Special Issue "Islam in Europe, European Islam"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefano Allievi

Professor of Sociology; Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology, University of Padua, Via 8 Febbraio 1848, 2, 35122 Padova PD, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Islam in Europe, Religious Pluralism, Immigration
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thijl Sunier

Faculty of Social Sciences, Social and Cultural Anthropology; Mobilities, Beliefs and Belonging: Confronting Global Inequalities and Insecurities (MOBB), VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Islamic movements, authority, Islam and popular culture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The scope of the special issue “Islam in Europe, European Islam?” is to explore and underline trends, some very visible, others seemingly marginal, which are transforming Muslim communities and Islamic landscapes in Europe in recent years. Much of the research carried out among Muslims in Europe seems still being trapped in nationally specific formats, thereby implicitly depicting Muslims as homogenous national communities. Rather than focusing on the common nationally specific developments in the legal, organizational, doctrinal and political sphere, the special issue seeks to identify a number of cross-national, or supra-national thematic fields as angles that capture these trends. These fields may be rooted in developments specific to Islam and Muslim communities in Europe, but they may also address the question how global developments take shape locally. The themes are by no means exhaustive, but together they may indicate important trends and developments that provide clues about the tremendous diversification currently taking place among Muslims. It throws into stark relief what is meant by “European Islam” because this epithet has often been applied by politicians, journalists, and academics to denote a specific ‘domesticated’ form of Islam that conforms to dominant national values and principles. Such a frame of reference tends to ignore important developments among Muslims. The special issue addresses some of these trends.

There is a vast literature on the subjects related to “Muslims in Europe” or “Islam in Europe”, to which many of us have contributed in the last decades. We invite scholars in the field of Islam in Europe to write an article for this special issue indicating intriguing and relevant trends. We do not propose a total new set up, but instead invite researchers to address what they consider important developments.

Below we indicate a number of possible fields that we think are relevant for further reflection.

  • Islam as lifestyle, styling, fashion
  • New forms of cooperation and organization (local, national, transnational) beyond the old ethnic networks
  • New forms of collective action (politics, environmental issue, charity, neighborhood, etc.)
  • Public activism among Muslims
  • Issues dealing with changing modalities of Islamic authority
  • Digitization and new media
  • Gender issues, role and visibility of women
  • Money flows and financial issues.
  • Doctrinal renewal and debate.
  • Islam and popular culture

Essays and texts keeping into account historical background and emerging trends of the presence of Islam in Europe will be particularly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Stefano Allievi
Prof. Dr. Thijl Sunier
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Islam
  • Political movements
  • Social trends
  • Islamic authority
  • New media
  • Gender
  • Islamic culture
  • branding Islam

