Beyond methodological Islamism? A thematic discussion of Muslim minorities in Europe

Meer, Nasar and Modood, Tariq (2013) Beyond methodological Islamism? A thematic discussion of Muslim minorities in Europe. Advances in Applied Sociology, 3 (7). pp. 307-313. ISSN 2165-4336

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    Abstract

    In this discussion we offer an overview of the place of Muslim actors in European scholarship. We especially focus on the second and subsequent generations of European Muslims, and how future research agendas could conceptualise the relationship between contemporary Muslim identity and citizenship regimes in Europe. We explore the way in which our understanding is formed by a concern with socio- economic processes, cultural adaptations and civic status. We include questions of citizenship and “difference”, and the extent to which there has been a re-imagining and re-forming of national collectivities in the face of Muslim claims-making. By claims-making we invoke a further register which centres on the creation of a Muslim infrastructure, perhaps through modes of religious pluralism (or opposition to it), and how this interacts with prevailing ideas that to greater and lesser extents inform public policies e.g., multiculturalism, interculturalism, cohesion, secularism, or Leitkulture, amongst others. While the latter register focuses more on nation-state politics, there is a further transnational dimension in the Muslim experience in Europe, and this assumes an important trajectory in the ways discussed. It is argued that Muslim identities in Europe contain many social layers that are often independent of scriptural texts; such that the appellation of “Muslim” can be appropriated without any unanimity on Islamic matters. We conclude by observing how this point is understudied, and as a consequence the dynamic features of Muslims’ leadership in Europe remain unexplored.a