Euro-Islam or Islam in Europe the role of Muslims and their organizations in Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands
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Almost twenty million Muslims live in Europe. These Muslims make up diverse ethnic, linguistic, and cultural communities, many of which are struggling to define their role within Europe's secular societies and the role of their religion in this environment. The concept of Euro-Islam is one option to promote a new European form of Islam that helps Muslim citizens and immigrants integrate into Europe's civic and political fabric. This study shows that the concept of Euro-Islam is still under negotiation and diversity across Muslim communities complicates the negotiation process. Conceptions of Euro-Islam vary from a pure embrace of secularism to new forms of Islamism. The acceptance of core European values, such as democracy, tolerance, and pluralism, are essential prerequisites for acceptance of Euro-Islam by Europeans, but many Muslims view their situation as that of exclusion, characterized by low levels of education, high unemployment, and societal discrimination. They face governments that seek to dialogue with Muslims while simultaneously pursuing increasingly assimilative immigration policies. Muslims in Europe have developed organizational networks to represent their opinions and interests as well as to express their identity. On the one hand, these organizations naturally reflect the diversity of the communities they represent. On the other hand, these organizations are all but representative for all Muslims living in Europe. Therefore, their role in the promotion of Euro-Islam is limited. This thesis proposes a rethinking of current immigration policies, intensified discourse among Muslims over Euro-Islam, and open dialogue between Muslims and others, where secularism does not become an excuse for discrimination and integration is distinguished from assimilation. This policy requires Europeans to rethink their own identity and the role they want religion to play in society.
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