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle The Mosque as an Educational Space: Muslim Women and Religious Authority in 21st-Century Spain
Religions 2019, 10(3), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030222 (registering DOI)
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 17 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents the results of a fieldwork project from January to April 2017 in Spanish mosques, an on-the-ground investigation using interviews with female Muslim teachers who constitute a sort of women’s movement within Islamic education in Islamic associations and schools across Spain. [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of a fieldwork project from January to April 2017 in Spanish mosques, an on-the-ground investigation using interviews with female Muslim teachers who constitute a sort of women’s movement within Islamic education in Islamic associations and schools across Spain. These women reflect on their zeal for teaching and the desire to receive an education in Islamic studies among Muslim women, students and teachers, who participate in these activities to transmit their knowledge of Islam in Spain. These female teachers form a heterodox group of interconnected educators who have acquired status within their communities, legitimized by their ability to impart Islamic religious knowledge, and who could prove to be potential alternative educational authorities in Spanish Islam. This educational activity by and for women in Spanish mosques, which has been studied by others at the European level could be seen as a revitalization of religious dynamics or as processes of re-Islamization. However, as the interviewees themselves observe, ‘we never stopped believing and practicing’, suggesting that this educational activity should be situated within the framework of the active search for Islamic knowledge in a non-Islamic European context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle Ashura in Italy: The Reshaping of Shi’a Rituals
Religions 2019, 10(3), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030200
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This essay explores the impacts of Italy’s socio-religious tendencies on the Shi’a rituals of Muḥarram and Ṣafar. Ethnography and semi-structured interviews were the main methods adopted for the performance of this research. The implications of commemorating the Karbala tragedy in Italy were studied [...] Read more.
This essay explores the impacts of Italy’s socio-religious tendencies on the Shi’a rituals of Muḥarram and Ṣafar. Ethnography and semi-structured interviews were the main methods adopted for the performance of this research. The implications of commemorating the Karbala tragedy in Italy were studied from four viewpoints. This article demonstrates that the presence of Shi’as in Italy not only exerts an effect on the core meaning of these rituals, namely paying tribute to Ḥusayn’s courageous stand against injustice, but also on the structure of Shi’a communities in terms of gender relations and power hierarchy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle Fighting for “Justice”, Engaging the Other: Shi’a Muslim Activism on the British University Campus
Religions 2019, 10(3), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030189
Received: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While Shi’a Muslims remain in the minority in Europe, including within universities, the past decade has witnessed the growing profile of Shi’ism on university campuses, especially in Britain. In particular, there has been an emphasis on campaigns that prioritise notions of justice, equality, [...] Read more.
While Shi’a Muslims remain in the minority in Europe, including within universities, the past decade has witnessed the growing profile of Shi’ism on university campuses, especially in Britain. In particular, there has been an emphasis on campaigns that prioritise notions of justice, equality, and human rights. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork conducted amongst Twelver Shi’a students in Britain between 2013–2018, this paper examines the forms of Shi’a activism currently being articulated on university campuses, especially those that explicitly seek to engage non-Muslims and spread awareness about Shi’a Islam. On the one hand, such practices constitute a form of self-representation for Shi’a students who would otherwise feel marginalised within the university space; while on the other, they promote a particular version of Shi’a Islam that both frames it within the European context and that also contributes to the sectarianisation of the contemporary Shi’a subject. While the forms and resonance of Shi’a student activism arguably only have meaning within the context of contemporary Europe, we argue that the discursive contours underpinning such activism ultimately transcend such national and cultural boundaries and contribute to a reinterpretation and reimagining of Shi’a sectarian identity for the modern age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle From the Mosque to the Town Square: Some Reflections on Islam, Youth, Social Movements, and Citizenship
Religions 2019, 10(3), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030180
Received: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An observation of the dynamics of the citizen participation of young people defined as Muslims who frequent Madrid’s mosques and squares raises the possibility that these young Spanish Muslims are developing their own civic/political participation as citizens and natives. This indicates a particular [...] Read more.
An observation of the dynamics of the citizen participation of young people defined as Muslims who frequent Madrid’s mosques and squares raises the possibility that these young Spanish Muslims are developing their own civic/political participation as citizens and natives. This indicates a particular religious/cultural identification disassociated from the predefined religious view that characterizes them as actors in a process born out of their aspirations as citizens. For the most part, children of immigrants share an everyday experience in which they are defined by their religion, while also expressing their desire to break away from labels and distance themselves from the identification of Islam as experienced in immigrant communities, institutionalized Islam in mosques, associations and cultural centres, and the Islam of convert activism. The journey from the mosque to the town square is one taken time and again by these young people—followed during a multisited ethnography involving six years of research—that clears the way for a religiosity that is closely tied to the everyday experiences of young people continuously hearing about other situations (e.g., the war in Syria, the protests during the so-called Arab Spring, the 15 May Movement). In the process of differentiation and confrontation with Islamic people in the Spanish context, new association-building and new activism have emerged, with some connections to European youth associations and a growing commitment to global causes like the fight against Islamophobia and against international terrorism (the ‘Je suis Charlie’ movement) and feminist causes (#MeToo). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle From One Islam to Another: A Paradoxical Agency of the Entry into Female Students’ Careers
