Integrating European Muslims Through Discourse? Understanding the Development and Limitations of Euro-Islam in Europe

Article

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamics of the development of Euro-Islam as a discourse which offers a modern interpretation of Islam that fits with European context. It investigates how Europe-wide Muslim umbrella organisations promote Euro-Islam discourse while at the same time gain position to represent European Muslims at the European level by mobilising the discourse. Drawing from constructivist literature, this paper argues that Tariq Ramadan’s version of Euro-Islam has been in the stage of socialisation characterised by (1) the existence of network of organisational platforms such as Federation of Islamic Organisation in Europe (FIOE) and Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO), (2) the support from supranational actors such as European Parliament and European Commission, and (3) the efforts to codify the discourse through the creation of the Muslims of Europe Charter. However, given the lack of organisational infrastructure to diffuse the discourse due to the diverse nature of Muslim communities in Europe, further internalisation of the discourse has been hindered. Additionally, the connection between Euro-Islam’s organisational platforms with Islamist movement has made the discourse on Euro-Islam being perceived as a camouflage for Islamist agenda. Thus, at this stage, Euro-Islam has become “empty signifier” that are open to continual contestation which serves Muslim umbrella organisations with speaker position to lobby at the European level.

Keywords

European Muslims Muslim communities Discourse Muslim organisations Integration Euro-Islam Constructivism 

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Website

  1. Closing Statement of the Third General Assembly in the Ninth Executive Term of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) accessed from http://www.fioe.org/ShowNews_en.php?id=88&img=6
  2. Final Statement of the Fourth General Assembly in the Ninth Term of the FIOE accessed from http://www.fioe.org/ShowNews_en.php?id=114&img=6
  3. History of FEMYSO from http://www.femyso.org/about/history

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International Studies, Social Sciences BuildingUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.Department of International RelationsBina Nusantara UniversityJakartaIndonesia

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