In the heated media debate on Muslims and Islam, the role of community representatives is understudied. This article will first use original research see to what extent Muslims get the chance to speak out in newspapers in Western Europe, and then demonstrate through findings from interviews how representatives of Muslim organisations operate in the media. We build on Kerstin Rosenow-Williams’s perspectives in combining two features, namely 1) the internal and external role of representatives of Muslim organisations, and 2) the active-passive dimension of responses to prejudice and stigmatisation as suggested in social psychology, and will distinguish three patterns: protest, adaptation and decoupling. Throughout the article, we zoom in on the remarkable dissimilarity between the UK and Germany. The British case shows a larger Muslim presence in the newspapers and the tendency of Muslim representatives to use a protest strategy, while the German case shows a lack of Muslim actors in the newspapers and a tendency of Muslim representatives to use an adaptation strategy.
The 21st century has seen increasing attacks directed at Muslim places of worship, a social problem that has resulted in a whole array of investigations. This article suggests that the majority of this research on mosque conflicts fails to address the entrenched class dynamics and shifting geography of capitalist accumulation. Consequently, it complements this research by analysing the first mediatised conflict of its kind in Spain, the protest against the construction of a purpose-built mosque in Catalonia, Premià de Mar. The case demonstrates that the opposition was in fact a racist attack against Muslims answering to the economic interests of the local bourgeoisie. The ones acting it out, a section of the local working class, was convinced that this symbol of migrant presence would be a degrading feature that would jeopardise their recent social upward mobility. Hence it is fundamentally an expression of how racist logic is embedded in the spatial logic of capitalism in the 21st century.
Current debates on Islam in Europe often focus on imams as religious leaders and key figures in integration politics. Muslim associations undergoing processes of transformation and generational change have equally high expectations of imams. This article uses stakeholder theory to analyse the current situation of imams and draws on empirical material from Switzerland to illustrate both multi-faceted stakeholder claims and imams’ self-reflections on role conflicts they experience. It indicates that imams and Muslim associations tend to develop different coping strategies leading either to an enlarged profile for imams or to a differentiation of functions and professions in the social and religious fields.
From Volume 7 onwards, new format with a more current and topical focus on a country level.
Yearbook of Muslims in Europe is an essential resource for analysis of Europe's dynamic Muslim populations. Featuring up-to-date research from forty-three European countries, this comprehensive reference work summarizes significant activities, trends, and developments.
Each new volume reports on the most current information available from surveyed countries, offering an annual overview of statistical and demographic data, topical issues of public debate, shifting transnational networks, change to domestic and legal policies, and major activities in Muslim organisations and institutions. Supplementary data is gathered from a variety of sources and evaluated according to its reliability.
In addition to offering a relevant framework for original research, the
Yearbook of Muslims in Europe provides an invaluable source of reference for government and NGO officials, journalists, policy-makers, and related research institutions.
The article describes the making of the right of worship of Muslim minorities in Europe and its current difficulties, presenting and commenting on the emblematic example of local legislation concerning the building of new mosques in northern Italy. Controlling norms arise from recent decisions of the Italian Constitutional Court. The Court declared unconstitutional certain provisions of two regional laws approved by the Lombardy region (2/2015) and the Veneto region (12/2016), which imposed very strict conditions for the opening, approval and use of mosques. In particular, the Court declared unconstitutional norms that—with regard to the building of places of worship—introduced certain conditions for groups with an agreement with the State and different conditions for those without. Moreover, the Court declared unconstitutional the principle that all religious services that take place in a building open to public should be conducted in Italian. The basic assumption of the article is that current discrimination is the combined result of anti-migration sentiment and Islamophobic prejudices, and the consequence of the Eurocentric nature of the principle of religious freedom. A historically-oriented pluralism and multilevel (national) enforcement of freedom of religion seem to be huge obstacles to the implementation of the right to worship for Muslims in Europe and Italy.