Religions 2019, 10(3), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030176
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European continent appears as a new transcultural environment at the heart of globalization in which religious subjectivities are developed. I observe this more specifically in the socioreligious trajectories of the descendants of Muslim migrants. This paper focuses on the mobilization of Islam [...] Read more.
The European continent appears as a new transcultural environment at the heart of globalization in which religious subjectivities are developed. I observe this more specifically in the socioreligious trajectories of the descendants of Muslim migrants. This paper focuses on the mobilization of Islam in its social manifestations among female Muslim teachers in Muslim private schools, in comparison with the Islam of young female students at university. Research with the professors allows us to question the religious activity of the interviewees and how they develop a long-term lifestyle, including in a context marked by stigmatization, against the backdrop of the results of our previous work on the emancipation pattern of the “sisters in Islam”. This analysis is based on a comparative approach that aims to capture a new way of being in the French society, in a religious frame of reference that is being reinvented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle Muslim Everyday Religious Practices in Austria. From Defensive to Open Religiosity
Religions 2019, 10(3), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030161
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although Muslim groups in the population comprise an integral component of Austrian society, the public image of Islam tends to be generally negative. In the meantime, there are now significant successor generations of Muslims who, in contrast with their parents’ generation, have other [...] Read more.
Although Muslim groups in the population comprise an integral component of Austrian society, the public image of Islam tends to be generally negative. In the meantime, there are now significant successor generations of Muslims who, in contrast with their parents’ generation, have other religious orientations and positionings, and have become hybrid, heterogeneous individuals with ‘multiple-home’ attachments living in Austria. Nonetheless, in public discourse, they appear as a homogeneous group. Our study is based on a change in perspective, shifting front and center the religious orientation of these persons as seen from their own perspective and experiences. The findings of our study on Muslim diversity in Austria show just how differentiated, complex, ambivalent, and hybrid the everyday religious practice of individuals directly on the ground is or can be. In the following article, the focus is on a form of open religiosity that is practiced above all by members of the successor generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Media and the Female Imam
Religions 2019, 10(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030159
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Female imams are attractive protagonists in documentaries, books, and news stories. This article investigates the tensions that arise when ritual performance takes place before an audience and how symbolic events such as women-led Friday prayer and identities such as female imams are produced [...] Read more.
Female imams are attractive protagonists in documentaries, books, and news stories. This article investigates the tensions that arise when ritual performance takes place before an audience and how symbolic events such as women-led Friday prayer and identities such as female imams are produced in the intersection of interests between women who want to re-claim Islam and commercial media, which produce narratives that are in demand among media consumers. These productions are compared with women who make similar performances but who for various reasons stay away from media. One of these reasons, the problem of translating meaning from an Islamic context to a non-Islamic mediated context, is explored in depth. Finally, the spread of Sherin Khankan’s and Seyran Ates’ narratives are analyzed with Henry Jenkins concept spreadability. The article is based on field work in the Mariam Mosque (Copenhagen), field observations in the Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque (Berlin), and interviews with 14 women who are engaged in nonconformist activities such as delivering the khutbah or leading Friday prayer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Open AccessArticle Relational Ethics: Volunteering and the Responsibilities of the Good Muslim
Religions 2019, 10(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030150
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the ways in which female Belgian Muslim volunteers experience responsibility. It argues that responsibility consists of multiple dynamics for the volunteers, for example, the duties that are embedded in the Islamic tradition and the duties that arise from being a [...] Read more.
This article explores the ways in which female Belgian Muslim volunteers experience responsibility. It argues that responsibility consists of multiple dynamics for the volunteers, for example, the duties that are embedded in the Islamic tradition and the duties that arise from being a good citizen in a liberal/secular context. While these are often emphasized as being contentious binaries—especially for Muslims living in the West—this paper suggests that volunteering allows the Muslim women to bring these worlds together. The ways in which volunteering enables this is by introducing a relational reading of ethics and ethical self-formation. Relationality is highly significant for the female Muslim volunteer. It signifies being in touch with both (non-liberal) Islamic ethics and liberal public norms, even when pursuing a pious lifestyle. Hence, the article explores the ways in which responsibility is actualized in this framework. Finally, the last section interrogates how this idea of responsibility and relationality re-articulates binaries of the good-Muslim and the bad-Muslim. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam)
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top