Special Issue "Muslim Minority in Europe"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 16 April 2023 | Viewed by 220

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Martijn De Koning
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Islamic Studies, Radboud University, 6525 XZ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Interests: Salafism; activism; racialization; islamophobia
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

What makes a Muslim minority in Europe? This question can be approached in different ways, which all have a long history in Europe and in Islam. As many European Muslim communities are divided along ethnic and intra-Islamic lines, we can, for example, look as to how specific ethnic Muslim communities are constructed in relation to other Muslim communities on a local, national, or transnational level or in relation to wider society; or how Muslims are regarded as of minor importance in relation to the idealized visions of the nation-state, if not being completely at odds with those visions; or how Muslims as minorities are able to empower themselves and achieve recognition as minorities with particular rights; or the specific arrangements that construct minority and majority formations (minoritization/majoritization). These different questions point to minority as a kaleidoscope of religio-racial forms governance, (minority) rights, internal and external identity politics, and emancipation and empowerment (Büyüksaraç 2017).

This Special Issue’s aims are twofold: first, to explore how European nation-states have constructed majorities and minorities and how (specific formations of) Muslims are positioned in these fields and, second, how Muslims have responded to the creation of minority/majority formations, in which they find themselves.

Muslims in Europe: minor, minoritization, and minority

The coming about of Muslims as minorities in modern-day Europe is strongly related to the emergence of nation-states as well as colonialism and postcolonialism and, in particular, in Eastern Europe, post-communism and the transformations of local nationalisms (Jackson Preece 1997). There is an abundance of studies looking into how Muslim minorities, often as minorities, have institutionalized Islam and legal and national representation, education, mosque organizations, and how they do so by engaging with existing and changing models of secularism, freedom of religion, social justice, border regimes and equality, and (minority) representation (Büyüksaraç 2017; Degli Esposti 2021; Demetriou 2013; Griera and Burchardt 2021; Shavit 2017; Van Slageren and Van Tubergen 2021; Račius 2020). To a lesser degree, the literature also takes into account Muslim minorities within a Muslim minority, such as Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims. At the same time, Muslims and Islam are also regarded as being out of place, out of time, and out of bounds, as at odds with the prevailing ideas of European and national identities. The construction of Muslims as a minority in Europe is thereby, an interesting mix of homogenization and differentiation; on the one hand, lump glossing over the intra-Muslim diversity into one category and, on the other hand, distinguishing between majority and minority. By dividing a population into majority/minority, not only those formations are categorized and defined, but also who belongs to the nation-state, who does not (yet or not entirely), and who is of minor importance. Being a minority, then, becomes akin to a religio-racial slot based upon Islam as a primary marker of social hierarchies, regulating access to citizenship, education, and equal rights (Silverstein 2005; Galonnier 2015; De Koning 2016). Yet, people who are categorized as minority may also be able to claim their rights and existence as a minority (Bøe and Flaskerud 2017; Demetriou 2013). This combination of inclusion/exclusion, limiting and enabling, whereby Islam is constructed as a problem space (Scott 2004), vis a vis ideas about the nation-state, shows that the idea of Muslims as a minority is a “cunning concept” (Amir‐Moazami 2022).

This Special Issue seeks to interrogate the issue of Muslim minorities and minoritization in Europe by dissecting, on the one hand, the processes of majoritization and minoritization in various European regions, taking into account “the structurally precarious position that minorities (religious, racial, ethnic) have come to occupy in all modern societies, and how the modern state produces and conditions their precarity (Mahmood 2016, 6).” On the other hand, it seeks to highlight the diversity within and between Muslim communities and how Muslims (dis)engage, embrace, reject, or transform the idea of being (part of) a Muslim minority in Europe and/or being (part of) a Muslim minority within a Muslim minority.

We welcome single-country as well as comparative essays from a broad range of (inter)disciplinary perspectives (anthropology, political sciences, theology, sociology of religion, history, etc.) and about various of regions in Europe.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words, summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor (Martijn de Koning: [email protected]) or to Religions editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editor for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Amir‐Moazami, Schirin. 2022. "Liberal‐secular power and the traps of muslim integration in Western Europe."  The British Journal of Sociology. doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12942.

Bøe, Marianne, and Ingvild Flaskerud. 2017. "A Minority in the Making: The Shia Muslim Community in Norway."  Journal of Muslims In Europe 6 (2):179-197. doi: 10.1163/22117954-12341347.

Büyüksaraç, Güldem Baykal. 2017. "Trans-border minority activism and kin-state politics: The case of Iraqi Turkmen and Turkish interventionism."  Anthropological Quarterly:17–53.

De Koning, Martijn. 2016. "“You Need to Present a Counter-Message” The Racialisation of Dutch Muslims and Anti-Islamophobia Initiatives."  Journal of Muslims in Europe 5 (2):170–189. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/22117954-12341325.

Degli Esposti, Emanuelle. 2021. "Finding a ‘Shi’a voice’ in Europe: minority representation and the unsettling of secular humanitarianism in the discourse of ‘Shi’a rights’."  Religion, State and Society 49 (4–5):402–417. doi: 10.1080/09637494.2021.1995275.

Demetriou, Olga. 2013. Capricious borders: minority, population, and counter-conduct between Greece and Turkey. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Galonnier, Juliette. 2015. "The racialization of Muslims in France and the United States: Some insights from white converts to Islam."  Social Compass 62 (4):570–583. doi: 10.1177/0037768615601966.

Griera, Mar, and Marian Burchardt. 2021. "Urban regimes and the interaction order of religious minority rituals."  Ethnic and Racial Studies 44 (10):1712–1733. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2020.1849754.

Jackson Preece, Jennifer. 1997. "Minority rights in Europe: from Westphalia to Helsinki." Review of International Studies 23 (1):75–92. doi: 10.1017/s0260210597000752.

Mahmood, Saba. 2016. Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report. Princeton and Oxford: Cambridge University Press.

Račius, Egdūnas. 2020. Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe: Between Churchification and Securitization. Leiden: Brill.

Scott, David. 2004. Conscripts of modernity: The tragedy of colonial Enlightenment. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Shavit, Uriya. 2017. "(e) Embattled Minority In-Between Minorities: An Analysis of British and German Salafi Anti-Jihadi Campaigns." Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 17:187–203. doi: 10.5617/jais.6114.

Silverstein, Paul A. 2005. "IMMIGRANT RACIALIZATION AND THE NEW SAVAGE SLOT: Race, Migration, and Immigration in the New Europe." Annual Review of Anthropology 34 (1):363–384. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.081804.120338.

Van Slageren, Jaap, and Frank Van Tubergen. 2021. "Generalised Trust among Second-Generation Muslim and Non-Muslim Minority Groups in Europe." Journal of Muslims in Europe:1–22. doi: 10.1163/22117954-bja10042.

Dr. Martijn De Koning
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • minority
  • minoritization
  • majority
  • majoritization
  • citizenship
  • outsiders
  • race
  • secularism and modernity
  • (minority) rights
  • (minority) representation
  • minorities within minorities
  • ethnicities
  • post-communism
  • postcolonialism
  • activism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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