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The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe
     

The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe

by Jytte Klausen
 

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Who are Europe's Muslim leaders? How do they view Islamic integration into European society and polities? Based on 300 interviews with Muslim leaders, this innovative book tackles big questions to reveal what Muslim leaders in Europe really want and the myriad ways in which Islam can become a European religion.

Overview

Who are Europe's Muslim leaders? How do they view Islamic integration into European society and polities? Based on 300 interviews with Muslim leaders, this innovative book tackles big questions to reveal what Muslim leaders in Europe really want and the myriad ways in which Islam can become a European religion.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Refreshingly down-to-earth.... [a] valuable book."—The Economist

"What makes this thoughtful and honest volume so useful is its refusal to simplify an extraordinarily complex picture. ... By destroying bogeymen, Klausen forces us to face rationally and compassionately sensitive and difficult issues of great importance to Europe's future."—Stanley Hoffman for Foreign Affairs

"An important corrective... Klausen's survey presents a useful counterpoint to the now-hackneyed image of disaffected Muslim youth by emphasizing the malleable political and ideological responses to local politics."—World Policy Journal

Foreign Affairs
Klausen, a Danish political scientist who teaches at Brandeis, interviewed 300 European Muslim leaders in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in order to discover what European Muslim elites think about the issues raised by the presence of so many Muslims in those countries and the policies pursued by European governments in order to integrate or assimilate them. The best way of dispelling myths and prejudices is to confront them with facts, and what makes this thoughtful and honest volume so useful is its refusal to simplify an extraordinarily complex picture. Few of the results support the notion of a "clash of civilizations"; extremism is not a clear and present danger. But moderation and widespread acceptance of liberal principles are only a first step toward accommodation. Of course, the problem of accommodation can be solved only if European states and societies show a willingness to make room for Islam and, if necessary, adapt their "state-church policies and public philosophies" accordingly. This is especially difficult when the latter are, as in France, resolutely anticommunitarian or when ethnic and religious prejudices make Muslim integration problematic and perpetuate discrimination. By destroying bogeymen, Klausen forces us to face rationally and compassionately sensitive and difficult issues of great importance to Europe's future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199289929
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/29/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Jytte Klausen is Professor of Politics at Brandeis University and Research Associate at The Center for European Studies, at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous books and articles on immigrant integration, Islam in Europe, the European welfare state and social inclusion.

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