series of comparative and complementary case studies focusing on

  • religious assets of individual Islamic projects;
  • “European identity” as understood by Islamic activists;
  • the institutional and conceptual socialisation of Islamic activists; and
  • the type of links supported by their countries of origin in Asia and Africa.

Claims by Islamic activists to a life guided by religion in the European public sphere have been strongly contested by both secular and Christian representatives. While some representatives of Islamic groups aspire to become fully recognised members of European societies, several Christian and secular activists regard their claims to a public Islamic lifestyle as a denial of European identity and values. It is mainly the second and third generation of Muslim migrants who strive for full participation in European political and social affairs.

Against this background, the seven case studies examine different religious lifestyles, and their discourses and institutions. Religious Islamic activists are often accused of forming “parallel societies”, with values and norms of “foreign cultures”, instead of “integrating” themselves into European societies. The research project attempts to dissect such commonplace stereotypes, analysing in detail the interaction and connections between "host societies" and “societies of origin”. The project proceeds on the hypothesis that new types of Islamic religiosity are developing in Europe as a result of close interaction between Muslims and their European “host societies”. Accordingly, links of Muslim migrants in Europe to their “societies of origin” and transnational relations should not be treated primarily as a potential source of conflict but as a future contribution to the shaping of a European Islamic identity.

The project will seek to actively disseminate information about ongoing research and its results to a wider European public, including the media, intellectuals, and researchers, as well as political and economic decision-makers. It is hoped that research and the desired interaction with the public will be conducive to a broader dialogue, leading to more active participation of Islamic minorities in European political and social life.
The project would like to shed light on the dynamics of Islam in Europe by preparing publications on the social and religious programmes of individual Islamic groups. It thereby seeks to bring about a nuanced understanding of the state of Muslim integration in European societies, and the obstacles and prospects involved. It is intended to hold quarterly public functions that will act as a forum for discussion and information. There are also plans to conduct three academic conferences at which research results will be summarised and subsequently published.


BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung   ZMO -Zentrum Moderner Orient   Universität Hamburg   Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)   Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Copyright © Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient