This is a comparative study of Muslims in Finland and the Republic of Ireland, from the perspective of religious freedom and multiculturalism. The book consists of three parts: the first part discusses religious freedom and multiculturalism from a conceptual point of view and mainly within the context of Western Europe, culminating in the cases of Finland and Ireland; the second part deals with the establishment of Muslim communities in Europe in general, and in Finland and Ireland in particular; and the third part concerns Islam and education in these respective countries
The permanent presence of Islam and Muslims is a comparatively recent phenomenon in most countries of the European Union. Over the last few decades many initiatives have been launched by Muslim communities in the European Union to create infrastructural provisions for their religious life, within the existing legal and social frameworks. In fact, all countries of the European Union share the principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination in their respective Constitutions. However, the precise way in which these principles are interpreted and applied to Islam depends largely on the historical traditions concerning the relation between State and Religion, which differ from one country to another. These differences are reflected in recent developments in the communication between the States and their Muslim communities, both at national, regional and municipal levels. They are also reflected in recent developments in legislation and jurisprudence concerning the most essential Islamic core-values, such as dietary laws, the precepts on modest dress, Islamic burial practices and the possibilities to found Islamic cemeteries, as well as the observance of Friday prayers and annual holidays. Looking at the legal position of Islam in the countries of the European Union, the authors of this volume discuss the challenges posed by the presence of Islam to the Western European system of relationships between law and religion. They argue, that these challenges necessitate reforms within the relevant European legislation, but differ as to their precise nature. They also discuss the difficulties of this task, as these adjustments will alter a longstanding balance of rights and privileges recognised by different religious denominations. Legal reforms, however, are not sufficient. The creation of a truly multicultural Europe also necessitates fighting against the negative image of Islam and Muslims (anti-Muslimism or Islamophobia) prevailing in most of its member states.
This book contributes to understanding of the contemporary relationship between Muslims and the Western societies in which they live, focusing particularly on the UK. Chapters reflect on the nature of multiculturalism, as well as a wide range of specific aspects of daily life, including religious dialogue, gender, freedom of speech and politics.
This edited volume is a compilation of original scholarly papers on the theme of cultural diversity in Islamic thought and practice under conditions of early and late modernity, with a specific contemporary focus on the crisis of religious tolerance in the Muslim world. Particular emphasis is placed upon Islamic concepts of cultural diversity as they contrast to the traditional Western liberal approach that takes a neutral position on tolerance to cultural difference.
Since 9/11, the interest in Muslims in Europe has increased significantly. There has been much public debate and academic research focused on Muslims living in larger Western European countries like Britain, France or Germany, but little is known of Muslims in Ireland. This book fills this gap, providing a complete study of this unexplored Muslim presence, from the arrival of the first Muslim resident in Cork, in the southwest of Ireland, in 1784 until mass immigration to the Republic of Ireland during the 'Celtic Tiger' period from the mid-1990s onwards. Muslim immigration and settlement in Ireland is very recent, and poses new challenges to a society that has perceived itself as religiously and culturally homogeneous. Ireland is also one of the least secular societies in Europe, providing a different context for Muslims seeking recognition by state and society. This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand the diversity of Muslim presences across Europe.
The Rushdie affair, September 11 2001 and 7/7 pushed British Muslims into the forefront of increasingly fraught debate about multiculturalism. Stereotyping images have proliferated, reducing a heterogeneous minority group to a series of media soundbites. This book examines contemporary literary representations of Muslims by British writers of South Asian Muslim descent - including Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali and Nadeem Aslam - to explore the contribution they make to urgent questions about multicultural politics and the place of Muslims within Britain. By focusing on class, and its intersection with faith, 'race' and gender in identity- and community-formation, it challenges the dichotomy of secular freedom versus religious oppression that constrains thinking about British Muslims, and offers a more nuanced perspective on multicultural debates and controversies.
This book examines matters of religious freedom in Europe, considers the work of the European Court of Human Rights in this area, explores issues of multiculturalism and secularism in France, of women in Islam, and of Muslims in the West. The work presents legal analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, focusing on concepts such as laïcité, submission, equality and the role of the state in public education, amongst others. Through this book, the reader can visit inside a French public school located in a low-income neighborhood just south of Paris and learn about the complex dynamics that led up to the passing of the 2004 law banning Muslim headscarves. The chapters bring to light the actors and cultures within the school that set the stage for the passing of the law and the political philosophy that supports it. School culture and philosophy are compared and contrasted to the thoughts and opinions of the teachers, administrators and students to gage how religious freedom and identity are understood. The book goes on to explore the issue of religious freedom at the European Court of Human Rights. The author argues that the right to religious freedom has been too narrowly understood and is being fenced in by static visions of Islam. This jeopardizes the idea of religious freedom more broadly. By becoming entangled with regional and domestic politics, the Court is neglecting important nuances and is jeopardizing secularism, pluralism and democracy. This is a highly readable and accessible book that will appeal to students and scholars of law, anthropology, religious studies and philosophy of religion.
The book offers an ethnography of the Muslim minority in New Zealand with special emphasis on policy aspects relevant to the integration of Muslims in the host society. The book also discusses many other issues, such as Muslim political representation, inner coherence of the Muslim community, differentiated citizenship, gender issues and gender equality, and points of friction with the host society.
This book takes a sober, evidenced-based look at the contemporary phenomenon of Islamophobia in both ‘old-world’ Europe, and the ‘new-world’ of America and Australia, and Southeast Asia. It includes theoretical and conceptual discussions about what Islamophobia is, how it manifests, and how it can be addressed, together with historical analysis, applied research and case-study chapters, considering the reality that manifests as a fear of Muslims. Anxiety about the world’s second largest religion manifests as prejudice, discrimination and vilification and, in extreme cases, violence and murder. The real and perceived problems of the relationship between Islam and the West contribute to the phenomenon of Islamophobia. This is a unique, multi-disciplinary work, with authors approaching the topic from a number of academic disciplines and from different religious and national backgrounds, providing for a greater appreciation of the complexity and diversity of Islamophobia. This multicultural and multi-religious approach undergirds the valuable insights the volume provides. This book will be of interest to all concerned with the phenomenon of Islamophobia, and especially researchers and students in the social sciences, as well as scholars with a specific interest in Muslims living as minorities in the West. Also, those working in political science, international relations, sociology, religious studies and other fields will all find it of value.
Islamophobia has been on the rise since September 11, as seen in countless cases of discrimination, racism, hate speeches, physical attacks, and anti-Muslim campaigns. The 2006 Danish cartoon crisis and the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's Regensburg speech have underscored the urgency of such issues as image-making, multiculturalism, freedom of expression, respect for religious symbols, and interfaith relations. The 1997 Runnymede Report defines Islamophobia as "dread, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims perpetuated by a series of closed views that imply and attribute negative and derogatory stereotypes and beliefs to Muslims." Violating the basic principles of human rights civil liberties, and religious freedom, Islamophobic acts take many different forms. In some cases, mosques, Islamic centers, and Muslim properties are attacked and desecrated. In the workplace, schools, and housing, it takes the form of suspicion, staring, hazing, mockery, rejection, stigmatizing and outright discrimination. In public places, it occurs as indirect discrimination, hate speech, and denial of access to goods and services. This collection of essays takes a multidisciplinary approach to Islamophobia, bringing together the expertise and experience of Muslim, American, and European scholars. Analysis is combined with policy recommendations. Contributors discuss and evaluate good practices already in place and offer new methods for dealing with discrimination, hatred, and racism.
Freedom of religion is a subject, which has throughout human history been a source of profound disagreements and conflict. In the modern era, religious-based intolerance continues to provide lacerative and tormenting concern to the possibility of congenial human relationships. As the present study examines, religions have been relied upon to perpetuate discrimination and inequalities, and to victimise minorities to the point of forcible assimilation and genocide. The study provides an overview of the complexities inherent in the freedom of religion within international law and an analysis of the cultural-religious relativist debate in contemporary human rights law. As many of the chapters examine, Islamic State practices have been a major source of concern. In the backdrop of the events of 11 September 2001, a considerable focus of this volume is upon the Muslim world, either through the emergent State practices and existing constitutional structures within Muslim majority States or through Islamic diasporic communities resident in Europe and North-America.
This volume explores the dominant types of relationships between Muslim minorities and states in different parts of the world, the challenges each side faces, and the cases and reasons for exemplary integration, religious tolerance, and freedom of expression. By bringing together diverse case studies from Europe, Africa, and Asia, this book offers insight into the nature of state engagement with Muslim communities and Muslim community responses towards the state, in turn. This collection offers readers the opportunity to learn more about what drives government policy on Muslim minority communities, Muslim community policies and responses in turn, and where common ground lies in building religious tolerance, greater community cohesion and enhancing Muslim community-state relations.
