Muslims in Europe

 The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims: The State’s Role in Minority Integration, a new book by Boston College Associate Professor of Political Science Jonathan Laurence, traces how governments across Western Europe have responded to the growing presence of Muslim immigrants in their countries over the past 50 years, and sheds light on the geopolitical implications of a religious minority’s transition from outsiders to citizens. Laurence draws on hundreds of interviews with government officials and religious leaders, challenges the widespread notion that Europe’s Muslim minorities represent a threat to liberal democracy, and documents how European governments in the 1970s and 1980s excluded Islam from domestic institutions–and instead invited foreign powers to oversee the practice of Islam among immigrants in European host societies. But since the 1990s, amid rising integration problems and fears about terrorism, governments have stepped up efforts to reach out to their Muslim communities and incorporate them into the institutional, political and cultural fabrics of European democracy. His book offers a reassessment that foresees the continuing integration of Muslims into European civil society and politics in the coming decades. Read a recent review in The Economist, which says, “Laurence has written an original and thought-provoking study.” | Boston College Chronicle story
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