When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States / Edition 1

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Overview

Exploring the woefully neglected reality of Islam as a major cultural and religious facet of American and European politics and societies, Cesari examines how Muslims in the West are challenging the notion of an inevitable clash or confrontation. With nearly twelve million Muslims living in the larger countries of Western Europe and almost six million in America, the challenges of integrating newcomers within different countries, and the place of Islam in democratic and secular context in the post 9/11 context, have become more pertinent. Comparing the interaction of Muslims with their new countries, this book addresses the implications of increased Islamic visibility, violent clashes, beneficial cooperation, and questions within the Muslim community about their role and the role of Islam in democratic states. Pursuing a holistic approach to Muslims as a new minority within western democracy, Cesari provides important insights.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jocelyne Cesari's wide-ranging and thoughtful exploration of important issues concerning Muslims and non-Muslims and their relationships to each other compares the patterns developing in Europe and America. Special strengths of the book include Cesari's discussion of the secularization of individual Islamic practices and of Islamic institutions in the contrasting settings. She also highlights the efforts Muslims are making to maintain the relevancy of Islamic legal systems and to develop a "gender jihad" in European and American contexts, contributing greatly to our understanding of contemporary intra-Muslim politics."— Karen Leonard, Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

"Among studies of Islam in Europe and America, Joceylne Cesari's Islam in the West: True Patriots or Enemies Within is unique in its scope and approach. The book is a pioneering attempt to engage in a comparative study of Muslim experiences on both sides of the Atlantic. With an emphasis on carefully locating the lived experience of Muslims in the diverse historical, social and cultural contexts of the Western world, it avoids a major pitfall of many books on Islam by not essentializing the religious tradition. Instead, by presenting Islam in the Western world as a conglomeration of discursive practices, it unfolds the rich tapestry of Muslim experiences created by a complex interaction of local, national and global forces. Most importantly, it shows how western societies and concepts, such as nationalism and secularism, are being gradually transformed by the Muslim presence in the West. This book is a must read for anyone interested in the study of contemporary Islam and the role of religion in the modern west."
—Ali S. Asani, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312294014
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/10/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Jocelyne Cesari is Visiting Professor in Anthropology and Religious Studies at Harvard University and Senior Research Fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : from clash to encounter 1
1 The numbers debate 9
2 Islam as stigma 21
3 The secularization of individual Islamic practice 43
4 The secularization of Islamic institutions in Europe and the United States : two approaches 65
5 The absolutized community 91
6 The virtual community 111
7 Bureaucratic and parochial leaders 125
8 Transnational leaders and charismatic speakers 141
9 The reformation of Islamic thought 159
Conclusion : toward a reconciliation of Islam and the West? 175
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Recipe

"Jocelyne Cesari's wide-ranging and thoughtful exploration of important issues concerning Muslims and non-Muslims and their relationships to each other compares the patterns developing in Europe and America. Special strengths of the book include Cesari's discussion of the secularization of individual Islamic practices and of Islamic institutions in the contrasting settings. She also highlights the efforts Muslims are making to maintain the relevancy of Islamic legal systems and to develop a "gender jihad" in European and American contexts, contributing greatly to our understanding of contemporary intra-Muslim politics."-- Karen Leonard, Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

"Among studies of Islam in Europe and America, Joceylne Cesari's Islam in the West: True Patriots or Enemies Within is unique in its scope and approach. The book is a pioneering attempt to engage in a comparative study of Muslim experiences on both sides of the Atlantic. With an emphasis on carefully locating the lived experience of Muslims in the diverse historical, social and cultural contexts of the Western world, it avoids a major pitfall of many books on Islam by not essentializing the religious tradition. Instead, by presenting Islam in the Western world as a conglomeration of discursive practices, it unfolds the rich tapestry of Muslim experiences created by a complex interaction of local, national and global forces. Most importantly, it shows how western societies and concepts, such as nationalism and secularism, are being gradually transformed by the Muslim presence in the West. This book is a must read for anyone interested in thestudy of contemporary Islam and the role of religion in the modern west."
--Ali S. Asani, Harvard University
Read More Show Less

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