Multiculturalism in present-day Europe How to understand Europe’s post-migrant Islam on the one hand and indigenous, anti-Islamic movements on the other? What impact will religion have on the European secular world and its regulation? How do social and economic transitions on a transnational scale challenge ethnic and religious identifications? These questions are at the very heart of the debate on multiculturalism in present-day Europe and are addressed by the authors in this book. Through the lens of post-migrant societies, manifestations of identity appear in pluralized, fragmented, and deterritorialized forms. This new European multiculturalism calls into question the nature of boundaries between various ethnic-religious groups, as well as the demarcation lines within ethnic-religious communities. Although the contributions in this volume focus on Islam, ample attention is also paid to Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The authors present empirical data from cases in Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium, and sharpen the perspectives on the religious-ethnic manifestations of identity in the transnational context of 21st-century Europe.
Freedom of religion is an issue of universal interest and scope. However, in the last two centuries at least, the philosophical, religious and legal terms of the question have been largely defined in the West. In an increasingly global world, widening our knowledge of this right’s roots in different cultural and legal systems becomes a priority. This Handbook seeks to attain this goal through a better understanding of the historical roots and expressions of the right to freedom of religion on the one hand and, on the other, of its theological background in different religious traditions. History and theology provide the setting for the analysis of the politics of freedom of religion, that is, how this right is used in the context of the dialogue/confrontation between countries placed in different cultural regions of the world, and of the legal strategies and tools that have been developed and are employed to protect and foster the right to freedom of religion. Behind these legal and political strategies, there is an ongoing debate about the nature of this right, whose main features are explored in the final section. Global, historical and interdisciplinary in approach, this book studies the new relevance of freedom of religion worldwide and develops suitable categories to analyze and understand the role that freedom of religion can play in managing religious and cultural diversity in our societies. Authored by experts, through the contributions collected in these chapters, scholars and students will be able to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the right to freedom of religion and to develop the ability to go beyond the borders of the different cultural environments in which this right took shape and developed.
Uses poststructuralist theory to connect inclusion, exclusion and identity, using real-world case studies from British culture, politics and lawLasse Thomassen applies a fresh, poststructuralist approach to reconcile the theoretical and practical issues surrounding inclusion, exclusion and representation. He opens up debates and themes including Britishness, race, the nature and role of Islam in British society, homelessness and social justice. Thomassen argues that the politics of inclusion and identity should be viewed as struggles over how these identities are represented. He develops this argument through careful analysis of cases from the last four decades of British multiculturalism, including public debates about the role of religion in British society, Gordon Brown and David Cameron's contrasting versions of Britishness, legal cases about religious symbols and clothing in schools, and the Nick Hornby novel How to Be Good.
Freedom of religion or belief is deeply entrenched in international human rights conventions and constitutional traditions around the world. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion as does the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1966. A rich jurisprudence on freedom of religion or belief is based on the European Convention on Human Rights, drafted in 1950 by the Council of Europe. Similar regional guarantees exist in the framework of the Organization of American States as well as within the African Union. Freedom of religion or belief has found recognition in numerous national constitutions, and some governments have shown a particularly strong commitment to the international promotion of this right. As Heiner Bielefeldt and Michael Wiener observe, however, freedom of religion or belief remains a source of political conflict, legal controversy, and intellectual debate. In Religious Freedom Under Scrutiny, Bielefeldt and Wiener explore various critiques leveled at this right. For example, does freedom of religion contribute to the spread of Western neoliberal values to the detriment of religious and cultural diversity? Can religious freedom serve as the entry point for antifeminist agendas within the human rights framework? Drawing on their considerable experience in the field, Bielefeldt and Wiener provide a typological overview and analysis of violations around the world that illustrate the underlying principles as well as the relationship between freedom of religion or belief and other human rights. Religious Freedom Under Scrutiny argues that without freedom of religion or belief, human rights cannot fully address our complex needs, yearnings, and vulnerabilities as human beings. Furthermore, ignoring or marginalizing freedom of religion or belief would weaken the plausibility, attractiveness, and legitimacy of the entire system of human rights.
The integration of Muslims into European societies is often seen as a major challenge that is yet to be confronted. This book, by contrast, starts from the observation that on legal, political and organizational levels integration has already taken place. It showcases the variety of theoretical approaches that scholars have developed to conceptualize Muslim life in Europe, and provides detailed empirical analysis of ten European countries. Demonstrating how Muslim life unfolds between conviviality and contentious politics, the contributors describe demographic developments, analyze legal controversies, and explore the action of government and state, Muslim communities and other civil society actors. Driving forces behind the integration of Islam are discussed in detail and compared across countries.